Scroll for the Toll: New Web Tool Maps Out State’s Low Cost Auto Insurance Program

Deciding if California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program is right for you may be as easy as the click of a mouse.

The Insurance Information Network of California has unveiled a new Web-based tool to help low-income California drivers determine the cost of insurance through the state-run program.

Located at www.iinc.org, the interactive tool allows users to scroll over a map of California to find out exactly how much the insurance costs in their area. Prices differ among the 22 counties where the insurance is offered.

“This new information source is designed to help people find out if the program is available in their area and how much they can expect to pay in one easy step,” said Candysse Miller, executive director of the non-profit insurance communications association. “By scrolling your computer mouse over the map, you can see if it is available for purchase and what you can expect to pay.”

The interactive map is available in both English and Spanish.

The streamlined insurance program was designed to help the state’s low-income drivers meet California’s financial responsibility laws by offering low cost liability insurance with reduced policy limits. Up to 25 percent of California motorists drive without insurance, despite laws requiring it.

Base annual prices of the state-managed product range from $208 in Imperial County to $378 in Sacramento County. Single male drivers between 19 and 24 years old pay a 25 percent surcharge, and policyholders may purchase optional medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage for an additional fee, which also varies by county.

The basic Low Cost policy covers only liability, or damage to the other party, and does not cover damage to the policyholder’s car.

Drivers must meet several requirements to qualify for the program, including income, car value, age and driving experience restrictions. Eligibility requirements are detailed on the IINC Web site.

IINC is a non-profit, non-lobbying insurance communications association. For more information on this and other issues, please visit the IINC Web site at www.iinc.org.