Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Home / Blog / Auto Insurance / Looking to Save on Car Insurance in California? Here’s How

What Is the California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program?

No matter where you live, car insurance costs are not insignificant. But in California, it’s particularly high, with drivers paying an average of $1,978 per year. Not everyone can afford this, but driving without car insurance is illegal in most states—California included.

So in an effort to combat the high rates of uninsured drivers on the road, a California low-income car insurance initiative was created. This helps give good drivers with lower incomes access to affordable car insurance. 

So, how much can you save and how do you know if you’re eligible? We’ll explore that and more, below.

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Eligibility Requirements for CLCA Insurance

The program is designed to give low-income people access to more affordable insurance, so not everyone will qualify. The requirements in order to be eligible for California low-cost insurance include:

  • Fall below certain income thresholds (eg. an annual household income of $32,000 for one person, or $66,250 for a household of four people)
  • Maintain a clean driving record
  • Have a valid California driver’s license
  • Be of legal driving age
  • Have a car that’s worth no more than $25,000

Keep in mind that just because you fall under a certain income bracket doesn’t mean that you automatically qualify; you’ll need to have a clean driving record too because the lower auto insurance costs are in part due to lowered liability coverage. Maintaining a clean driving record helps show that you’re less likely to need higher coverage.

So, what exactly does a clean driving record entail? It can mean many things, but in order to qualify for CLCA insurance, it involves:

  • Up to one at-fault accident with only property damage or up to one point for a moving violation over the last three years
  • No at-fault accidents for bodily injury or death within the last three years
  • No violations of the Vehicle Code resulting in felony or misdemeanor convictions

Keeping a clean driving record is key to ensuring you can qualify for California Low-Cost Auto Insurance. 

The Cost of California Low Cost Auto Insurance

Ready to save on auto insurance? You’re not alone. The good news is that if you qualify for CLCA insurance, you can put quite a bit of money back in your pocket. The amount you’ll save depends on where you live, as each county in California calculates base rates differently. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$700 per year.

Keep in mind, opting for CLCA insurance means you can’t shop around for coverage or negotiate costs. You simply have to accept the rate you’re offered, but it’s usually less than you’d find otherwise. 

CLCA Insurance: What Does It Include?

The CLCA insurance program gives those with lower incomes access to more affordable auto insurance, but the caveat is that the coverage is less. It’s important to decide if you would rather save money on monthly premiums or risk paying more out of pocket should something happen that exceeds your coverage amounts.

So, what does CLCA insurance include? It includes typical auto insurance coverage but with lower coverage limits than the minimum required. This includes:

  • $10,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $20,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $3,000 property damage liability

This is compared to the state minimums of $15,000 bodily injury per person and $30,000 bodily injury per accident, as well as $5,000 property damage liability. Drivers will need to decide if those reduced minimums are enough coverage before opting for CLCA insurance. 

For an additional fee, drivers can also add additional coverage to their CLCA insurance that includes $1,000 in medical payments per person, $10,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury per person, and $20,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident.

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Final Thoughts on California Low Cost Insurance

Everyone loves to save money, especially when it comes to car insurance. But it’s a fine line between saving money and not having the coverage you need. California Low-Cost Auto Insurance can help make car insurance more affordable, but it’s important to consider if the coverage will be worth the savings, should anything happen. 

Ready to save on auto insurance? Let ConsumerCoverage find you the best rate, fast. 

Lauren Lewthwaite Lauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.

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