Does your state offer low income auto insurance?

(Last Updated On: January 1, 2019)

Looking for low income auto insurance? You’re not alone! I didn’t even know these programs existed until I stumbled across the phrase on Google earlier this week… but I’m thrilled the report that some states actually do offer subsidized low income auto insurance!

California offers low income auto insurance!

Since 1999, California state law has authorized California’s Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA). This law acknowledges the financial burden that liability insurance requirements place on low income households and provides relief for low income families.

Who qualifies for low income auto insurance in California?

To qualify for California’s Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA), you must meet these four requirements:

  • You must be 19 years old. If you are a college student, you must not be claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s federal or state income tax returns.
  • You must have a good driving record. Your license must be current and valid.
  • You must own your car. The vehicle must be valued at $25,000 or less with no unpaid loans.
  • You must meet certain income requirements.

California defines a good driver as someone who has no more than one at-fault property damage accident or more than one moving violation point within the last three years. You cannot have a felony or misdemeanor conviction for a Vehicle Code violation on your record.

The income limits consider the number of people in your household and the total income of the household. You must be at or under 250% of the Federal Poverty Level for your household size. As of this writing, the income limits are $30,150 for an individual, $40,600 for two people or $61,500 for four people.

Please note that once you have CLCA coverage you cannot purchase or maintain any other auto liability policy for any vehicle in the household. If you do so, you may be removed from the CLCA program.

What does CLCA provide?

California’s low income auto insurance program provides lower-than-required coverage limits in exchange for lower-than-average premiums. Participants are exempt from meeting minimum state requirements for liability insurance, since the low income auto insurance program only provides very minimal coverage.

Your CLCA coverage limits will provide the following:

  • $10,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $20,000 for total bodily injury or death when multiple people are hurt in an accident
  • $3,000 for property damage

What does CLCA cost?

Those who qualify for this program pay less than those who must maintain full legal coverage limits. Although the premiums vary by county, they do not exceed about $600 per year in the most expensive county. That’s $50 per month or less!

Of course, the amount varies depending on the value of your car, your driving history and your demographic. Those with three years of good driving history will pay less. Single male drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 will pay more.

Click here to apply for low income auto insurance in California! 

Hawaii offers low income auto insurance!

Hawaii offers free liability insurance to residents who receive financial assistance from select Department of Human Services programs, including the Aged Blind and Disabled program. This coverage is very limited and can only be accessed through your DHScaseworker.

Since I was only able to find this information on a few non-official websites, I called the Hawaiian Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Insurance Division, to verify that this information was accurate. The specialist that I spoke to confirmed that this program does exist and provided some additional information. You’re welcome to contact their office at (808) 586-2790 to confirm this information!

Who qualifies for low income auto insurance in Hawaii?

Certain Hawaiian residents who receive financial assistance from the Department of Human Services may qualify for this service. The specialist I spoke with today specifically mentioned that those who receive low income auto insurance usually also receive Medicaid.

We know it’s available to those who have long-term disabilities and participate in the state’s Aged, Blind and Disabled program. However, the representative I spoke to today indicated that the intention of the program is to help people get to work so I suspect other people may also qualify.

Ultimately, you must apply and qualify through your caseworker at the Department of Human Services (DHS). If you are interested in this program, contact them and see if you qualify!

What does Hawaii’s low income auto insurance program cover?

Hawaii provides completely free liability insurance coverage for those who qualify. This insurance exclusively covers property damage and bodily injury liability coverage.

It does not cover personal injury or no-fault coverage because those who participate in this low income auto insurance program already have personal medical coverage through Medicaid.

What does Hawaii’s low income auto insurance program cost?

It’s completely free! This program is assessed to carriers through the high-risk pool known as the Joint Underwriting Plan.

Call your DHS caseworker to apply for low income auto insurance in Hawaii!

New Jersey offers low income auto insurance!

New Jersey’s low income auto insurance program is called the Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) program. It is often called the “Dollar a Day” insurance program. This limited program provides very basic coverage for those who are very low income.

Who qualifies for low income auto insurance in New Jersey?

The Special Automobile Insurance Policy program serves those who are eligible for federal Medicaid with hospitalization benefits. Not all Medicaid programs qualify for this program. If you are unsure whether your Medicaid coverage qualifies, you may call (800) 652-2471. The representative should be able to tell, based on your Medicaid ID card number, whether or not you qualify for this program.

You must prove your Medicaid enrollment at each renewal. If you lose your Medicaid coverage in the middle of the policy period, you will still have coverage until your current policy ends. You will not be eligible to renew at the end of your current policy.

In addition to Medicaid coverage, you must have a current driver’s license and registration. If your driving privileges are revoked or suspended, you are not eligible.

What does SAIP cover?

The Special Automobile Insurance Policy provides $10,000 in death benefits and up to $250,000 in emergency treatments following an accident. It does not cover outpatient treatments, damage to your car or damage caused to other people or property.

This is not a liability policy. However, SAIP coverage exempts you from meeting New Jersey’s minimum liability coverage requirements.

What does SAIP cost? 

New Jersey’s low income auto insurance policy costs just $365 per year. If you pay up-front, it’s just $360. Otherwise, you can pay $365 in two installments.

Call (800) 652-2471 to apply for low income auto insurance in New Jersey or click here to find a PAIP provider!

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