Top 5 Reasons Chula Vista Residents Shouldn’t Drive without Car Insurance
A lot of drivers may be wondering why it’s necessary to have car insurance. Chula Vista residents know it’s required by law in California to at least carry bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage coverage. However, they may not have a full understanding of the specific reasons auto insurance is so important.
1. California Law Requires Drivers to Have Insurance
Each state has laws that set the minimum auto liability coverage limits drivers are required to buy. In California, the legally required amounts of coverage are:
$15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
$30,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
$5,000 of property damage liability coverage
According to the California vehicle code, you’re required to show proof of insurance coverage to a law enforcement officer when he or she requests it. You can provide this proof by either showing the officer a paper copy of your insurance card or pulling it up on your phone.
You may want to increase your coverage limits beyond California’s minimum requirements. If you don’t, you could end up having to pay out of pocket if, for example, you cause an accident that results in injuries to another driver and his or her medical bills go beyond your coverage limits.
2. You’ll Be Fined
If you’re caught driving without insurance in the Golden State, you could face substantial fines. For the first offense, you’ll have to pay a fine between $100 and $200 plus penalty assessment fees—currently $26 for every $10 of the base fine amount—so for an initial fine of $100, you’ll pay a penalty assessment of $260, for a total of $360.
As you can see, these penalties can add up quickly, and they’re even higher for repeat offenders. For a second offense, the fine increases to $200–$500, and penalty assessments go up to $520–$1,300. This means if you get a $500 fine, you’ll end up paying between $1,020 and $1,800. That’s close to the average yearly cost for auto insurance in California, which is $1,962.
3. You Could Have Your License Suspended
In addition to paying hefty fines, you could have your driver’s license suspended if you’re caught driving without insurance. This means it would be a lot harder to get to work, go out with friends, or visit your family members.
4. Your Car May Be Impounded
If the court deems it necessary, it can have your car impounded, and you’ll be responsible for paying all the towing and storage fees.
5. If You’re in an Accident, the Penalties Are Much More Severe
If you’re in an accident and you don’t have insurance, the state will suspend your license for one year. If you’re caught again without insurance in an accident, your license will be suspended for as long as four years.
Significantly, you’ll also be open to civil litigation. If you don’t have insurance and you’re at fault for an accident, the other parties in the accident can sue you personally for any injuries and property damage, which, if they’re serious, could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When they need affordable, reliable auto insurance, Chula Vista residents need look no further than the trustworthy pros at Altra Insurance Services. We can take care of a variety of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and business insurance as well as surety bonds. Give us a call today at 619-404-6311 to find out more about our high-quality insurance products and impeccable service.