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OAI: Electronic Auto Insurance Proof Takes Hold as Louisiana Enacts Law

Lawmakers say expanded means of proving coverage justifies harsher enforcement against uninsured

New Orleans, LA, June 19, 2012 --( Recent laws in Louisiana underline the importance of having a proper policy in place as proving coverage is simplified and enforcement against the uninsured is beefed up, according to Online Auto Insurance.

Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law last week legalizing electronic forms of proof of auto insurance, usually displayed on mobile devices or smartphones, that are shown to authorities.

Lawmakers in the state say electronic-proof proposals like Louisiana's HB 1130 will benefit all motorists as the smartphone is becoming ever-present among drivers of every age.

But those same lawmakers also want harsher punishments against the uninsured. A new law enacted earlier this month repealed towing regulations that now allow police to haul away the cars of drivers found lacking coverage.

During an April debate on the House floor, Rep. Ray Garafalo (R- Meraux), who authored the measure, cited the electronic proof bill as further reason to pass his proposal because fewer motorists who innocently forget their hard-copy policy cards would be exposed to harsher enforcement.

With easily attainable electronic means of proof being “a perfectly legal method of proving your insurance,” Garafalo said, there is little excuse for those lacking coverage to not face towing penalties.

Data from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) showed that, in 2009, an estimated 13 percent of motorists in the state lacked insurance, slightly below the national average at the time.

During the April debate, Garafalo cited more recent Louisiana State Police statistics estimating that, from July 2011 to March 2012, “a full 26 percent” of drivers in the state lacked the coverage required to drive. Garaflo also said that, in the same period, state troopers issued 27,085 citations to drivers who failed to prove they had coverage during traffic stops; of those, 26,025 were found to actually lack a proper policy.

Louisiana is the third state in the U.S. to enact legislation legalizing electronic means of proving coverage, with Idaho and Arizona both doing so in March. Similar efforts are underway in California, where senators will consider AB 1708 at a committee hearing scheduled for June 27.

Legislators have vigorously supported such pieces of legislation; all electronic proof bills enacted so far have received unanimous supporting votes at some point during their respective journeys through the legislative process.

For more on this and related issues, head to for access to an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator and informative resource pages.
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Online Auto LLC
Charles Nguyen

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