News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: March 5, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner Encourages Californians to Consider State's Low Cost Auto Insurance
In light of today's high unemployment and underemployment figures, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today urged Californians affected by the recession to consider the state's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) as an alternative to dropping auto insurance.
"During tough economic times, it's natural for drivers to consider every option to cut costs and too often, drivers make the dangerous and illegal choice to forgo auto insurance," said Commissioner Poizner. "California law requires every driver to carry auto liability insurance. I encourage anybody who meets the eligibility criteria and who is thinking about dropping their insurance to take a look at the Low Cost Auto Insurance Program that can keep them legally insured for as little as 15 percent down and very low payments."
The CLCA program saw an impressive 18.9 percent jump in use in 2009 compared with the year before. An aggressive outreach program and the tough economic conditions are credited with the increase in the program that was established in 1999 and has been available in every California county since 2007.
Approximately 7,500 applications to the CLCA were approved in 2009 compared to 6,306 in 2008. The most active month was April 2009 with 727 applications filed. That spike coincided with a statewide tour by Commissioner Poizner to publicize the program. The monthly average for the year was 624 applications.
The purpose of the CLCA is to provide low-cost automobile liability insurance to good drivers who demonstrate financial need. Rates are set and adjusted annually in each county so that the premiums collected are sufficient to cover losses and expenses in each county.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) reminds motorists that it's easier to qualify for the program than they might think. The eligibility requirements for the program include:
- An applicant must be at least 19 years old, continuously licensed for 3 years and must be a "good driver" - no more than one at-fault property damage only accident, or one point for a moving violation in the past three years.
- No at-fault accident involving bodily injury or death in the past three years and no felony or misdemeanor conviction for a violation of the Vehicle Code.
- Family meets income eligibility limits of $27,075 for a single person, $36,425 for two persons and $55,125 for a family of four. Limits continue increase with the size of the family.
- The value of an insured vehicle must not exceed $20,000.
- Payment plans are available.
To learn if you qualify for CLCA, go to www.insurance.ca.gov/lowcost, or call (866) 60-AUTO-1 (866-602-8861).
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.