The state of California mandates that every driver and vehicle owner must have a state minimum amount of liability insurance coverage. Even drivers with an out-of-state license or no license at all still have to abide by the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements while driving in the state.

A liability insurance policy covers the cost of damage to properly and/or bodily injury if you’re found to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident. The minimum amount of California liability coverage required for private passenger vehicles is:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 for injury/death to a single person
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person

You can also fulfill the financial responsibility requirements without holding an insurance policy. This can be done by:

  • Making a deposit of $35,000 with the DMV.
  • Receiving a self-insurance certificate from the DMV.
  • Holding a $35,000 surety bond from a company licensed to do business in California.


Collision insurance

Collision insurance is a coverage that helps pay to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object, such as a fence or a tree.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace a covered vehicle that’s stolen or damaged by something other than collision or rolling over. For example, damage caused by fire, wind, hail, flood, theft, vandalism and hitting an animal is covered.

Uninsured motorist coverage

This covers you in the event that a motorist who hits you is uninsured.

 Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This covers you in the event that a motorist who hits you is under-insured, meaning he doesn’t have enough coverage to cover the value of your vehicle.

No-fault insurance

In its broadest sense, nofault insurance is any type of insurance contract under which insureds are indemnified for losses by their own insurance company, regardless of fault in the incident generating losses. In this sense, it is no different from first-party coverage.

No Insurance

This is the type of insurance that gets you a ticket, your car impounded or, in some cases, gets you sent to jail. It’s the most expensive type of insurance there is.