Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on May 2, 2013 05:00 AM
Under a proposal recently introduced to the Texas Legislature, uninsured drivers would be barred from collecting for 'pain and suffering' or "noneconomic" damages when they are injured in a crash.
Called 'no pay, no play', such laws are meant to provide a disincentive for motorists to get on the road without insurance, and onlineautoinsurance.com says 10 states have already enacted this reform. Texas (HB 1774) may be next and others may be considering it now as well.
An Insurance Research Council (IRC) study on “no pay, no play” showed that, along with the various fees and penalties for driving without coverage, such laws could curb the rate of uninsured motorists; the study found that a state’s uninsured motorist rate can drop as much as 1.6 percent after “no pay, no play” laws go into effect.
Hopefully, when that occurs insurance firms would pass along some of the savings to policy holders. (Don't hold your breath.)
This approach is already in effect in Alaska, California, Iowa,
Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Interestingly, in Oklahoma, the most recent state to enact “no pay, no play,” they're already looking to strengthen their law. Though current law for the Sooner State prohibits an uninsured driver from compensation for noneconomic damages, a new bill (SB 691) would go further and preclude uniinsured motorists from receiving any reward or compensation.
Oklahoma’s SB 691 would nullify any type of award for an uninsured motorist, stating that “no recovery for any damages arising from a motor vehicle accident [could be] claimed by” an uninsured motorist suing another driver in court.
You have to admit that message comes in loud and clear.