Electronic Insurance System for verifying auto insurance in West Virginia


PLT-00003197-001The lawmakers in West Virginia are making it easy for the courts and police professionals to check if a particular driver has the minimum insurance liability specified by the state.

This measure, which already had the backing of the Senate, has now been approved by the house. This electronic verification system, being developed by Division of Motor Vehicles, will check the credibility of the insurance coverage by contacting the insurance providers. This system will need to cooperation of the insurance providers to make it a success.

The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Joe Manchin for implementation purposes.

The bill, sponsored by Senator John Unger, is likely to bring down the premiums for auto insurance coverage because it will help curtail the number of uninsured drivers who tend to push to cost of auto insurance up north.

It is now a mandate as per West Virginia State laws to carry the proof of auto insurance at all times. The people who support this system are concerned about the fact that a lot of people may opt for auto insurance just to get the card and then, cancel it on receiving the card.

As compared to the national average of uninsured drivers that stood at 13.8% in 2007, West Virginia had about 8% at the same time. New Mexico at 29%, Mississippi at 28%, Alabama at 26% and Florida at 23% top the list of states with the maximum number of uninsured drivers. On the contrary, Massachusetts at 1% and Maine at 4% have the least number of uninsured drivers.

Given the economic slowdown, the IRC predicts that the number of drivers without valid insurance policies in going to trend north. With the implementation of the electronic verification system the police of West Virginia who be able to verify if the drivers held an insurance policy which at least covers the state specified minimums.

The Insurance Industry Committee has come up with a design for this verification system based on the inputs from the Motor Vehicle Administration. The committee is an advisory group which coordinates between the department for motor vehicles and the insurance providers.

Once the legislation is passed, the cooperation of the insurance providers is a must. The state now has to provide options for small insurance companies that sell less than 500 non-commercial auto insurance policies.

The effectiveness of the program in bringing down the number of the uninsured vehicles and the cost of the program has to be reported to the Legislature by the Motor Vehicles Department within the next 24 months.