California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has announced changes to the California Low Cost Automobile (CLCA) insurance program that will enable additional uninsured drivers to qualify for state-sponsored low cost automobile insurance.

Effective from 15 May 2012, the cost of an annual premium for the program across California’s 58 counties has decreased up to 9%, while the income eligibility caps for qualifying for the program have increased.

Jones said more than 15% of the cars on California roads do not have insurance.

"If financial limitations have kept consumers from purchasing car insurance, these changes make Low Cost Auto Insurance a more viable option for uninsured drivers," Jones added.

The state-wide average cost of an annual Low Cost Automobile Insurance policy in California is now $257.69 a year and the premiums for all California counties are now less than $350 annually, as a consequence of premium reductions.

Counties such as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Sutter have recorded greatest changes in premiums.

The CLCA program, established by the legislature in 1999 provides liability-only insurance for less than $350 a year.