Did you know that California set its current auto insurance minimums in 1967?
That was 55 years ago! In the meantime, the cost of living has skyrocketed over the last half century, significantly watering down the true economic value of these auto insurance limits. This which puts a squeeze on auto accident victims, who suddenly face unexpected car repairs and even more expensive medical bills.
Senate Bill 1107 Offers Hope To Accident Victims
On February 16, 2022, SB 1107 was introduced by Democratic Senator Dodd (Napa). It proposes two big changes which would help injured people seek justice in auto accident cases.
Current California Car Insurance Minimums In Effect For The Last 55 Years
• $15,000 for injury/death to one person
• $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
• $5,000 for damage to property
What SB1107 Proposes - New Minimum Limits
• $30,000 for injury/death to one person
• $60,000 for injury/death to more than one person
• $25,000 for damage to property
Did you know that California law lets auto insurance companies offset your underinsured motorist coverage, thereby lowering those true policy limits?
This means your own insurance company gets credit for the other person's insurance limits. UIM only covers the difference between the other person's insurance limits and and UIM the coverage you have in place on the date of the accident.
For example, if you have a $50,000 uninsured motorist policy in place, and the other person has a $15,000 liability policy (liability is the insurance would cover your bodily injury claim), then your insurance company will provide you with only $35,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, as if the person with the $15,000 policy actually had a $50,000 liability policy.
SB 1107 would make it so responsible drivers who carry UIM insurance enjoy the full benefit of the insurance they paid for, instead of having it reduced by the other party's insurance limits. So, in the above example, you'd have $65,000 of liability auto insurance available to you, instead of a total of $50,000 ($15,000 from the other person, plus $35,000 from your UIM because your insurance company enjoyed the above offset [deducting $15,000 from your $30,000 limits).
Senator Dodd quoted the president of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), an organization that champions for the rights of people injured in auto accidents:
“Over the last half-century, the cost of medical care and vehicular repairs has skyrocketed – leaving too many motorists underinsured and unprepared to cover the cost of being a victim of a negligent driver,” said CAOC President Craig M. Peters. “Auto insurers cannot continue to offer products that cover this century's drivers based on last century's standards. CAOC is proud to support SB 1107 to modernize mandatory liability minimums, and ensure drivers are fully protected by underinsured motorist coverage.”
If you got injured in an accident, let me help. I will investigate all possible insurance coverage available to you, to maximize the recovery in your personal injury case. Please call me at 408-214-5555 to schedule a free consultation. Thank you.
Sen. Dodd Introduces Auto Liability Insurance Reform Bill. (2022, February 16). California State Senate Majority Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2022, from https://sd03.senate.ca.gov/news/20220216-sen-dodd-introduces-auto-liability-insurance-reform-bill