California law requires that all drivers be insured. For many however, the cost of insurance is too high to maintain and many low-income drivers simply go without it to the detriment of everyone. Assemblyman Dave Jones’ bill, SB 171, was set to expire but on September 28, 2010, Schwarzenegger signed a five year extension. SB 171 is the first of its kind in the nation and offers low cost basic insurance to qualifying, low-income drivers with good records.
Under SB 171, all insurers in the state of California are required to sell a certain number of low-cost policies to qualifying drivers. Insurance companies and agents are required by law to inform prospective policyholders about the program. With poverty levels rising this program is more important than ever and insurance companies and agents must be held accountable to inform the public.
There are some requirements to qualify for the Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program.
In order to be eligible for insurance under the program you must:
- Meet the program’s low-income requirements (those with income at or below 250% of the poverty level)
- Meet the good driver standard (no more than one at-fault property damage only accident or more than one point for moving violation in the past three years)
- Have not had an at fault accident involving bodily injury or death in the past 3 years
- Be at least 19 years old
- Have been continuously licensed to drive for the past three year
- Have a vehicle valued at less than the $20,000
The low cost auto insurance requirements apply to the applicant and any driver in their household. Many people are eligible for the program so it is now important to get this information out there to consumers. The low cost program is available in all California counties for less than $400 a year.
What To Do If You Meet All Requirements
If you meet all the requirements described above, the next step is to contact a qualified insurer in order to confirm that you are qualified and to apply. Prospective policyholders should call 1-866-602-8861 or visit www.aipso.com/lowcost to see if you are eligibile. Forms are available on AIPSO’s website and E-processing will be available November 15, 2010. After providing your zip code, you will be given a list of insurance agents in your area.
The Importance of Auto Insurance
The requirement for auto insurance makes sense and seeks to hold people financially responsible for their actions no matter what the circumstances be it distracted driving, a DUI, or other type of car accident that may occur while operating a motor vehicle. Uninsured drivers can cost the state of California over $1.4 billion a year in insurance and accident premiums. The Low-Cost Auto Program will allow thousands the coverage that will benefit everyone on the road at a price that is affordable for the driver. Please help spread the word and inform everyone that this program is out there and available
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