California Pushing Low Cost Auto Insurance

The tough economic climate in the United States, especially in struggling California, has made it nearly impossible for some people to afford insurance on their vehicles. Whether laid off, struck with an illness or disability, or simply making less money, many people simply want to save where they can. For lots of Californians, that includes their car insurance premiums.

California offers its citizens many benefits. One program serves as a safety net for both those who cannot afford insurance and those who must share the roads with them. The state of California has an innovative state-run insurance program for low-income families and individuals that provides the minimum level of coverage needed to cruise the highways legally. It includes only liability coverage, but at $400 per year, it’s the kind of bargain an insurance company could never match.

Limits and Benefits

The California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program is open to all Californians who are 19 years old and have a safe driving record that dates back at least three years. In addition to experienced and safe driver requirements, the program does come with an income limit for eligibility. In California, home to the country’s highest cost of living, the limit for entrance into the program is a surprising $55,000 per year annual salary. Additionally, a recipients car cannot be worth more than $20,000 at the time of signing up — so say goodbye to that hot rod.

Once approved for the program, basic liability insurance as provided by the state of California costs a mere $400 per year, far less than typical insurance rates for the same basic coverage. Under the law, drivers need coverage for $10,000 per person in bodily injury costs, $20,000 per accident in miscellaneous and other fees and charges, and $3,000 for property damage done to the vehicle at the time of the accident.

No other coverage is provided, which may worry some drivers. However, for those who simply cannot afford traditional coverage from a private insurer, the program is highly affordable and eases the many concerns that come with breaking state and federal law by driving without insurance. Indeed, it also erases worries about being pulled over and facing fines and potential imprisonment.


This is where the true disparity becomes clear: while California estimates that 4 million people uninsured driver populate its roads every day, the Low Cost Auto Insurance Program counts only 11,000 Californians among its ranks. That’s largely because most people have no idea the program even exists.

In an effort to change that, the California Department of Insurance is heavily marketing the program, which has been around since 2000. They’re targeting low-income areas in San Francisco and across the state in an effort to save more lives from financial ruin and leave more dollars unspent from costly uninsured accidents.

There’s really no need to drive without insurance, especially in California. The state’s program is one of many ways that drivers can save money and save themselves from criminal charges at the same time.

Leave a Reply