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CA Helps Drivers Who Can’t Afford Insurance

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Aired 4/19/09

California’s insurance commissioner says there are 165,000 uninsured drivers in San Diego County. John Garamendi is promoting a program that would insure a low-income driver for less than a dollar a day. KPBS Radio’s Andrew Phelps has more.

Garamendi says 20,000 San Diegans have received notices warning they better get insured – or face the penalties. He says drivers let coverage lapse because it’s so expensive. So Garamendi visited the DMV in Hillcrest to offer help. Low-income drivers can get insurance at the relatively modest price of $268 a year.

Garamendi: They can be legally on the road. And they don’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder for that red light that’s going to stop them, give them a big fine because their insurance is lapsed or their registration has been cancelled.

A new state law requires insurance companies to notify the DMV when a driver’s auto insurance lapses. And with the risk of fines exceeding $1,000, Garamendi says insurance is worth the cost. For KPBS, I’m Andrew Phelps.

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