Auto Insurance Proposal Takes Aim at Alabama's Uninsured Drivers
06/03/2011

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Online PR News – 03-June-2011 – – Alabama has consistently been ranked as having one of the highest statewide uninsured-motorist rates in the nation, and lawmakers are pushing forward legislation aimed at reducing that rate, according to Online Auto Insurance News.

By state law, Alabama residents must have a liability policy in place in order to drive legally and are required to carry proof of insurance cards with them in their vehicles. But despite the $500 first-offense fine that can be levied on motorists who cannot provide this proof of coverage, a large percentage of them still go uncovered.

The Insurance Research Council estimated that, in 2007 and 2009, between about 1-in-4 and 1-in-5 drivers in the state were uninsured.

To identify these uninsured drivers and discourage others from dropping coverage, lawmakers have given their approval to a bill that would establish an electronic auto insurance verification database. The database would match up valid policies with cars registered in the state, allowing police officers and the Department of Revenue to quickly check whether a given vehicle is currently insured.

The bill that would establish the database would also bolster other practices already being used to find uninsured drivers.

Currently, auto owners who go to register their cars must say in writing that they have coverage in place. But the bill, SB 137, would allow the Department of Revenue access to the database in order to check whether this is actually the case.

Differences in the house and senate versions of the bill still need to be ironed out. If both houses manage to do so through a conference committee, it will be sent to the governor’s desk.

Source: http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginMac.asp

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