What if you cannot afford car insurance?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Drivers in California are all required to carry car insurance or some other type of proof of financial responsibility. Without it, drivers can be penalized in a number of ways such as having their vehicle registration suspended, be fined and be personally responsible for damage caused by an accident. Unfortunately, car insurance can be more than some can afford, which puts everyone on the road at risk. Fortunately, the state has a program in place to help low-income drivers afford insurance.

According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. For personal injury, the driver must have coverage for at least $15,000 in the event one person is injured or killed and $30,000 for more than one person. Drivers must also carry coverage of $5,000 for property damage. Drivers may also choose to have collision or comprehensive coverage, but these do not count towards the minimum liability. Drivers who are not able to afford the minimum may qualify for the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program.

The Insurance Information Institute states that in the program, the liability amounts are lowered some and the state still recognizes this as meeting the financial responsibility requirements. To qualify, the income of the insured must be 250% or less of the poverty level and the vehicle may not be worth more than $25,000. The premiums vary from one county to another, and there are numerous payment plans available. Eligible drivers may also choose to purchase additional coverage such as uninsured motorist and medical payments.





Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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