A new law in the state of California, which took effect January 1, will allow an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. But now officials in Sacramento are expressing concern that many of these new drivers will hit the road lacking something that’s a bit more expensive than a license application – car insurance.
So officials in Sacramento have decided to open up the state’s decade-old California Low Cost Auto Insurance program (CLCA), which allows income-eligible drivers to receive car insurance through the state. Automobile insurance is mandatory for vehicle-owners in the state of California.
The new move is being accompanied by an aggressive marketing campaign, which includes a blitz of Spanish-language advertising to reach the potential new drivers (watch one of these ads here.)
Advocates of California’s decision to open up CLCA say that the program helps reduce financial risk for all drivers on the road, since getting in a car accident with an uninsured motorist can become a financial liability. California has as many as 4.1 million uninsured drivers, and covering as many drivers as possible helps lower auto insurance rates for everyone across the board.
But critics point out that the government-run CLCA has previously been unsuccessful in convincing uninsured drivers to obtain the cheaper insurance. California’s rate of uninsured motorists has held steady for the past decade despite the program’s efforts.
“Over the years, CLCA hasn’t been popular. Since 2000, about 70,000 people have signed on and so far this year it’s taken on about 12,000 new customers.
Meanwhile, the problem CLCA was supposed to fix — the growth of uninsured drivers — has held steady. California has as many as 4.1 million uninsured motorists, and state insurance officials believe a big chunk of those unlicensed drivers are undocumented residents.”
Whether the CLCA will be successful in insuring these new drivers, or if the number of uninsured drivers in California will suddenly spike, remains to be seen.
—Courtesy of IJ Review