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Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program Expands to 42 Counties in State: Lower-Income Drivers Can Get Liability Policy for Less Than $400.

Aug 17, 2007

By Mark Glover, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.

Aug. 18--A state program offering low-cost auto insurance to motorists with limited incomes will be expanded to 42 counties from 31, with most of the additions in Northern California.

Under the program, formally known as the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program, eligible drivers can obtain liability coverage for less than $400 a year.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced this week that the program is being expanded to Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Placer, San Benito, Shasta, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties. The program is expected to go into effect in early October, once rates are set in each of the newly added counties.

"Driving without insurance is illegal, and nearly 50,000 motorists in these 11 counties are uninsured," Poizner said. "Many drivers simply cannot afford insurance, but uninsured drivers put all travelers at risk.

"The expansion of this program in (the) additional counties will better enable Californians to comply with the law and protect all motorists from potential losses."

To be eligible for coverage, applicants must:

--Be licensed drivers at least 19 years old.

--Meet specific "good driver" standards.

--Have a gross annual household income not exceeding 250 percent of the federal poverty level -- ranging from $25,525 for a single person to $51,625 for a household of four.

--Be insuring a vehicle with a value that does not exceed $20,000.

For more details on the program, call (866) 602-8861 or visit www.insurance.ca.gov.

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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