(a) Except where a named insured has agreed pursuant to Section 11580.2 to delete the coverages provided by that section, no policy of bodily injury liability insurance covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle, except where the policy provides insurance in the Republic of Mexico issued or delivered in this state by nonadmitted Mexican insurers, and except a policy insuring a commercial vehicle as defined in Section 260 of the Vehicle Code, shall be issued or delivered in this state to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle, or shall be issued or delivered by any insurer licensed in this state upon any motor vehicle then principally used or principally garaged in this state, unless a named insured has been offered the following coverage:
(1) Where the policy of motor vehicle liability insurance includes collision coverage as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 660, coverage which provides that the deductible amount, if any, to be paid by the named insured under the collision coverage shall be payable by the insurer in the event of collision involving a vehicle owned by the named insured and insured under the policy, and an uninsured motor vehicle.
(2) Where the policy of motor vehicle liability insurance does not include collision coverage as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 660, coverage for property damage to the insured motor vehicle, but not including personal property contained therein, caused by the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle. As used in this subdivision, “property damage” means payment for loss or damage to the insured motor vehicle resulting from collision, not to exceed its actual cash value or three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500), whichever is less, for which loss or damage the insured is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle. Property damage does not include compensation for loss of use of the motor vehicle. As used in this subdivision, the term “insured motor vehicle” means the motor vehicle described in the underlying insurance policy of which the uninsured motorist property damage coverage or endorsement applies.
(b) Every payment by an insurer under either coverage provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) shall be payable under the terms and conditions set forth in the policy, and shall be made only where the collision involves actual, direct physical contact between the insured and the uninsured motor vehicle and the owner or operator of the uninsured motor vehicle is identified or the uninsured motor vehicle is identified by its license number, provided that the insured or someone on his or her behalf shall have reported the accident within 10 business days to his or her insurer or their agent and, provided further, that it is also determined by the insured and insurer or, in the event of disagreement, by arbitration conducted by a single neutral arbitrator, when the insured has formally instituted arbitration proceedings within one year from the date of the accident, that the insured is legally entitled to recover the amount of the payments for property damage from the owner or operator of the uninsured motor vehicle. No cause of action shall exist against either an insured or insurer from exercising the right to request arbitration of a claim under this section or Section 11580.2.
(c) Any named insured, prior to or subsequent to the issuance or renewal of a policy, may elect not to accept the type of coverage provided by this section or the insurer and any named insured may agree in writing to waive this coverage when a motor vehicle is used or operated by a person or persons designated by name. That election shall be binding upon every insured to whom the policy or endorsement provisions apply while the policy is in force and shall continue to be so binding, with respect to any continuation or renewal of the policy, or with respect to any other policy which extends, changes, supersedes, or replaces the policy issued to the named insured by the same insurer or with respect to reinstatement of the policy within 30 days of any lapse thereof. A policy shall be excluded from the application of this section if the only coverage, with respect to the use of any motor vehicle, is limited to the contingent liability arising out of the use of nonowned motor vehicles or if the automobile liability coverage is provided only on an excess or umbrella basis.
(d) An insurer paying a claim under any coverage required by this section shall be entitled to be subrogated to the rights of the insured to whom the claim was paid against any person legally liable for the damage to the insured motor vehicle to the extent that payment was made. The action may be brought within three years from the date that payment was made pursuant to this section.
In the event of a covered loss to a vehicle that is insured for the coverage described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) and also insured for collision coverage, the collision coverage shall pay for the covered loss and the insurance described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall only pay any deductible not covered by the collision coverage not to exceed three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500).
(e) As used in this section, “uninsured motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle with respect to the ownership, maintenance, or use of which there is no property damage liability insurance or bond applicable at the time of the accident, or there is applicable insurance or bond but the company writing the insurance or bond denies coverage thereunder or refuses to admit coverage thereunder, except conditionally or with reservation, or a motor vehicle used without the permission of the owner thereof if there is no property damage liability insurance or bond applicable at the time of the accident with respect to the owner or operator thereof. A motor vehicle which has at least the minimum property damage liability limits required pursuant to Section 16056 of the Vehicle Code shall not be held to be an uninsured motor vehicle even when the property damage liability limits are not sufficient to compensate for all property damage caused by the owner or operator of the vehicle. As used in this section, “uninsured motor vehicle” shall not include a motor vehicle owned or operated by any insured or any resident of the named insured’s household or self-insured within the meaning of the financial responsibility provisions of the state in which the motor vehicle is registered or which is owned by the United States of America, Canada, a state or political subdivision of any government, or an agency of any of the foregoing, or a land motor vehicle or trailer operated on rails or crawler treads or while located for use as a residence for premises and not as a vehicle, or a farm-type tractor or equipment designed for use principally off public roads, except while actually upon public roads. As used in this section, “uninsured motor vehicle” also means an insured motor vehicle where the liability insurer thereof is unable to make payment with respect to the legal liability of its insured within the limits specified therein because of insolvency. An insurer’s solvency protection shall be applicable only to accidents occurring during a policy period in which its insured’s motor vehicle coverage is in effect where the liability insurer of the tortfeasor becomes insolvent within one year of the accident. In the event of payment to any person under the coverage required by this section and subject to the terms and conditions of the coverage, the insurer making the payment shall, to the extent thereof, be entitled to any proceeds which may be recoverable from the assets of the insolvent insurer through any settlement or judgment of the person against the insolvent insurer.
(f) The offer of coverage required by this section shall be made only for policies issued or renewed on or after July 1, 1984.
(g) Any insurer whose insured has made a claim under either coverage provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a), and that claim is pending, shall, at least 30 days before the expiration of the applicable statute of limitation, notify its insured in writing of the statute of limitation applicable to the property damage. Failure of the insurer to provide the written notice shall operate to toll any applicable statute of limitation until 30 days after the date the written notice is actually given. The notice shall not be required if the insurer has received notice that the insured is represented by an attorney.
(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1471, Sec. 3.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018