Do I have to pay for excess damage in California if my $5,000 property damage liability doesn't cover it?

I was at fault in an accident in Sacramento. I have state-minimum insurance, which covers up to $5,000 in property damage. The other person's car was totaled and valued at $10,000. Now the insurance company wants me to pay the additional $5,000. Does this sound right?

Apr 23, 2021
Answer provided by
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Eric Schad
Answered at Apr 23, 2021
“Yes, that sounds correct. Your insurance company paid the $5,000, as it was legally obligated to do so. The rest is on you.
If you have the $5,000 to pay for the damage, that’s probably your best move. If you refuse to pay, you’ll likely be sued. In this case, you’ll also have to pay for a defense attorney, court costs, and the final settlement, which will probably be way more than $5,000.
In the future, never settle for minimum liability insurance in California. It will only cover minor incidents, and you risk being sued over what your insurer won’t cover. Plus, upping your limits will likely only cost you a few extra bucks a month.”
Liability CoverageCar InsuranceCalifornia
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