It’s no secret, California is a big state with millions of drivers puttering around on a daily basis. With such volume comes a certain number of accidents. That is why the State of California has made it mandatory for everyone operating a vehicle to have car insurance.
However, auto insurance can be tricky business. If a potential buyer isn’t careful, they could end up paying extremely high premiums for very basic coverage. Nearly 25% of drivers have either inadequate or no car insurance whatsoever.
Enter the CLCAIP
Commonly known as the CLCAIP, the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program was setup to give people who are financially struggling the opportunity to get a decent coverage plan at a very affordable rate. Currently, people can start be covered for as little as $22.00 per month through the CLCAIP.
The numbers are astounding. In 2009, the program received around 7,000 applications, which was 1,000 more than the year before. In 2011, the program received over 25,000 applications which indicates exponential growth.
Why California needed the CLCAIP
When the financial crisis hit in 2008, a lot of people lost the ability to afford their current premiums. Steve Poizner, the Insurance Commissioner, saw this as an opportunity to start a service that could help people get proper coverage at a rate most families could afford. Its goal is to offer allow people to be legally insured for less than a 15% down payment alongside minimal monthly payments.
However, to be accepted into the program, an applicant must meet certain requirements. They are easy to meet and consist of:
- Must have a clean driving record. The applicant cannot have more than a single at at-fault accident
- Must not have any driving related felonies or misdemeanors arrests in the past 3 years.
- The eligibility limit for a single person is $27,075. For two people its $36,425 and for a family of four its $55,125.
- The car being insured cannot be valued at over $20,000
Despite the growing number of applications, the CLCAIP is in danger of being closed down. Accord to governor Schwarzenegger’s office, the program isn’t popular enough to keep funding and vetoed a bipartisan legislation increasing the program’s yearly budget due to a low rate of participation.
The fate of the program remains unknown, however, the need for such a program remains. It’s illegal to drive without insurance and offering people the chance to get full coverage at an affordable rate is something that Californians should keep benefiting from.