According to reliable reports, a lot of Texan drivers are driving without insurance. Reports coming from the Texas Department of Insurance indicate that 22% of the total 22 million family owned cars registered in the state are uninsured. The counties of King, Potter and Deaf Smith are among the areas that show the highest number of uninsured vehicles according to the TexasSure database of the insurance agency.
These figures do not account for commercial vehicles since they are not yet part of the TexasSure program. Texan drivers by law are required to acquire at least liability insurance to cover for damages and injuries inflicted to the other driver and his vehicle during a car accident. TexasSure is the name of a program that the state’s insurance agency launched last year which was called to keep track of people who drive cars and are uninsured to aid police officers responding to vehicular accidents. With TexasSure, cops are able to determine in seconds if drivers involved in a collision are covered or not.
Before launching of TexasSure, police authorities had to call insurance companies to verify if drivers involved in a car mishap were insured or not. The Texas Department of Insurance is planning to send out notices to 4.1 million uninsured drivers to remind them of their responsibility to have their vehicles covered otherwise they would have to face sanctions. The agency will also be giving the said drivers ample time to comply with the state’s policy regarding minimum auto insurance coverage. In addition, letters will be sent out to 100,000 motorists who declare they have insurance, but have no records with any insurance company. They will be asked to rectify this problem or coordinate with their insurance companies.
Industry insiders also said that insured drivers have to shell out an extra $1 billion each year to protect themselves from uninsured motorists.
Drivers who are caught driving without insurance are fined $350, while a second offense merits a $1,000 fine. Repeat offenders would be arrested and have to serve jail time.
State lawmakers are disturbed with the high number of uninsured vehicles plying Texan roads, pointing out finances as a main culprit. They said that drivers who decide not to get insurance cannot afford to pay coverage premiums. Other motorists resort to using fake insurance cards while some sign up for a month’s coverage, just so that they could have their license plates renewed.
State officials believe that many uninsured Texan motorists knowing that they are being tracked by TexasSure, would be compelled to get sufficient auto insurance.