California Code, Probate Code - PROB § 554

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), either the damages sought in an action under this chapter shall be within the limits and coverage of the insurance, or recovery of damages outside the limits or coverage of the insurance shall be waived.  A judgment in favor of the plaintiff in the action is enforceable only from the insurance coverage and not against property in the estate.

(b) Where the amount of damages sought in the action exceeds the coverage of the insurance, subdivision (a) does not apply if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The personal representative is joined as a party to the action.

(2) The plaintiff files a claim in compliance with Section 9390 .

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