California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program

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California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program

In the state of California, there is a disturbingly high amount of annual income percentage being spent on car insurance. This is especially true for those of lower income. The state’s cost of living is much higher than average and certainly higher than most other areas. Unfortunately, auto insurance is mandatory for driving legally, no matter a person’s economic situation. It is a required expense – but it doesn’t have to break the bank if you qualify for the California low cost auto insurance program.

What is the CLCA Program?

The California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program was put in place to offer affordable insurance options to those who are low-income. The program was founded in 1999 and continues to give opportunities to drivers who would otherwise be uninsured.

The CLCA comes equipped with lower coverage limits than standard policies, with restrictive eligibility requirements and procedures. This is what keeps it in place as a low-income option only. The program is not auto insurance itself, but rather a service that assigns auto insurance companies which are licensed by California’s Department of Insurance. It works through the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan to determine who is eligible for this service.

CLCA Coverage Limits

There are a few coverage limits in place for this program. The limits are lower than California’s minimum requirements but are still allowable under financial terms. The limits are around $5,000 less per person, in terms of bodily injury coverage. They do not provide coverage options for physical damage, such as in the case of a collision or comprehensive auto coverage.

Base and optional coverages provided by the CLCA program include:

  • Up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per claim for bodily injury in an accident caused by the driver
  • Up to $3,000 for property damage accident, including other people’s property
  • Optional coverage for uninsured motorist bodily injuries
  • Optional coverage for medical payments when you are required to pay for medical necessities, for up to $1,000 per person

CLCA Eligibility Requirements

There are very strict and specific eligibility requirements for enrollment in the CLCA. This is because there is a limited amount of space for this program. Only those with substantially below average income can apply. The program is reserved for those who are in need of auto insurance and cannot afford any standard insurance plans as required by the state of California.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Income: You must provide proof of income. A household is determined by how many people are listed on your federal or state tax forms.
  • Age: You must be at least 19 years of age, and you cannot be listed on a dependent on any family member’s tax form.
  • Driving Record: You must have a clean driving record, with no more than 1 at-fault accident, and no injuries or deaths in the past 3 years. There can be no more than 1 moving violation point on the record.
  • Vehicle: The vehicle must be worth less than $25,000. Another requirement is that ALL vehicles in the household unit must be insured under the CLCA.
  • There are no unpaid loans on the vehicle allowed.

You must meet each and every requirement in order to be considered for eligibility into the CLCA program. If one or more members of your household are insured under another company or program, you will not qualify for coverage.

How to Shop Online for Discounted Auto Insurance

Shopping online for discounted auto insurance can be a headache if you aren’t sure where to start looking. Finding reputable quotes is a difficult task that can lead to a lot of scams and dead-ends. Based on professional research, here are the two most viable resources you can search for while shopping for discounted auto insurance online:

  • Directly from the auto insurance website – Insurance companies that are licensed by the state of California can be professional and trustworthy resources online. You can shop with them directly to find a quote that works for you.
  • Shop on quote comparison websites – There are some websites that allow you to compare quotes across a variety of companies to find the lowest cost.

Both of these methods should provide you with ample and sufficient resources to help you find the best quotes online.

Understanding Your Budget

The first step to applying for a great auto insurance plan is to make sure you have a full, in-depth understanding of your own budget. Knowing your budget can help you understand what insurance plans you can and can’t afford. Remember that it’s more important that you can make payments on time every month than it is trying to find a plan that covers every single factor of car insurance that you may need.

While having a plan that covers everything is nice, you can be punished greatly if you can’t afford to make the payments on time. Late or skipped payments can result in consequences that include:

  • A suspension of your license
  • Increased monthly auto insurance rates
  • Tickets

It’s very important to keep in mind that your budget should be the first and foremost factor that determines what type of insurance you qualify for. Do some thorough research to understand your own financial capabilities before finalizing your auto insurance purchase. If you do not qualify for the California low cost auto insurance program, there are still great deals out there. Apply now for a free quote and get your rates lowered.