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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Good News For California Drivers

News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: May 17, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Good News for California Drivers
Beginning Mid-May, Insurance Premiums for Low Cost Auto Insurance Program Decrease Up To Nine Percent Across California Biggest Changes Seen Since 2009.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced important changes to the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program. Beginning May 15, the cost of an annual premium for the program has decreased up to nine percent across California's 58 counties and the income eligibility caps for qualifying for the program have increased, allowing more of California's uninsured drivers to qualify for state-sponsored Low Cost Automobile Insurance.

As a result of the premium reductions, the statewide average cost of an annual Low Cost Automobile Insurance policy in California is now $257.69 a year and the premiums for all California counties are now less than $350 annually. The greatest changes in premiums are in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Sutter. 

"More than 4 million cars, or 15 percent of the cars on California roads, don't have insurance," Commissioner Jones said. "If financial limitations have kept consumers from purchasing car insurance, these changes make Low Cost Auto Insurance a more viable option for uninsured drivers."

Established by the legislature in 1999, the CLCA program provides liability-only insurance for less than $350 a year, and the amount could be much less, depending on the county where the consumer lives.

Drivers may qualify if they:

  • Have a good driving record
  • Are at least 19 years old
  • Have been continuously licensed to drive for three years
  • Own a vehicle valued at $20,000 or less
  • Meet the income eligibility requirements ($27,925 for one person, $37,825 for two people, up to $57,625 for a family of four)

California's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program was established to provide income eligible persons with liability insurance protection at affordable rates as a way to meet California's financial responsibility laws. To learn more about the program, consumers can call 1-866-602-8861, visit or text "low cost" to 65374. For a full list of the new annual insurance premiums for each of the 58 counties visit the Web site.

And to assist more California drivers, the Low Cost Web site has a brochure in Spanish.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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