Jessica Sautter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Reviewed by Natasha McLachlan
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UPDATED: Apr 29, 2020

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The Low-cost Automobile Insurance Program was introduced in the state of California in 1999. Its aim was to provide affordable car insurance to individuals who, due to income restrictions, would be unable to purchase ordinary car insurance policies. The California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance program or CLCA participants offer lower coverage limits to eligible drivers than standard policies offer.

California Auto InsuranceThis program is not intended to provide low-cost insurance for people who are looking for low rates. There are strict requirements and income limits to be accepted into the CLCA program. This is not a program where car insurance is sold through the Department of Insurance.

Instead, it is a program that is comprised of licensed auto insurers that offer policies under terms set forth in the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan.

Coverage Limits

The coverage limits offered by participating auto insurers are lower than the minimum auto insurance limits required by law in California to most drivers. The limits are about $5000 less for bodily injury and the policies do not offer coverage for collision or comprehensive damage.

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Basic Policy Coverage Under CLCA:

Up to $10,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $20,000 per claim. These are for accidents that you caused and are found to be at fault for causing. The coverage pays for medical care for the driver and passengers in the other vehicle.

Up to $3000 property damage for an accident where other people’s property is damaged.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury is optional coverage that is also available. This covers up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for any injuries caused to others. This is an option that is worth considering because almost 15 percent of auto insurance claims are over uninsured drivers.

Medical Payments is another form of optional coverage that pays up to $1000 per person for medical care.

Requirements for the CLCA Program

To be eligible, you must meet the set income, household and other miscellaneous criteria. These are strict but when you do qualify the entire household qualified. You may have a maximum of two cars per person and two policies per person active at once.

  • You must have a valid California Driver’s License. You may also have an AB60 license no matter what your immigration status is.
  • You must be at least 19 years old and not claimed as a dependent.
  • Your income must be at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • An individual cannot make more than $30,150 per year.
  • For households with six persons, add $4,160 to the federal poverty level for the household size and multiply that by 2.5.
  • You must show a valid form of proof of income to qualify.

Your vehicle must not be worth more than $25,000 and all vehicles in your household will need to be insured under the program.

Your driving record will be taken into account to qualify. You must have no more than one at-fault incident where there was no death or injury. This must be for three years prior to applying.

You must also have no more than one moving violation point on your license. If you meet all requirements, you and those in your household can purchase low-cost insurance.