Getting new California drivers insured
News: 2015 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Today Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Senator Ricardo Lara urged Californians to make sure they are meeting their obligation to carry minimum liability insurance coverage on their vehicles and announced resources to help educate motorists and make it easier to get affordable coverage.
Since January 2, more than 76,000 new drivers have been issued driver's licenses under AB 60 (Alejo) which allows all eligible Californians, regardless of immigration status, to obtain a driver's license. The next step in reducing the number of uninsured drivers and making California's roads and highways safer is to reduce the number of uninsured motorists.
"Driving in California is a privilege, not a right," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "As newly-licensed drivers hit the road, it's important that they do so legally, with proper automobile insurance coverage. Properly trained drivers who know and follow California's rules of the road are safer drivers and are involved in fewer collisions. This makes driving safer for everyone."
SB 1273 (Lara), which passed in 2014, made changes to California's Low Cost Auto Program that make it easier for new licensed drivers to qualify for the affordable coverage program.
"Getting auto insurance is the law and for some who can't afford it, we have the Low Cost Auto Program," said Senator Ricardo Lara, author of SB 1273. "Of the roughly 25 million vehicles on California roads, an estimated four million remain without auto insurance coverage due to the high costs of standard insurance premiums. Now, thanks to SB 1273, the Low Cost Auto Program is expanded and affordable auto insurance options remain accessible for many low-income Californians, including those who may newly qualify as a result of AB 60."
The department has taken a number of steps to educate new drivers about how to get coverage and avoid being scammed by anyone trying to take advantage of the new drivers hitting the road. Workshops are offered through community based organizations. In addition, a California Low Cost Auto Program information card will be distributed through the DMV. The department sent a letter to all agents and brokers licensed to sell auto insurance reminding them that new drivers may need help navigating and understanding the financial responsibility law and their obligation to carry auto insurance, and to help watch out for scammers and schemes targeting the new population of drivers. The department also offers a toll-free bi-lingual consumer hotline for drivers with questions about the California Low Cost Auto Program or about how to buy appropriate insurance coverage (800) 927-4357 (HELP).
Photos from the press conference earlier today can be found on the department's Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ca_dept_insurance/sets/72157650771494222/
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 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 $394 million in claims and premiums. 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.