OAI: Idaho Car Insurance Verification Proposal Highlights Perils of Driving Uninsured

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Lawmakers hope to set up a coverage-verification system by the beginning of 2014.

Idaho lawmakers are proposing that the government fund an online insurance verification system that would help the state identify and cite uninsured motorists—a move that puts a spotlight on the serious risks of driving without coverage, says OnlineAutoInsurance.com.

Even though the penalties for driving uninsured in Idaho are relatively small—a $75 fine for a first offense and up to a $1,000 fine for a second offense within five years—the repercussions that can come from causing an accident with no coverage should be enough to motivate uninsured drivers to look for cheap auto insurance online and purchase a policy.

If an Idaho motorist gets into an accident without coverage, he or she could be left having to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to pay for other people’s medical and repair bills that would have been footed by the insurer if a policy had been purchased.

But despite these repercussions, about 8 percent of the driving population is uninsured, according to the most recent estimates from the Insurance Research Council.

That’s relatively low when compared with states like Mississippi, where the uninsured rate is 28 percent. But lawmakers hope to get it even lower by setting up the coverage-verification system.

The system would work by aggregating policy information from all of the insurers covering vehicles registered in the state and matching that data up with Idaho auto registrations. If a car shows up in the database as being registered, but there’s no matching policy information, it’s likely that the vehicle’s uninsured.

A handful of government agencies and local police would have access to the system 24 hours a day, and they could access it from the field.

The bill’s authors estimate that the system would cost $150,000 to set up and $50,000 annually to maintain.

Source: http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2012/H0540.htm

For more on this and other coverage issues, head to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/ for access to informative resource pages and an easy-to-use rate-comparison generator.

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Benjamin Zitney
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