Car Insurance in California – Liability for Additional Drivers

March 29, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 

In California, you must have liability insurance for all of the drivers in the household. If you don’t and someone gets in an accident, the insurance company will turn down their claim.

There is a minimum level of coverage required in California. Liability insurance must pay $15,000 in medical damages if one person in the other car is hurt and $30,000 for two or more injuries. The insurance must also pay for $5000 in property damage including the repair of the car. Keep in mind that these figures apply only to the other car. Liability insurance does not cover damage done to your own vehicle.

If you don’t carry liability insurance, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for up to a year. If you don’t pay the damages you are liable for, they can suspend the license until you do. If you do not have liability insurance, you are personally responsible for all damage done.

Sometimes people in the household have their own car and insurance. In this case, you don’t have to put them on yours. But, if they get into an accident using your car, their insurance policy will be the one covering the damage, not yours.

When you put an additional driver on your insurance, it only covers your car or cars. It does not give them additional protection if they were to drive other people’s cars.

When you add an additional person to your coverage, it will increase the cost of your policy. The amount of the increase will depend on how old the driver is, their driving record, and sometimes even their credit score.

Adding a teenaged driver will make the family’s insurance premiums skyrocket, much to many parent’s dismay. However, if the student has good grades, it helps. If an additional driver has tickets or an accident, it will increase the policy rates as well. Finally, insurance companies are increasingly looking at credit scores as their actuaries have found a correlation between bad credit and high risk driving.

Every person in the household should be covered by liability insurance. It can be yours or their own. But, if you don’t make sure that this occurs, lending your car to a relative or roommate could turn out to be more expensive than you ever realized.

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