You’ve probably heard terms like “no-fault states” and “at-fault states” when talking about insurance and wondered in which category California falls into. Well, wonder no more, because we provide an answer in today’s post.
Is California a No-Fault State When It Comes to Auto Insurance?
No, when it comes to auto insurance, California is NOT a no-fault state but an at-fault state.
In a nutshell, this means that the driver found to be responsible for an accident must pay for any damages and injuries caused to others. Here it’s worth remembering the minimum insurance mandated by California:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
Note that these coverages do NOT include your medical bills or damage to your property if you are at fault. That’s why it’s always a smart move to purchase more coverage than the minimum mandated by law.
Now let’s take a more detailed look at this topic, including the differences between at-fault and no-fault states, and what happens when both rivers are at fault.
At-Fault States vs No-Fault States
As we saw earlier, in an at-fault state (also known as an at-tort state), the driver responsible for an accident is also responsible for covering the damages and injuries sustained by the other driver, or drivers.
In a no-fault state, on the other hand, each driver files a claim with their own insurance company regardless of who’s at fault.
There’s a third category of states known as “optional no-fault states,” where drivers can choose whether they’ll be subject to a no-fault system.
If you’re not sure which category your state belongs to, contact your local insurance agent for more information.
What if both drivers are at fault?
There are some accidents where both drivers are at fault. What happens in those cases?
According to the California Department of Insurance, when both drivers are at fault in the Golden State, the police, the insurance companies, or the courts, decide the comparative negligence to determine each driver’s share of the responsibility.
RF1 Insurance Services: Dependable Auto Insurance
At RF1 Insurance, we work with some of the world’s most trusted insurance companies, including Safeco, Guard, Stillwater, National General Premier, Aegis, and the California FAIR Plan.