Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California

What is the Bare-Bone Minimum I’m Required to Have in California?  

The California car insurance question is a vexing, perennial problem facing Golden State drivers. How much car insurance do you actually need here in CA?

According to current California statutes, drivers need to purchase auto liability insurance according to a 15/30/5 scheme. You can obviously purchase more insurance than this (and likely should) but California law only requires that you hit this 15/30/5 number.

What does that break down mean?

  • “15” = $15,000 for bodily injury/death involving one person or one accident.
  • “30” = $30,000 worth of insurance for bodily injury or death for all persons in any single accident.
  • “5” = $5,000 for property damage for any single accident.

Non-compliance with this section of the California Vehicle Code can lead to all sorts of unpleasant punishments, penalties, and fees. So if you currently lack the appropriate coverage, get shopping today, and avoid getting back on the roads before you’re properly insured.

On the other hand, what should you do if someone caused an accident that led to bodily injury to you and/ore significant damage to your vehicle… and it turns out that the person who hit you lacks adequate coverage?

First of all, your own insurer may be able to cover you for the loss, especially if you have uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. But even if the person lacks enough California insurance, and your own insurer refuses to make up the difference — for whatever reason — you may still have a slate of legal options at your disposal.

The key is to connect with a competent San Francisco Bay Area personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to uncover your options and protect your ability to get compensated.

Connect with the team here at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega at, or call 866-471- 6647 to speak with our team toll-free.