Auto Insurance Coverage in California

The car insurance companies we represent offer a broad range of benefits for every budget. And the cost of your premium could be even less if you qualify for discounts. When you apply for auto insurance in California, you’ll be asked a series of questions, including if you want collision, comprehensive coverage, or both. 

We’ll ask about the liability limits you prefer and how much of a deductible you want. With the range of options available, deciding which is best for you can be confusing. That’s where we come in.

American Tri-Star Insurance has a team of experts ready to answer all your California auto insurance questions. We can help you decide what level of coverage you need to make sure you choose the best policy to suit your needs. Find out why drivers in California turn to American Tri-Star for auto insurance in San Diego, Orange County, and Northern California. 


Areas We Serve

American Tri-Star provides auto coverage throughout California. Our car insurance agents in Orange County and San Diego County can help you understand your options. We also have representatives to assist your auto coverage needs in the Bay Area, Riverside County, and Los Angeles County. 


Out-of-state auto coverage

Contact us to learn more about our auto insurance options in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas.


What Are Collision and Comprehensive Coverages in California?

Collision and comprehensive coverages pay for damage to your vehicle following a crash. These types of coverage may be purchased individually or together as a bundle.

  • Collision coverage pays for any damage caused to your vehicle during an accident. That can include harm caused by another car, a person, or an object.
  • Comprehensive coverage insures you against any other physical damage to your vehicle. That can include damage caused by fire, flood, vandalism, or theft.

In the State of California, Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional according to the DMV. But remember that auto lenders may require you to purchase a “full coverage’’ insurance policy before getting a new auto lease or a loan.


Your Options for Auto Insurance Coverage

There are several options for auto insurance coverage in California, and we’re here to help guide you through them. These specifics apply throughout the state, regardless of whether you need San Diego car insurance or Orange County car insurance.


Liability Coverage 

When you have bodily injury liability coverage, it pays for the cost of injuries to other people. Property damage liability covers the cost of damage caused to the personal property of others when the accident was your fault.


Personal Injury Protection 

Also known as no-fault coverage, this policy pays for various expenses, including the cost of medical and rehabilitation services. It will also cover the cost of replacement services, funeral expenses, and loss of income if you are too injured from the accident to return to work.


Medical Payment Coverage 

Medical payment coverage pays for medical expenses, up to a specified amount, for the policyholder and other passengers inside your car, regardless of who is at fault. However, if you and your passengers already have health insurance, you may not need to take out medical payment coverage.


Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 

This auto insurance coverage is beneficial if you are injured in an accident by an uninsured driver. It will extend your liability coverage to pay for your injuries even if you are at fault. It can also protect you if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident.


Optional Coverage for Auto Insurance 

Our auto insurance policies in California offer additional coverage options like:

  • Rental car reimbursement 
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car towing coverage 

These coverage options are not required, but they can save you lots of stress during your time of need. 


How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Deciding how much car insurance coverage you need depends on several factors. You need to consider what assets you’ll want to be protected, the overall value of your vehicle, and the amount you can afford to pay for your deductible. You should also consider your risk tolerance when weighing additional coverage options. 

Our team has experienced auto insurance brokers in San Diego and surrounding cities, including Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Francisco. Contact us today to compare quotes and get the best car insurance rates in California. 

Are you looking for motorcycle insurance? American Tri-Star can provide a quote for that as well.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take to get car insurance?

Applying for car insurance can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few hours. When you work with American Tri-Star, an insurance agent helps you prepare the documents you need for quick approval, so your policy can begin the same day you buy it. 


Do car insurance quotes change daily?

Auto insurance quotes don’t change daily but fluctuate over time. Many factors contribute to your quote, like credit history, driving record, purchasing a new car, age, and more. Prices vary by state. As insurance companies assess your background, your quote may shift accordingly. 

When buying car insurance in California, prioritize the following rather than minor variations in quotes: 

  • Does the amount of coverage meet the state minimum?
  • Do you need collision and comprehensive insurance?
  • Will you need add-ons such as rental reimbursement and roadside assistance plans?
  • Do you qualify for special discounts?
  • What are your options for payment plans?

Talk to one of our agents in San Diego or Orange County to learn more about the cost of car insurance and the minimum coverage California requires.


Does car insurance cover non-accident repairs?

Car insurance and car warranties can cover non-accident repairs but have different exclusions. Your insurance may cover non-accident repairs with comprehensive coverage, including damage caused by natural disasters and theft, but usually not damage from lousy maintenance. 


How many cars can you have on your insurance policy?

While there is no state-regulated limit, most insurance companies allow you to insure up to 4 drivers and four vehicles on a single policy. Those with multiple cars often opt for a multi-car insurance plan rather than buying separate policies for each vehicle.


What is an auto insurance premium?

Your car insurance premium is the amount you pay your insurance company for coverage. Premiums are based on factors like your driving history, age, and the coverage you choose. You can pay them monthly, every six months, or annually.


How do car insurance claims work?

You should file a car insurance claim shortly after a car accident. If the accident involves another driver, ensure you obtain their personal information, a photo of their driver’s license, license plate, and insurance information. Take pictures of the accident scene and damage to both vehicles. If there are injuries, file a police report. 

Then, call your insurance company. They’ll walk you through the process and reach out to the other driver. An investigation will determine who is at fault. 

Your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs and injuries until the fault is determined, as long as you have the right coverage- like collision or medical expense coverage. Depending on the investigation results, you may be responsible for paying your deductible. 


What is a bodily injury claim?

A bodily injury claim is a request to recover expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident. The request may include compensation for medical bills and lost wages. The at-fault driver’s insurance will typically be responsible for paying a bodily injury claim.


What do I do if the person who hit me doesn’t have insurance?

First, file a police report. Your report will contain details you can use when filing a claim against the at-fault driver. Take pictures, get the driver’s contact information, and seek medical attention if you are injured. 

You’ll have options when it comes to recovering compensation. The easiest is to ensure you have uninsured/underinsurance motorist coverage. This add-on will cover costs if the at-fault driver has no insurance or has a coverage plan that won’t pay your total fee. 

You can also seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, this is only possible if you obtain their contact information and hire a lawyer. 


Next Steps

Get your Auto Insurance Coverage in California insurance quote.