Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on Mar 19, 2013 06:00 AM
More than a half-dozen states in the U.S. allow drivers to electronically prove their coverage when authorities ask them to—and Texas wants to be the next one.
Two bills are pending in two committees in the Lone Star State, but both are asking lawmakers to authorize drivers to display electronic proof of insurance coverage to government officials.
According to onlineautoinsurance.com, During a March 6 Senate committee hearing, Bo Gilbert, government relations vice president for USAA, offered support for SB 181 from the Texas-based insurance carrier, which is geared toward military and service members. SB 181 would be effective upon its passage.
Also testifying in support of the bill was the Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions, a coalition of insurance providers in the state including Allstate and Farmers Insurance.
Executive Director Beaman Floyd also backed HB 239 during a hearing of the House Committee on Technology on March 4.
“This is a technology that is pervasive,” Floyd said. “We think that if you can deposit checks with this technology, handle your bank account with this technology, then this would be a good use for this technology as well.”
It appears that some of the nation's largest insurance companies are already there. Major insurers, including State Farm and GEICO, offer PDF versions of policies, dubbed “e-cards,” that can be displayed on smartphones.
It's a trend that has nearly half of the country moving in this direction. According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), legislative efforts allowing electronic means of proving financial auto liability are now under discussion in 21 states.
Since PCI issued that update in February, two states on that listing—Arkansas and Wyoming—have already had proposals pass the state Legislatures.