For California, rental car companies do not automatically provide any liability protection to the renter as part of the standard rental agreement.
This means drivers need to provide their own liability insurance when renting in California. In general, US residents should already be covered by their regular auto insurance but drivers need to confirm that they have the minimum level of liability insurance from their own insurance company. If not, renters will need to purchase a non-owner liability policy through an agent or your favorite insurer.
Liability pays the other party’s expenses if you cause an accident. In California, rental companies do not provide the state-required minimum liability insurance coverage as part of their standard contract. You must have separate liability coverage when you rent a car in California.
If you have your own personal auto insurance policy, you might already be covered, but call your personal insurance company before you rent a car in California to see if your policy is already set up to cover the rental car. Make sure you have the minimum required liability coverage in your policy.
The renter can sign up for California Automobile Insurance from DriveStar Insurance Services. Call (818)530-5111 for car insurance quotes, coverage options or more information.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in California (per California Insurance Code §11580.1b):
- - $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- - $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- - $5,000 for damage to property.
You’re only required to have liability coverage in California, but optional coverages can offer additional peace of mind. For example, if you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy, it will generally extend to your rental car. Also, if you have personal injury protection on your personal policy, these will cover medical costs for you and your passengers.
Another source of optional coverage you already may have is your credit card. Many credit card companies provide free coverage for collision damage and theft when you use their card to rent a car. Call your credit card provider to find out more on optional coverage. However, credit cards do not provide liability coverage or personal injury protection.