Calif. Low Cost Auto Insurance Program Participation Up 19%

February 1, 2010

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) saw an 18.9 percent increase 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, the Department of Insurance indicated.

“By law, every Californian is required to carry auto liability insurance,” Poizner said. “In these tough economic times, I know there is a temptation to cut costs. However, I’m pleased to see that people are turning to California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program instead of putting themselves and others at financial risk.”

Approximately 7,500 applications to the CLCA were approved in 2009 compared to 6,306 in 2008, CDI data shows. 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. 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. The driver also have no at-fault accidents involving bodily injury or death in the past three years and no felony or misdemeanor conviction for a violation of the Vehicle Code. Income eligibility limits are $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. And the value of an insured vehicle must not exceed $20,000.

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