These days, times are tight for many Californians. After spending their paychecks on housing, food, and utilities, many households still have to find enough money in the budget for auto insurance in order to drive legally in the state. Unfortunately, California is one of the most expensive states in the country when it comes to auto insurance. So drivers have no choice but to bite the bullet or refrain from driving, right?
There may be another option. It’s called the California Low Cost Auto Insurance (CLCA) program.
The idea behind this program is to allow low-income Californians a means to insure their vehicles if they cannot afford auto insurance on the open market. These policies are partially subsidized by the state government and issued by participating insurance companies. People who qualify can purchase up to $10,000 of per-person bodily injury or death coverage, up to $20,000 of per-accident bodily injury or death coverage, and up to $3,000 for per-accident property damage coverage. Underinsured motorist and medical payments policies are also available through CLCA.
How Do You Qualify?
In order to be eligible to buy auto insurance through CLCA, you must:
â€¢ own a vehicle that’s valued at $20,000 or less
â€¢ be at least 19 years of age
â€¢ have been driving continuously for at least three years (with no suspensions of your driver’s license)
â€¢ have a clean driving record over the previous three years (i.e., no at-fault injury or fatal accidents, no driving-related misdemeanors or felonies, and not more than one at-fault non-injury accident or moving violation)
â€¢ meet income eligibility requirements (annual income of $27,925 or less for an individual or $37,825 or less for a couple. If children are present, multiply the number of kids by $9,900 and add to $37,825 for the maximum income level)
How Much Does It Cost?
Depending on which California county you live in, the annual premium for auto insurance through CLCA ranges anywhere from $231 to $347. There are several payment plans with up-front payments ranging from $125 all the way down to 15% of the annual premium (or $34.65 to $52.05). You can then either pay the rest within 30 days or spread the remaining balance over five or six bimonthly installments (with a $4 per-payment surcharge added in).
How Can I Apply?
So if you think you qualify for the state’s low-cost insurance program, you can apply online or call the agency at 866-602-8861.
Of course, you will have to show proof of income to the state before you will be allowed to participate in the low-cost insurance program. These policies do not cover losses due to theft of your vehicle, nor do they compensate you for damage done to your own vehicle in a collision. In addition, if you insure a vehicle through CLCA, every other vehicle in your household must also be covered through the same low-cost insurance program (up to two vehicles per person). Finally, if you miss a payment or renewal of your policy, your coverage will be cancelled — and you’ll have to go through the application process all over again.
What Are My Other Options?
If you are not eligible for CLCA, you can still secure affordable auto insurance coverage by contacting The Auto Insurance Specialists today.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.