Idaho became the first state in the nation in late March to enact legislation to allow motorists to use a smart phone to demonstrate proof of insurance coverage. Not to be outdone, Arizona enacted similar legislation a few days afterward.
Gov. Butch Otter signed Senate Bill 1319, which enables Idaho motorists to either show proof of coverage with a smartphone app or a PDF copy of proof saved on a phone, as well as the traditional hard copy proof of insurance card.
SB 1319 was unanimously approved by the Senate and in the House of Representatives on a 64 — 1 vote. The law takes effect July 1.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a similar bill in her state. The Arizona legislation takes effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.
Idaho’s bill to enable auto insurance policyholders to issue proof of coverage verification via a mobile electronic device, such as a smartphone, is among several similar bills in at least a handful of states in various stages of passage.
In California, Assembly Bill 1708 authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Silver Lake, would enable a person required to provide evidence of financial responsibility to do so through the use of a mobile electronic device, according to the bill’s wording. Gatto introduced his bill in late February. Gatto’s bill awaits a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Insurance.
The bill would amend portions of the state’s insurance code and sections of the California vehicle code.
“Electronic proof of coverage is the wave of the future and Idaho is the first state to enact a law allowing the use of a smart phone to show proof of coverage,” Kenton Brine, assistant vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said just before Brewer signed the Arizona bill. “Many policyholders are living green and want to go paperless, but without changing the law, insurers are still required to send paper ID cards. Currently, Arizona and California are considering similar legislation. We hope that more states will enact similar laws so drivers can use the technology available to show they have coverage.”
Following are nationwide legislation and regulations allowing electronic proof of insurance collected by PCI:
- Alabama: Alabama will soon allow motorists to electronically display proof both at registration and during traffic stops starting Jan. 1, 2013.
- Colorado: An existing Colorado regulation allows motorists to show proof of coverage electronically when they register their vehicles.
Mississippi and Maryland may also consider legislation to allow electronic proof of coverage in 2012.
Electronic proof of coverage is the wave of the future and Idaho is the first state to enact a law allowing the use of a smart phone to show proof of coverage.