Letters to the Editor

Soon, officers will be able to quickly verify auto insurance

You may not realize it, but as you drive home today there’s a more than one in four chance that the driver in the car next to you doesn’t have insurance. At an estimated 28 percent, Mississippi’s rate of uninsured motorists is almost twice the national average according to the Insurance Research Council.

If you’re unfortunate enough to get hit by an uninsured motorist, you could be the one footing the bill. However, starting in September, Mississippi is taking a positive step toward reducing the number of uninsured motorists on the roads by implementing a new insurance verification program, which will allow law enforcement officers to verify if you have insurance in a matter of seconds.

Currently, there is no way for the DMV or law enforcement to confirm that a motorist has insurance other than to ask for an insurance ID card. Even then, it’s entirely possible the motorist canceled the insurance but kept the ID card to fool police officers as many insured motorists involved in a crash with an uninsured motorist have no doubt experienced themselves. Come September, however, officers will have a direct line to all insurers and will know on the spot if there is coverage. Additionally, uninsured drivers could not only lose their license, but they will pay a hefty price for not being covered.

Joe Woods

Vice president, state government relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America