Insurance
— Proof-of-Insurance Card
You should expect to receive a proof-of-insurance card as soon as you pay your premium. This is important to keep in your vehicle at all times as you may have to show proof of insurance in the following cases:
  • If asked by a law enforcement officer
  • In an accident
  • Car registration or registration renewal
  • Applying for or renewing a driver’s license
  • Car inspection

— Auto Insurance Coverages
Besides the minimum liability insurance required for California drivers to have, there are additional coverages available to purchase. Following are summary descriptions of the additional coverages you’ll find in the standard auto insurance policy, as outlined by CDI.

Liability Coverage
Basic liability coverage meets the state’s financial responsibility requirement. It pays other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers covered by your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. These may include other people’s medical and funeral costs, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering, car repair or replacement costs, auto rental while the other driver’s car is being repaired and punitive damages awarded by a court. Liability insurance also pays your attorney fees if someone sues you because of the accident and bail up to $250 if you are arrested. Liability covers you and your family members, which include anyone living in your home related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, including your spouse, children, in-laws, adopted children, wards and foster children. Other people driving your car with your permission and family members attending school away from home; spouses living elsewhere during a martial separation also might be covered. You and your family members might be covered when driving someone else’s automobile—including a rental car—but not a car that you don’t own but have regular access to, such as a company car. Note: Some policies won’t cover other people, including family members, unless they’re specifically named in the policy. Your policy’s declaration page should list the names of all of the people covered by the policy.

Medical-Payments Coverage
Automobile accidents often result in one or more persons being injured in some way. It is important to be covered properly if this occurs. This coverage pays medical and funeral bills resulting from accidents, including those in which the other person is a pedestrian or bicyclist, and covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing. PIP pays for the same things as medical-payments coverage, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. It covers you, your family members and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident. An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want PIP, you must reject it in writing.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
Insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage. If you decline coverage, you must do so in writing. UM/UIM pays your expenses from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a motorist who did not have enough insurance to cover your bills, up to your policy’s dollar limits. It also pays for accidents caused by a hit-and-run driver if you promptly reported the accident to police and covers you, your family members, passengers in your car, and others driving your car with your permission. Following are the two kinds of UM/UIM coverage you can get:
  • Bodily injury UM/UIM pays without deductibles for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement and permanent or partial disability.
  • Property damage UM/UIM pays for auto repairs, a rental car and damage to items in your car. There is an automatic $250 deductible, which means you must pay the first $250 of the repairs yourself.

Collision Coverage
Damages to cars can be extensive and costly when involved in an accident. Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours without damages. It will cover you, your family members, passengers in your car and others driving your car with your permission.

Comprehensive Coverage
Sometimes there is physical damage done to your car caused by factors other than collision. If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. It pays the cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, hail or a cause other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage also pays for a rental car or other temporary transportation if your car is stolen. Your policy won’t pay for an auto theft unless you report it to police. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible.

Towing and Labor Coverage
If your car needs to be towed or repaired at a remote location, the service can be costly so this is good coverage to have. It pays for the towing charges when your car can’t be driven. It also pays labor charges, such as changing a tire at the location where your car became immobile.

   
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