Having car insurance is part of the law and you can get in big trouble if you drive without any protection. Simple as that, right? There’s actually more to the story. Auto insurance is not mandated federally, and in some states, there are much fewer requirements than you’d expect.
Here’s how Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Mississippi deal with proof of auto insurance.
Florida has companies electronically report your policy and information if your policy ever cancels. This system allows the entire policy record to be up to date, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida will track down those without a policy. If you go without coverage, then your license, plates, and registration will be suspended. Reinstating your driving privileges will likely be costly.
According to Geeks on Finance, the costs of having minimum car coverage in Florida can actually be quite low. While you may not want to go with the state minimums and instead bump up your coverages in case of a significant claim, the minimums are low enough that you should never be forced to face a suspension. So long as you pay your bill, you can avoid the hassle of losing your legal driving privileges.
The state of Georgia has changed their system to keep up with the times and go completely electronic. While not everyone is in love with the idea of using technology, the system is constantly up to date, it always knows the exact state of your insurance, and it does not rely on physical mail for delivering old-fashioned paper auto ID cards. The benefit of Georgia enacting this sort of legislation is that you do not show an auto ID card, but rather, you have your information listed within a state-mandated database.
So long as the system works, it is supposedly going to help everyone throughout the state when it comes to rates. By keeping everyone honest and forcing everyone who is driving to have insurance, it should hopefully keep rates down and allow for a more competitive rating system throughout the whole state. When you’re attempting to find Georgia car insurance, you’ll notice just how many opportunities there are for competitive quotes. The system should be decreasing premiums across the board, while benefiting the drivers who are honest.
The state of New Jersey provides auto coverage just as other states do, and you are certainly able to choose additions and add-on options as far coverage is concerned. However, the one way that New Jersey differs from other states is by offering a basic policy option. The basic policy offers no frills and no special add-ons, but for anyone looking for the most basic and minimum of coverage, it allows them to get one at an extremely discounted rate. The danger with New Jersey is that it only covers $5,000 in property damage liability as well as $15,000 for personal injury protection. When you think about how minimal those rates are, then you can see it makes sense that you only need to show minimum coverage and that you’re able to do so electronically as well.
While Mississippi has decreased auto rates, there are estimates that almost 30 percent of all drivers on the road are driving without a policy. This can be a major issue because it effectively increases the rates of the drivers who are actually paying properly. As The Insurance Journal states, a law was put into place a few years ago where motorists must show proof of being insured before receiving a car tag. Showing false proof of coverage would result in a fine of up to $500 and could result in imprisonment of up to a year.
As you can see, while some states are trying to streamline the process of showing proof, others are going about it in completely different ways. One thing is clear, however: the states are trying to respond to increasing auto rates by making sure the actual drivers currently on the road have already invested in some policies. It is time for the motorists who drive legally to only pay their own fair share and not have to subsidize the costs of those who drive illegally. These states are just the beginning, as there will be many more states that will follow in trying to clean up the roads.