News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: March 12, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner Announces Highest Enrollment in Low Cost Auto Insurance Program in Three Years
Amid 12.5 percent unemployment, Californians are still making the smart choice to stay insured
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced that in February, the California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program (CLCA) saw the highest number of enrollees in any one month during the past three years. Poizner urged all Californians affected by the recession to continue considering all other insurance options before dropping auto insurance.
"In the midst of economic downturn, people cut corners everywhere they possibly can, and some even make the ill-advised decision to get rid of auto insurance," said Commissioner Poizner. "During one of the toughest economic times California has been through, I am encouraged to see that drivers are taking advantage of this program that can save them money and keep them from breaking the law. I urge anyone who is thinking about dropping their auto insurance to think again."
The CLCA program received 788 applications in February 2010, more than any other month in three years. The program also saw a 30 percent increase in use year to date in 2010, compared to the same time in 2009. There was an 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. 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. County rates are available at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0100-consumers/0060-information-guides/0010-automobile/lca/index.cfm.
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.