Lawmaker states that ohio’s insurance verification program is unfair


13Lawmakers in Ohio are willing to put an end to all the annoying letters that people receive regularly as part of an insurance-verification process.  However, since there is no other replacement in place of this program Rep. Jay Hottinger, Chairman, House Insurance Committee is unwilling to take a chance and is not ready to scrap the program as of now.  This program has helped in busting around 500 uninsured drivers in Ohio every week.

Letters are sent out to about 5,400 people each week to run a random check every week on drivers in Ohio asking them to send back proof of having vehicle insurance.  The ones who have not insured or the ones that fail to send a response within 90 days will have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 90 days and will have to pay a fine of $125 as a reinstatement fee as well as court fees.

This verification program costs the state around $500,000 per annum.  Rep. Matt Huffman stated that “there are some unfair things that were happening to the people under this verification system.”

There were instances that he had come across where a woman’s son who was serving the army had received a letter and couldn’t respond in time or send proof and his license was suspended.  Even those living outside Ohio had similar problems as they ended up with suspensions if they were outside Ohio for a period of time.

Huffman also went on to state that there were many other ways to do it instead of sending out letters like doing surprise checks on drivers.  The officials could check drivers and ask them to furnish proof of insurance when they get their licenses and registrations renewed.

However, Rep. John Patrick Carney, stated that if people knew that they require insurance prior to renewing their licenses, they could easily get a 30-day policy to show as proof.  So, if the letter comes in the mail, then there is no chance to go and buy insurance to avoid violation as they would be caught red-handed.

But Huffman has questioned the efficacy of the program itself stating that there is no substantial evidence to show that the program helped in reducing the number of uninsured motorists in Ohio as very few people were aware of this verification program.  Catching people in the act seems to be the only effective way out as of now.