What is basic auto insurance and why it may not be the right choice?

You may wonder if you can get away with having the least possible auto insurance. Basic insurance is what is mandated by the state of California. At Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA, we have more than 20 years of experience, and we will work hard to make sure we find the best policy at the best price to meet your needs. 

Auto Insurance: What You Need To Know

Basic insurance in California is liability coverage, and you are required to carry 15/30/5. This means $15,000 for one person injured in an accident and $30,000 for all injuries. Additionally, you must have $5,000 for property damage. It doesn’t take much knowledge to realize this really is very basic. With the average price of a used vehicle at more than $30,000, you can see that $5,000 won’t go very far when it comes to replacing a vehicle. 

If you have a car loan or are leasing a vehicle, you will not be able to have basic insurance. The loan holder or leasing company will require you to have complete coverage, which includes collision, and comprehensive. If you count on your vehicle every day, you may want to protect your vehicle. 

If you have a vehicle that is old and has little value, then basic auto insurance is just fine for you, but if you have a vehicle that you would be hard-pressed to replace financially in the event it was totaled, then having more than basic coverage is a good idea. If you have a considerable amount of assets, a home, savings, etc., you may want to carry more than basic liability coverage to protect those assets from the results of an accident where there are significant injuries and damage. 

Give Us A Call

Contact Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA to discuss whether or not basic auto insurance is the right choice for you. 

How much auto insurance is required in california?

In California, auto insurance is required by law to own and operate a motor vehicle. Failure to carry insurance can have dire consequences, which include fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail time for repeat offenders.  Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA offers you the following guide to navigate auto insurance policies. 

Auto Insurance Requirements

Insurance requirements vary by the state that the vehicle is registered in with California mandating that drivers have the following minimum liability coverage:

  • $15,000 Injury Liability (per person)
  • $30,000 Bodily Injury Liability (per accident)
  • $5,000 Property Damage Liability

If this coverage does not sound adequate, that’s likely because it isn’t. In a vehicle accident that involves a third party, you’ll quickly exhaust your liability limits if you only carry the minimum which could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in fees and expenses. 

Although not required like liability, optional auto insurance coverage includes the following:

  • Personal Injury Protection: Pays for the medical costs for you and any passengers in an accident, regardless of fault. 
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, this coverage will help pay for any fees associated with repairing your vehicle or medical bills that cannot be recouped from the other party because of their lack of insurance.
  • Collision: Pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident and includes a deductible which is the amount you pay first before the insurance company foots the remainder of the bill. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, you’ll likely be required to have collision coverage.
  • Comprehensive: If your vehicle is damaged by anything other than a collision including storms, theft, vandalism, or wildlife this coverage will pay for the repairs minus your deductible.

To learn more about your California auto insurance requirements, contact Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA. We’ll help you find the right insurance for your needs at a price you can afford. 

What Your Auto Insurance Needs to Protect You

At Wai Cheng Insurance Inc., we can help Bay Area, CA residents find insurance policies that make sense for their overall needs. For example, when finding a car insurance policy, it is critical to tweak it to include various protection types. These all vary based on your needs and the overall quality of your insurance policy. Just a few that may work well for you include:

  • Liability Protection – Liability coverage will pay to repair any physical damage or personal injury issues your auto accident triggers, including destroyed or damaged vehicles.
  • Health Coverage – If you or someone else gets hurt while you’re driving your car, this coverage type can pay the costs of their health treatment and even their lost wages while they recover.
  • Repair Assistance – Damage to your vehicle will require an auto insurance policy that can protect you from heavy financial investments, including paying to replace expensive parts.
  • Replacement Costs – If your car is damaged to the point where it makes no financial sense to repair it, you can get it replaced by your car insurance up to its current market value.
  • Underinsured Driver Help – Many drivers ride with poor insurance policies that may not cover everything that happens in an accident, and this policy option can ensure that you get help.

Get a Policy Today

If you need a better car insurance policy or want to avoid unnecessary financial burdens, please contact us at Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. to learn more. We serve the Bay Area, CA region and will do what we can to help your auto insurance needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about each of these options and how you can find a policy that feels appropriate for your needs.

Do I need auto insurance if my vehicle is paid off?

Owning a motor vehicle comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only do you need to lease or purchase it, but you need to maintain it. In addition, you need to have insurance on it. Some auto insurance is optional and some are mandated by the state. Your independent insurance agent will be able to inform you about the types and amount of insurance you are required to have. At Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA, we have more than 20 years of experience that we share with our customers. We work for you and getting you the best insurance at the best price is our goal. 

When your auto loan is paid off, it feels like you are finally free. You can’t be free however from basic liability insurance which is mandated by the state of California. The mandated amount is15/30/5. This is a very basic amount of coverage. It will only be enough if you have a very old car and no assets. For everyone else, you need to seriously think about what coverage you need to have. 

With only a max of $30,000 for all bodily injuries in an accident, you could come up very short of what you need. You could be responsible to pay the excess out of pocket. $5,000 for property damage is even less coverage when you consider the average value of a motor vehicle. 

If you need your vehicle to maintain your everyday lifestyle you also need to make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage which will repair your vehicle if it is damaged. Most people will find it a hardship to pay for repairs out of pocket. 

If you have questions about your auto insurance coverage Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA has a knowledgeable team who can provide you with the answers you need. 

Does my auto insurance cover me or my vehicle?

The Bay Area of California is one of the most beautiful in the country. Just a short drive takes you to Muir Woods or south to Monterey. Driving is scenic and like everywhere else in the county means dealing with lots of other drivers. More drivers mean more risk. Having a good auto insurance policy can give you the confidence you need to face heavy traffic. At Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA, we have more than 20 years of experience, and we work with our clients to find the best policy to fit their needs. 

Whether your auto insurance covers you or your vehicle is an important question. Does anyone else ever drive your car? Would you turn down a friend who asked to borrow your car because you are not sure about the insurance liability? Chances are you wouldn’t. You on the other hand may drive a vehicle that is not your own, and where does that leave you? 

Typically, the auto insurance coverage is on the vehicle. This is good news for you if you have good coverage on your vehicle and are likely to let someone else drive it. Being in control is always good, and you know you won’t end up holding the bag. If however, you are driving someone’s car whose coverage you have doubts about, it may make you less likely to actually do it. Just be aware that if you do cause an accident in someone else’s car, you should still be responsible to pay the deductible amount they have on their policy. 

If you are in the market for auto insurance, at Wai Cheng Insurance Inc. in Bay Area, CA we have a tool on our website to get a quote, or you can give us a call.