Everything car insurance, all at your fingertips
Root makes it easy to customize your coverage online or in the app. Add what you want—leave off what you don’t. Make policy adjustments and immediately see how any changes will impact the price of your policy. We’ll make sure you have California’s required insurance coverage. When you want to make a change, just open the app or go online to easily modify your policy. See all coverages.
Claims as painless as possible
Access your insurance card and submit your claim in about 3 minutes—it can all be done through our app. Or you can call one of our Customer Service Representatives. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
State Requirements in California
What are the minimum car insurance requirements in California?
To legally operate a vehicle in California, drivers are required to be able to pay for damages and injuries that they cause in car accidents. There are several options to show proof of financial responsibility, including buying Liability coverage. California requires insurance companies to provide electronic proof of insurance information to the DMV. The DMV uses this record to verify your proof of financial responsibility.
You’re required to show proof of insurance or financial responsibility if you’re stopped by a police officer or involved in a car accident, as well as your driver’s license and car registration. You will also need proof of insurance or financial responsibility when you register your car for the first time or renew a registration.
Since California accepts electronic proof of insurance, you’ll always have legal, hassle-free proof of coverage on hand through the Root app on your phone if you don’t have your printed insurance card with you.
You are required to carry Liability coverage in California if you’re unable to show any other proof of financial responsibility. If you’re found driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility, you could face penalties.
Liability coverage helps to pay for property damage or bodily injuries that occur from a car accident you cause. It does not cover harm to you or your family members (that’s what Medical Payments are for) or your vehicle (but Collision and Comprehensive coverages do). These additional car insurance coverages can be much cheaper than the serious expenses that can come with a major accident.
Minimum required Liability coverage in CA:
$15,000 Bodily Injury (for injury/death to one person)
$30,000 Bodily Injury (for injury/death to more than one person)
$5,000 Property Damage
Alternatives to car insurance
If you choose not to carry insurance, you’re required by California law to show proof of financial responsibility. Options to fulfill this requirement (other than Liability insurance) include:
A $35,000 cash deposit with the CA DMV
A Certificate of Self-Insurance from the DMV
A surety bond of $35,000 from any company licensed to do business in California
What is SR-22 insurance?
You may be legally required to file an SR-22 form (also known as SR22 insurance) from your insurance provider if your license has been suspended (or is in danger of suspension) or revoked.
SR-22 requirements vary by type of offense and number of offenses, and they may be required for a specific period of time. An SR-22 is not insurance—it’s a certification filed by your insurance company stating that you will maintain the minimum Liability insurance for a predetermined amount of time. (Root does this for free.)
Failure to maintain your insurance policy with a current SR-22 will result in another suspension of your driver's license. Essentially, the insurance company notifies the DMV that you are no longer keeping your SR-22 current and the DMV penalizes you.
Earning the Safe Driver Discount
Good drivers can save big in California. You may qualify for a 20% discount on your policy if you have been licensed to drive for the past 3 years and during that time you have not:
Had more than 1 point on your driving record due to a violation(s)
Taken traffic school because of a traffic violation more than once
Been the at-fault driver in an accident that resulted in injury or death
What is the average cost of car insurance in California?
The car insurance rates in the Golden State are the fifth highest in the nation. Drivers in California pay an average of $1,968  per year for their auto policy, but with the Root Safe Driver Discount, you could save 20%.
Insure.com. Annual average rates were compiled in April 2020
Telematics is not used in California; any represented savings from telematics data is not applicable in CA. Referral program also not applicable in CA. Visit joinroot.com/califaq for more information. Roadside Assistance is purchased as separate coverage in CA and NV.