Is the California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program Legit?
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What to Know about California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance Program

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The creation of the California Low Cost Auto Insurance program for low-income individuals and families who need automotive insurance took place in 1999. The program is legitimate, but it comes with strict requirements, and some factors differ from regular insurance programs, such as the coverage amount and limits. Continue reading to learn more about the program and its benefits.


The program is legit, and the state also designed the plan to meet all of California’s financial responsibility laws. If you can afford to purchase coverage from a standard insurance provider, this program isn’t for you. The low-cost auto insurance program offers liability coverage only. Some of the policy limits include $10,000 for bodily injury or death liability coverage per person, up to $3,000 for property damage liability per accident, and $20,000 for bodily injury or death liability per accident.

This coverage isn’t as customizable as standard insurance policies. You cannot receive collision or comprehensive coverage. Those options would need to be purchased from a separate provider.


You need to meet income requirements for eligibility for the program. For example, a one-person household cannot make over $32,200, according to the California Department of Insurance (CDI). For a two-person home, that income cannot be higher than $43,550, and the limit is $54,900 for a four-person household.

Besides income requirements, all drivers applying for the program must be at least 16 years old and have good driving records. If you don’t live in the state and have a valid California driver’s license, you’re not eligible for the program. To receive coverage, the vehicle you’re insuring must not have a value exceeding $25,000. To ensure you meet all requirements, it’s always best to speak with an insurance provider who can assist you with the application and answer any questions you may have.

Good Driving Record

A driving record is a report of an individual’s driving experience over the last three years. You’re not allowed to have more than one at-fault property damage accident on your driving record as a licensed driver, and you also cannot have one point for a moving violation in the past three years.

If you were involved in any accidents in which you were at fault and there was bodily injury or death, you may be denied if these incidents occurred in the last 36 months. Being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to the vehicle code can also disqualify you from being classified as having a good driving record.

Facts to Remember

Many individuals question the program’s legitimacy due to their assumptions about its association with the state of California. Although it provides affordable liability-only auto insurance that meets the state’s financial responsibility laws and it’s less expensive compared to standard policies, you cannot purchase auto insurance via the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The department uses licensed auto insurance companies approved by the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) to assign policies. For more information about this program, consult with the CDI or reach out to a trusted San Diego auto insurance company to explore your coverage options.

California drivers who are looking for reliable, affordable auto insurance should reach out to the experienced professionals at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to car insurance, we offer a variety of coverage types, including motorcycle, homeowners, and renters insurance. San Diego residents can call one of our friendly agents today for a free quote.

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