Delaware Measure Targets Uninsured Motorists

January 17, 2005

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn, State Senator David Sokola and State Representative Donna Stone have unveiled bi-partisan legislation which will allow the state to increase enforcement of its uninsured motorist laws.

The legislation will allow state police officers and members of the Insurance Department’s fraud unit to confiscate the license plates of persons who have been found by the state to be uninsured. The legislation also contains procedural protections to ensure that license plates are not confiscated in error.

“This legislation sends a clear message to uninsured drivers,” Denn said. “The law-abiding drivers of Delaware will no longer subsidize your illegal activities by paying higher auto insurance rates. It’s time to start following the law.”

Andy Cousins of L&W Insurance in Dover, an officer of the Independent Insurance Agents of Delaware, praised the legislation and indicated that it could provide some rate relief for Delaware auto insurance policyholders.

Sen. Sokola emphasized that the legislation was written to ensure that drivers had every opportunity to prove that they were carrying auto insurance before their license plates were confiscated. “We have been very careful in drafting this legislation to make sure that vehicle owners have multiple opportunities to show that they have insurance before their tags are taken,” he said, “and the bill also provides a mechanism for them to get their tags back once they obtain insurance.”

Rep.Stone indicated that the bill would receive prompt attention from her committee in the State House of Representatives. “This is one more step that we can take to reduce auto insurance rates for Delawareans,” she said.

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