CAARP: What is the California assigned Auto Risk Plan?

The California assigned Auto Risk Plan, also known as CAARP, is the state’s non-standard car insurance market that offers coverage to high risk drivers.

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Rachael BrennanRachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Anna SwartzAnna SwartzSenior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance ExpertAnna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

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Created in 1947, the California automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) is a special program designed to make sure all drivers in the state have access to car insurance.

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If you’re a high-risk driver who can’t find a car insurance policy on your own, CAARP makes it possible to purchase the required state minimum level of liability coverage so you can drive legally. But you’ll pay a higher premium for coverage than drivers with a clean driving record.

Key takeaways

  • CAARP is a California program that offers coverage for high-risk drivers who can’t get a quote on a standard policy due to their driving record.

  • Insurance companies that are licensed to sell car insurance in California are required to participate in CAARP. 

  • Every insurance company must charge the same premiums for CAARP coverage and There is no broker’s fee for drivers who buy a CAARP policy..

  • CAARP offers a maximum of 15/30/5 in liability coverage, which is the required state minimum amount.

What is the California automobile Assigned Risk Plan?

The California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan is the state's residual or non-standard car insurance marketplace — that just means it’s a special program for drivers who can’t find car insurance coverage the normal way. It makes it possible for drivers who can’t find a quote because of their driving record to get the coverage they need to drive legally.

Drivers who have multiple accidents, speeding tickets, or a DUI/DWI may not be able to find a standard car insurance company that will insure them, which means they may need to get liability insurance coverage through CAARP if they want to keep driving in California.

What is the primary function of CAARP?

CAARP is designed to make sure everyone in California has access to car insurance coverage that meets the minimum liability insurance requirements for the state. 

Drivers who need coverage but can’t get a quote from a standard insurer are put into a pool and assigned to an insurance company through CAARP.  Every insurance company licensed to sell car insurance in California is required to participate in CAARP and they all have to charge the same premiums for CAARP coverage. 

Every car insurance company is then assigned a percentage of CAARP participants based on their market share. For example, California had 230 active car insurance companies in 2020 and Farmers had 8% of the total market share, so it would have been required to take on 8% of the drivers participating in CAARP.

→ Learn more about California car insurance laws

What is the maximum coverage allowed through the California automobile Assigned Risk Program for bodily injury and death?

Liability coverage is the part of your car insurance that pays for injuries or damage you cause in an accident. CAARP only offers 15/30/5 liability coverage limits, which means limits of: 

These are the state minimum liability requirements, which means a CAARP policy allows you to drive legally, but the coverage limits are likely not enough to protect you in the event of a serious accident. 

→Learn more about split limits in insurance

How to get insurance through CAARP

Drivers must work with a certified brokerage to purchase coverage through CAARP. For more information or to purchase a CAARP policy, call (800) 622-0954, which is the number for the California automobile Assigned Risk Plan.

→ Learn more about California’s increasing car insurance rates

Is CAARP the same as California's Low Cost Auto Insurance Program (CLCA)?

Though the two programs are often mentioned together and are sold through the same office, CLCA is different from CAARP. California’s low cost auto insurance program provides affordable liability insurance for drivers who meet the income requirements and keep their driving record clean. 

CAARP is almost the opposite of CLCA; where CLCA offers low cost insurance for eligible drivers with a clean record, CAARP provides coverage for drivers who are considered so high risk that car insurance companies are no longer willing to offer them coverage. CAARP comes with higher premiums to account for that risk.

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Frequently asked questions

What is an assigned risk plan in auto insurance?

An assigned risk plan is a car insurance policy for high-risk drivers who can’t find standard coverage due to having too many tickets, accidents, or DUI/DWIs.

What is a high risk driver in California?

California drivers with a DUI/DWI or with more than one accident or moving violation are considered to be high-risk. If you have multiple infractions on your driving record, which could be a combination of traffic tickets, accidents, or a DUI/DWI, you may need to purchase an assigned risk car insurance policy.

Do assigned risk drivers pay higher premiums?

Yes, assigned risk drivers pay much higher premiums than drivers who are not on an assigned risk plan. Assigned risk plans are designed for people with multiple accidents or tickets who can’t get a standard auto insurance policy, which means the rates are higher for assigned risk coverage.

Author

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

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