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Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime in California?

Car loan payments, gas, and maintenance can all add up to an annoying and costly expense. When you add auto insurance on top of all of that it can become overwhelming. If you are a safe driver and rarely get into accidents do you really need car insurance? In short, the answer is yes you need car insurance. 48 states in the U.S. require that drivers have car insurance, including California. Driving without insurance is considered a crime in CA. If you are facing charges and need legal advice or representation related to auto insurance issues, contact a Tehama County traffic violation lawyer for help.

How Much is Car Insurance in California?

Car insurance costs will vary for every person or family. It will depend on the type of car you have, your coverage, policy, driving record, and more. In general, California full coverage auto insurance costs will typically range from around $2,000 to $3,000 per year. However, there is a minimum amount of coverage that you must have.

The legally required minimum amount of coverage you need is as follows.

  • $15,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 of coverage for property damage liability

Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?

Being insured is important so that you and your family have a cushion of protection and something to fall back on in case of an accident. You never know when something could go wrong, and property damage or injury claims can cost a lot of money. If you do get into an accident and are found to be at fault, your insurance can cover the costs or some of the costs of the damages. If you had to pay $30,000 out of pocket that could significantly and detrimentally affect your life and financial well-being.

What Are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance?

Various penalties can accompany charges related to a lack of auto insurance. For a first offender caught driving without insurance, you may be subject to fines between $100 and $200 and impoundment of your vehicle. You may also receive penalty assessment costs of around $200.

Any second or subsequent charges will result in fines ranging from $200 to $500 and impoundment of your vehicle. You can also be subject to penalty assessment costs between $500 and $1,300.

Penalty assessments are amounts of money that are added to your original fine depending on where you live or your government officials. For example, some penal codes require that for every $10 of your fine, you will be charged an additional $5. This means that a $100 fine would become a $150 fine. Depending on how many penal codes apply and their costs your fines could double or triple after driving without insurance.