With everyone watching their budget and unemployment as high as it is in California, drivers are looking for ways to cut costs.  For some, foregoing on their auto insurance policy might be tempting to reduce the monthly bills but such a drastic action could have dire outcomes and could cost more than the automobile coverage itself.   Having an auto accident while not insured could result in a huge financial burden for many drivers.

One such alternative is a program made available by the California Department of Insurance (CDI), which could assist some drivers who lack the income to continue traditional auto coverage. The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance (CLCA) program, which is now accessible throughout the state, helps secure California car insurance for residents who have at least three years of being continuously licensed, live below certain income levels, use a car worth less than $20,000 and keep a relatively good driving record.  Interested drivers can answer a brief  set of questions on the CDI’s website to determine if they qualify.

Drivers who are eligible will be able to obtain coverage at rates determined for their respective counties. As of May 2009, the costs for the program’s liability coverage ranged between $161 and $361. That compares pretty well to the most recent data released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which estimated that the average cost for a liability policy in California in 2007 was $465. Drivers considering the program should note, though, that the discounted rates come with coverage levels lower than the already low state-required minimum coverage.