State of California to Advertise Low Cost Auto Insurance

Four million drivers are uninsured in California. To qualify for California's low cost auto insurance program you must be at least 19 years old with three years of driving experience. Read this California low cost auto insurance program review to find out how much you can save on your California car insurance rates.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2022

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In the State of California, it is estimated that over 4 million drivers are uninsured, which puts everyone in the state at an elevated risk of having an accident with someone who has no car insurance coverage. Many of these drivers are unaware that California offers an affordable insurance coverage plan for those who qualify.

A low cost, no frills auto policy is available from the state, but very few people who qualify take advantage of it. Many experts believe that most of these people do not even know it is in existence, so California is launching a new ad campaign targeted at these uninsured motorists.

In order to qualify for the low cost auto insurance you must be at least 19 years of age and have 3 years or more driving experience under your belt. Your car must be valued under $20k and you and your family must be below a certain income level. A typical family making under $50,000 would be an example of one that may qualify. The policies are issued by the CDI and there hope is to reduce the number of uninsured on the road.

The problem lies in car accidents that involve an uninsured motorist because the other party will be responsible for their own repairs if they cannot get the money from the at-fault party. Since many uninsured do not have insurance because of the cost, it can be very difficult to get reimbursed for a loss. The liability will then often be placed with the insured person’s insurance, which then drives up the cost of auto insurance coverage for everyone.

An individual can purchase the insurance from many different participating agents, and currently there are only about 10,000 people enrolled in the coverage. Estimates put the numbers at 100’s of thousands of California residents that either qualify and do not have insurance or are paying more for a normal insurance policy.

The plan costs $400 a year and carries 10/20/3 coverage, which many believe is very low liability maximums. However, compared to the alternative of having no insurance, this plan is clearly better for all involved. It is important to review your particular situation when deciding what and how to buy car insurance.

Launched in 2011, the California Department of Insurance began a statewide campaign to educate those who may be eligible but are either not taking of advantage of it or are unaware the program exists. The plan has been to cover billboards statewide in addition to other traditional forms of advertising like TV and radio. In 2015, the program receives an update to eligibility requirements and coverage limits through new legislation:

Effective January 01, 2015 a new law, SB 1273 passed by the Governor on September 19, 2014, provides an exception to the three-year continuously licensed requirement to allow drivers with less than 3 years verifiable driving experience to participate in the program and increased vehicle values from $20,000 to $25,000.

For more information or to download an application, you can visit the California Department of Insurance website.

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