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April 14, 2010 > Think you can't afford auto insurance? Think again

Think you can't afford auto insurance? Think again

Submitted By Tim Douglas

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) offers an affordable insurance program so all qualified motorists can drive with confidence.

"California's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program provides drivers with the liability insurance required by law, so that they and their families are covered for the upcoming travel season," said Commissioner Steve Poizner. "The economy is tough but this program is affordable and is just right for some. With California's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program, travelers can reach their destinations safely and legally."

As the weather improves, more and more Californians will take to the roads, from college students taking Spring Break road trips to families traveling to many of the Golden State's greatest parks and tourist centers.

For many, however, the trip may not be safe. There are millions of uninsured drivers in California and the numbers are expected to increase. In this faltering economy, 18 percent of drivers are expected to allow their insurance to lapse but drivers can afford California's Low Cost Auto Insurance program, a state-sponsored program for struggling Californians who have a good driving record, and payment options are available. Monthly payments equate to the cost of a movie ticket. In many areas of California, the program costs around $400 a year, making it even more affordable.

And it's easy to qualify. The eligibility requirements include:

* An applicant 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.
* No at-fault accident involving bodily injury or death in the past three years and no felony or misdemeanor conviction for a violation of the Vehicle Code.
* Family meets income eligibility limits of $27,075 for a single person, $36,425 for two persons and $55,125 for a family of four.
* The value of an insured vehicle must not exceed $20,000.

While the economic benefits are substantial and more drivers are eligible, the CDI wishes to remind drivers they need insurance; it is the law. Driving without insurance can lead to actions such as a suspended license, an impounded car or a fine. It is not worth the risk.

To find out more about eligibility for California's Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program, visit or call (866) 60-AUTO-1 (866-602-8861).

The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program was established in 1999 as a pilot program in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Senate Bill 20, passed in 2005, authorized the Commissioner to launch the program throughout the state upon his determination of need in each county. Beginning in April 2006, the department began expanding the program statewide. Commissioner Poizner made California's Low Cost Automobile program available to every county in the state in December 2007.

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