California's Lifeline Auto Insurance Program

An Effective Practice


Since 1999, California has operated a Lifeline Auto Insurance Program that seeks to provide low-income drivers with access to affordable automobile insurance. The program is the result of a California law (SB 171) sponsored by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. Under SB 171, all insurance companies selling auto insurance in the state are required to sell a certain percentage of Lifeline policies. The Lifeline policies cost approximately $400 per year and are available to families whose household income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level--$24,500 for a single person, $33,000 for two people, and $50,000 for a family of four.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to provide affordable auto insurance to low-income drivers in California.

Results / Accomplishments

The program started on a pilot basis in Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties. It has subsequently been expanded to a total of 16 counties in the state. Since the program's inception, more than 25,000 auto insurance policies have been issued to qualifying, low-income families.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Lifeline Auto Insurance
(800) 622-0954
Economy / Poverty
Transportation / Personal Vehicle Travel
Government & Politics / Programs, Policies, & Laws
State of California
Finance Project
Date of publication
Dec 2006
Date of implementation
Target Audience

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