Understanding California Auto Insurance Limits-Under/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Understanding California Auto Insurance Limits-Under/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Article Written By: Tom Lynch

Today, we will continue our series on California Auto Insurance Coverage, to help you understand the coverage you are buying. We previously discussed the California Liability Limits for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, often called Part I or Coverage A. In this post, we will discuss Coverage C, or Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage. In California, Uninsured Motorist Coverage is ALSO Underinsured Motorist Coverage, so if a Company is trying to charge you extra for Uninsured Motorist AND Underinsured Motorist Coverage separately, that should be a warning flag!

So what is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage?

Similar to how your policy will pay out to cover the cost of injuries you cause in an accident, this coverage will pay to cover YOUR injuries in the case of an accident where the at fault party either has no insurance or does not have high enough coverage limits to cover the cost of your injuries. So the long story short, this coverage is intended to protect  YOU!

What is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage applies to the repair of your property (typically your vehicle) in the event that someone else is at fault for the damage and they do not carry insurance or their limit is not enough to pay for the damage. This is similar to the Property Damage Liability Limit on your policy, which would pay for when you cause damage to someone else’s property. There are two types of UMPD Coverage, and which one you have depends on if you have Collision Coverage on your policy.

If You Do NOT have Collision Coverage on your vehicle

You can add $3,500 of UMPD coverage to help pay for damage to your vehicle from uninsured motorists. CA Law prevents this coverage amount from being anything but $3,500.

If You DO Have Collision Coverage on your vehicle

Uninsured motorist property damage is included. To further protect yourself the Uninsured Motorist Deductible Waiver can be added to your vehicle, meaning you will not have to pay your deductible to repair your car if the at fault party can be identified.

If UMBI Covers Me, Why Can’t My Limits Be Higher Than My Liability Limits?

CA State law prevents you from insuring yourself for more than you would pay out for injuring someone else. Therefore, your UMBI limits can only be as high as your Bodily Injury Liability Limits. They can be lower, but why cut costs on coverage that helps to protect yourself? We at Stone Creek Insurance strongly recommend that you have your UMBI Coverage be the same as your BI Limits.

Need Clarification or Looking For an Insurance Review?

Call our office and speak to a licensed insurance broker to get all of your questions answered! You can call 925.297.4564 or complete the
contact request form to the right to have your questions addressed or to get an Auto Insurance quote!




*Please Note that the above are for information purposes only and do not interpret or imply coverage. For complete information regarding your California Auto Insurance Policy please contact your agent or carrier.

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All information is general in nature and is intended to provide guidance only. It is up to you to request specific coverage options, the agency and agent do not bear this responsibility. Always read the policy if there is a questions about coverage or a claim. If any information herein should conflict with your actual policy’s specific language, the policy language will be controlling.

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