Good news for many, including people who may have been holding off on getting any insurance so they didn’t have to pay the higher price. Now there is little reason for anyone to be driving in California without insurance.
The state program is not widely publicized and not widely known, even among the low income it is meant to help. However, the cuts are significant so it seems likely more people will now take advantage of it.
For example, in the Bay Area alone a policy under the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program will now cost just $287 a year, down from $350. That’s a savings of nearly 25 percent, and perhaps enough of an incentive to convince at least a few drivers who have been resisting to finally get insurance.
To qualify, drivers must have to have a clean DMV record and earn less than $28,000. Although the program has been around since 1999, only 11,000 people are currently enrolled.
Jones said the price was lowered to encourage at least some of the state’s 4 million uninsured drivers to sign up. About 15 percent of those who get behind the wheel in California drive without auto insurance.
“One of the reasons why people haven’t taken advantage of it is they don’t know about the availability of the program,” he said.
The program was established to help low-income residents find affordable alternatives to meeting the state requirement that they buy car insurance. Just a handful of states offer low-income alternatives, including Texas, Hawaii and New Jersey.