Are you panicking because your auto insurance lapsed? If so, it’s understandable. Driving without proof of financial responsibility is illegal in California. If you get caught, you can get an expensive ticket and have your car impounded. If you get into a crash, you can be held personally liable for any injuries or property damage. A lapse in your car insurance is a serious matter – but you can fix it.
What Are California’s Car Insurance Requirements?
In California, drivers have to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility. Unless you have $35,000 that you can deposit with the California DMV, this generally means getting car insurance.
The insurance policy has to meet the state’s minimum liability requirements of $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to multiple people and $5,000 for property damage. You can get more coverage to make sure you’re fully protected, but you can’t get less.
You’ll need to provide proof of insurance when you get or renew your vehicle registration, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can then drop it in order to save a few bucks. Insurance companies are legally required to report personal coverage insurance information to the DMV.
In other words, if you let your insurance lapse, you should expect the DMV to find out – and that means trouble.
What Should You Do if Your Car Insurance Lapses in California?
People let their insurance lapse for a number of reasons. In some cases, it could be a simple mistake, like forgetting to pay the insurance bill. Often, it’s done because money’s tight. Letting your insurance lapse might seem like a quick budget fix, but it’s really just a way of delaying the problem – and making it worse. The fees and penalties associated with lapsed insurance add up fast, and when you’re already having trouble with money, that’s the last thing you want.
So just how much money are we talking? Between tickets and towing fees, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars – and you still have to get insurance. This is assuming you don’t get into a crash, in which case you could be responsible for thousands of dollars in damage.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is your vehicle registration will be suspended – and reinstatement will cost you another fee. You could also get labeled a high-risk driver, which will lead to higher insurance premiums.
If your insurance has already lapsed, you’ll need to fix the problem immediately.
- Contact your insurer and see if you can get your insurance coverage reinstated.
- Contact Pronto Insurance for a quote.
- Don’t let your insurance lapse again.
- Carry proof of insurance with you when you drive.
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