Do I have to pay for excess damage to the other vehicle if my insurance limits don't cover it?

I recently rear-ended a woman in California. I have minimum liability coverage, which means my policy only covers $5,000 in property damage in California. Am I on the hook for the rest if her repair estimate is more than $5,000?

Apr 22, 2021
Answer provided by
Eric Schad
Answered at Apr 22, 2021
“If you have the minimum liability insurance, then yes, your policy will only pay $5,000 toward the damage to the woman’s vehicle.
Your insurance company will try to settle for this amount, but the other driver may sue you for the extra money. While your insurance company may appoint you a lawyer, you’re probably not going to win the case—the lawyer will just limit the amount you’ll owe.
In the future, don’t go with only the state minimum. Instead, opt for more coverage so you won’t cause yourself financial stress for being underinsured.”
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