Participation Grows in California Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program

A new announcement from California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner revealed that the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) increased in 2009. Compared to the year before, Poizner said that the increase was roughly 18.9 percent.

Economic Conditions Contribute to Participation Increase

The CLCA is an aggressive outreach program that helps those in need of car insurance. Because, by law, every Californian is required to carry auto liability insurance, the program has provided a way to offer low-cost coverage to those with lower incomes since 1999.

In the past years, participation in the program was moderate; however, in one year, participation increased substantially. Poizner credits the program’s increase in participation to tough economic times and an increase in unemployed workers in the state. Comparing auto insurance premiums may also be a way to yield low auto insurance rates.

How Does the Program Work?

The purpose of CLCA is to provide cheap auto insurance to good drivers who demonstrate financial need. The program’s rates are set and adjusted annually in each California county to ensure that the premiums collected are sufficient to cover losses and expenses for the county.

In order to qualify for the program, the applicant must:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Have been continuously licensed for at least three years
  • Be considered a good driver (have no more than one at-fault property damage only accident or one point for a moving violation in the past three years)
  • Have no at-fault accidents involving bodily injury or death in the past three years
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor conviction for a violation of the Vehicle Code

The income eligibility limits are $27,075 for a single person, $37,425 for two persons and $55,125 for a family of four. Also the value of the insured vehicle must not exceed $20,000.

If you don’t qualify, make sure you’re trying to compare car insurance premiums between companies whenever possible. It is the single, most effective method of decreasing your payments.