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Elk Grove Auto Insurance

Believe it or not, on July 1, 2001, Elk Grove was the first community in California to become a city in the new millennium.

Even though the city is a branch of Sacramento, it has its own unique energy where young families come to put down their roots and where entrepreneurial actives prosper. That's what makes this city with small town roots such a great place to make a future.

Elk Grove may be a unique family-oriented community, but as a city within California, all of the 162,899 residents living there must follow state laws passed by California legislatures. One of these laws pertains to auto insurance.

If you're comparing premiums, here's what you need to know about the vehicle code and your obligations as a vehicle owner.

After you've read this article, use our FREE tool above to find car insurance rates from multiple companies today!

Is auto insurance mandatory in California?

The first basic form of mandatory auto insurance was required in Massachusetts in 1927 when vehicles started to become increasingly popular.

Now that vehicles are the preferred choice of transportation in every state, some form of auto insurance law has been passed to ensure that all drivers can demonstrate financial responsibility.

While you'd think that auto insurance is mandatory in all states, it's actually not. Unlike states that accept nothing but liability insurance, California has Financial Responsibility (FR) laws rather than mandatory insurance laws.

The FR laws give vehicle owners different options to demonstrate they're able to pay for damages they cause.

What do Financial Responsibility laws mandate?

The only real difference between a compulsory law and a Financial Responsibility law is that you have options. While most residents in Elk Grove will buy auto insurance to satisfy the law, there are some others that'll use their property as collateral or their savings to deposit.

As long a you choose an alternative method of proving you're financially responsible, you don't have to carry insurance.

With this being said, all experts recommend that the average vehicle owner buys insurance instead of putting their home and their assets at risk. Here are your options for evidencing financial responsibility:

  • Make a cash deposit in the amount of $35,000 with Department of Motor Vehicles
  • File a surety bond in the amount of $35,000 that's been issued by a company licensed in Florida
  • Proof of self-insurance when you're an employee of a company with 25 or more cars
  • Purchase an auto insurance liability policy with a company licensed to sell personal lines insurance in California

How much insurance do you need to carry?

You can't just purchase a policy with hardly any coverage and expect it to satisfy the law.

To prevent this, state officials mandate the minimum amount of coverage that companies must sell and that drivers must carry. You don't have a choice to buy lower limits if you choose to prove your financial responsibility with insurance.

Drivers are only mandated by state law to carry third-party liability coverage. That's because California towns and incorporated cities like Elk Grove operate under tort law where at-fault parties must compensate occupants and owners when they damage their property.

Here's what's required under law:

  • Bodily Injury - $15,000 per person, up to $30,000 per accident
  • Property Damage - $5,000 per accident

What happens if you choose not to demonstrate financial responsibility?

Choosing not to demonstrate financial responsibility is not just frowned upon, it's a misdemeanor.

Before you travel down Elk Grove Blvd. or Big Horn Blvd. without evidence, you should know what type of penalties you will face for being uninsured. Here are some of the main reasons that you shouldn't cut costs by canceling auto insurance:

  • Fines between $100 and $200 for first offense
  • Fines between $200 and $500 for subsequent offenses
  • Vehicle impoundment and impound fees
  • License suspension for up to 4 years following an accident without insurance
  • Reinstatement fees for license
  • Vehicle registration suspension
  • Imprisonment of up to 6 months
  • SR-22 filing requirement

Other Consequences for Driving Uninsured

People often focus on the civil and legal penalties when they violate the law, but it's also important to be forward thinking.

Have you ever thought about how you would pay for repairs if you got into an accident without coverage? Would you be able to pay for everything out of your pocket?

Considering that the average income in Elk Grove is $79,051, there are nice vehicles worth upwards of $50,000 driving around the city highways.

Totaling one of these could bankrupt you, and this is the best case scenario in an accident without injuries. Taking the risk of driving uninsured is a risk that could affect your future.

If you don't have an accident, there can still be consequences that can affect your future plans.

Having a citation for no insurance can affect your ability to get insurance or even a job. If you have an accident, you'll be stuck in court paying fees. No one wants their wages to be garnished for years because of a mistake.

Are you required to carry Uninsured Motorist Protection?

Everyone who drives without insurance puts other drivers who are in compliance with vehicle code at risk.

It doesn't sound fair, but people break the law on a daily basis. That's why companies offer a coverage called Uninsured Motorist (UM). The coverage will act like liability coverage when the at-fault driver doesn't have it.

While there's confusion surrounding the rules, Uninsured Motorist Protection isn't required.

Carriers that are selling auto insurance must offer it to you but you're free to reject it. The only catch is that you must reject the coverage in writing or UM will be added to match minimum BI limits. This might shock you after your policy is issued.

Do you really need UM Coverage in Elk Grove?

You'd think because the average income is so high in Elk Grove that there's no need to worry about the added protection. What you might not know is that the rate of uninsured drivers in California is 14.7%, which is the 13th highest in the nation.

Based on the population data, around 23,950 residents don't have coverage.

This estimate doesn't even factor in people from surrounding areas like Sacramento. While it's a choice, it's a smart one to carry UM.

You never know who you might run into when you're driving around town or commuting to work. Having optional Uninsured Motorist makes life a lot easier if you have an injury claim.

What's Medical Payments coverage and is it required?

Auto insurance is meant to replace the need for health insurance but it will provide you with medical coverage for treatments after an accident if you add Medical Payments coverage.

Just like Uninsured Motorist, Medical Payments is optional but must be rejected in writing. If you don't reject it, the carrier will add $1000 of coverage automatically.

Do you need Medical Payments if you have health insurance?

If you have health insurance, you have less of a need for Medical Payments.

Even though protection is there, you have to consider your deductible. Since the average person currently pays $1318 out-of-pocket before their health plan kicks in, having even just $1000 of coverage could be helpful to get treatment without breaking the bank.

Is physical damage coverage a must?

Full coverage consists of comprehensive and collision coverage. Each pays for repairs to be made to your vehicle. The state doesn't require full coverage but your lender does. If you're under contract, make sure you check to see how much coverage you're required to carry.

Do I need comprehensive and collision if my car isn't financed?

If your car is paid off and you hold the title, you have to consider how much the vehicle is worth in the eyes of the insurer. Companies only pay out the diminished or Actual Cash value of covered autos. If the value is low and the premiums are high, full coverage doesn't make much sense.

It could be helpful to take a look at the statistics before you reject Comprehensive for theft and vandalism claims.

Out of all of the crimes reported, vehicle theft is on the high end with a rate of 3.23. Considering the US average is 2.16, comprehensive is something you might want to keep.

If you'd like to get the best rate for Elk Grove car insurance, the first step is to shop around. You can call agents or visit brokerages but the most effective way to shop around is to use an online quote comparison tool.

Enter your zip code into our FREE tool below, select the coverages that you want to carry, and then sift through all of the quotes from various carriers to find the best one!

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