Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, currently stands as one of the major supporters of this pay-as-you-drive concept, the idea of having auto insurance policies available that aims to lessen carbon emissions by rewarding motorists who drive less. The question now is whether state commissioner Kreidler will mandate all insurance providers to carry such policy as legislators are still debating regarding the issue.
According to reports, pay-as-you-drive concept is similar to environmental movements such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED and the Energy Star appliance standards, a distinction being that pay-as-you-drive tends to combat environment degradation thru car insurance.
National Climate Change Task Force Chairperson and Pennsylvania State Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said that while he doubts that other states will mandate to offer this auto policy, he is still hoping for the best. Published reports say that Ario a proponent behind this concept, starting a research progress together with other state insurance regulators regarding a “drive less” concept. Pennsylvania’s Insurance commissioner believes that if car owners were made aware that premium rates will be lowered if they lessen the number of miles they drive, they will leave vehicles at home. Ario’s goal is to hit two birds with one stone – lessen traffic on public highways and ultimately reduce carbon output of the traffic sector. Studies conducted by environment groups reveal that carbon emissions from the transport sector constitute 28% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Upon hearing this idea, commissioner Kreidler immediately went on board and became one of the biggest enthusiasts of this concept.
During the climate summit he co-hosted with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Ario said that while he has doubts, he believes that all the industry needs at the moment is room for improvements and ability to be open, dynamic, and innovative. He adds that everyone in this insurance business should not be boxed in one way of doing things and insists that other ways of doing things are incorrect. He said that if Washington was able to open up, other states can do the same.
Washington is not the only state that supports emission-cutting policy. California, Pennsylvania, and other states are starting to follow-suit. This idea is indeed expanding in a fast pace and a number of large companies are now offering ‘pay as you drive’ policies. A major insurance provider with hundreds of branches all over 19 states in the US is promoting pay-as-you-drive auto policies. Earlier this year, California initiated a voluntary program for drivers who are interested in the said policy. Not wanting to be left behind, a number of smaller auto agencies are also offering the same policy.