OAI: Idaho and Miss. Bills Would Help Enforce Auto Insurance Laws

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Verification bills have already been approved by the Idaho House of Representatives and the Mississippi House Insurance Committee, according to OnlineAutoInsurance.com.

Two proposals to set up electronic coverage databases got the initial go-ahead last week from the Idaho House and the Mississippi House Insurance Committee in a move that should help officials in those states track down and cite uninsured motorists, according to Online Auto Insurance.

The databases would help deter drivers from avoiding citations for having no coverage by purchasing a low down payment car insurance policy, obtaining proof of that policy and then canceling coverage, according to OAI.

If the statewide databases are established, police would have instant access to real-time data regarding whether a particular driver is insured. That means they would no longer have to rely on the hard-copy proof of insurance cards that insurers provide their policyholders.

The would databases work by establishing an electronic system that matches up government data showing all the vehicles registered in the state with insurer data on all the currently active policies on those cars, according to the bills.

Laws already in place in other states require insurers to notify officials within a few days of a policy cancellation so that the database will be as up to date as possible.

When a registered vehicle comes up as a no-match for a policy, police will be able to see that, and so will other government workers.

While the Idaho system would help tighten up the already low uninsured motorist rate there—the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimated 8 percent of Idaho drivers lacked coverage in 2009—Mississippi has much more to gain from such a system.

In the Magnolia State, about 1 in 4 drivers lacks a valid policy. IRC estimated that in 2009 about 28 percent of the state's drivers were uninsured, the highest rate in the nation.

OAI notes that lawmakers in Mississippi actually passed an insurance verification bill last year. But Gov. Haley Barbour ended up vetoing the measure out of cost concerns and worries that the state's Department of Public Safety would be overburdened.

Source: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2011/pdf/veto/HB0620.pdf

For more on this and other coverage issues, head to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/pay-monthly/ to get access to informative resources pages and a rate-comparison generator that can help users get in compliance with state law for minimal prices.

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Benjamin Zitney
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