Posted on 10 Jun 13 by Annie George
It is getting a lot easier in many states to show proof of insurance coverage during a traffic stop. In what has become one of the hot insurance-related legislative trends, 17 states passed laws this year allowing drivers to show proof of insurance using a smart phone. This brings to 24 the states that say “yes” to electronic proof of coverage, according to the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI).
“In just two years policy makers in nearly half the country have changed their laws to enable consumers to use their smart phone to show they have insurance instead of keeping that little piece of paper in the glove compartment,” said Alex Hageli, PCI director of personal lines policy. “It makes good sense to allow consumers and insurers to use increasingly ubiquitous technology to comply with the law.”
The 17 states to approve electronic proof of coverage laws in 2013 are: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. This list is likely to grow even longer in 2013 as legislation is awaiting signature by governors in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. PCI is supporting legislation still moving in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“Increasing sales of tablets and other mobile devices are motivating consumers to want multiple communication platforms with their agent and insurer. The E-commerce trend is expanding and motivating other policy changes that will modernize insurance laws and ways of doing business,” said Kelly Campbell,
PCI vice president for state affairs. “Three states have approved laws allowing electronic delivery of insurance documents, with five more states actively considering legislation during 2013 sessions. Electronic delivery of insurance documents will give consumers and insurers more choices and more flexibility in how policies are serviced. These laws are moving the interaction between customers and insurers away from the Pony Express and into the 21st Century.”
Idaho, Kansas and Minnesota have approved e-Delivery laws in 2013, while Kentucky issued a bulletin allowing for it. E-Delivery legislation is moving through the legislature or on the governor’s desk in California, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“Public policymakers are also seeing the benefits of having insurance policies available electronically,” said Campbell. “Six states have approved laws in 2013 that will allow consumers to access their insurance policy through a website. Four more states are still actively considering these types of laws this year. This will enable a customer to see their insurance policy 24/7. This will be especially helpful when people are evacuated or suffer a loss following a natural catastrophe.”
Posting policies on the Internet laws have been signed into law in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Texas. Bills are the governor’s desk in Florida and Illinois. Legislatures are considering legislation in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $190 billion in annual premium, 40 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.