23 November 2009

State program offers cheaplow-cost car insurance

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Getting auto insurance in your 20s, when your driving record is limited, can be pricey.

For example, a 27-year-old single male driving a 2005 Honda Civic Sedan would pay $326 for a six-month premium, including comprehensive and collision coverage with a $500 deductible and property liability of up to $15,000, according to a quote from Farmers Insurance.
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But the premium for the same policy would jump to $803 if he was driving a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.Insurance rates are based on the price of the car, how often that model is stolen and its safety record, says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president at the Insurance Information Institute.

State program offers low-cost car insurance

High unemployment in the central San Joaquin Valley is driving fear that more motorists are going without auto insurance because they can't afford it.

Now it's probably even higher because of job losses across the state. In Fresno County, the unemployment rate in September was 14.1%, compared to 9.4% a year ago.
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For a family of four, it's $55,125 per year.

California law typically requires motorists to provide proof of insurance coverage amounting to $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage.

Qualifying drivers can upgrade their coverage for a few more dollars per month through the insurance company to which they are assigned, Ng said.
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The basic insurance is catching on with motorists. In the first 10 months of 2009, the number of drivers enrolled in Fresno County has more than doubled, from 311 to 707. Similar growth is reported in other Valley counties. But officials say they believe there are thousands of drivers in the Valley who qualify but likely don't know about it.