New Uninsured Motorist Bill Could Save West Virginia Drivers Money

street.jpgOn March 2, 2010, the West Virginia Senate passed a bill that proponents say could save you a significant amount on your auto insurance. Senate Bill 394 allows the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to start using an electronic verification system that will alert law enforcement immediately if a driver is operating a vehicle without insurance.

Right now, insurance companies must notify the DMV of uninsured drivers, then the DMV must notify the West Virginia State Police. At this point, state troopers are instructed to find uninsured vehicles and remove the license plates. But, this method has proven to be too time-consuming and laborious given limited state resources. According to an article in the Herald Tribune, slow communication between the DMV and insurance companies has also made it difficult to keep track of uninsured drivers.

If the House passes this new bill, however, insurance companies with clients in West Virginia would have to submit proof of insurance directly to the DMV. This information would be stored in an electronic database that would be shared with law enforcement. The new system would be accessible directly from state trooper patrol units for use at traffic stops, accident sites, hit-and-run scenes and police chases. The information would show up as soon as the officer runs the license plate number.

The hope is that over time, fewer drivers would risk operating their vehicles without insurance, as more citations are written. In turn, insurance companies would eventually be able to lower their auto insurance premiums as the number of uninsured claims decreased (as has been proven in other states). If an uninsured motorist has hit you, you know how difficult it can be to recover damages. Talk to an auto accident lawyer in West Virginia about your case today.