Tenn. Lawmakers Unload Bills Targeting Uninsured Drivers

Legislators in Tennessee introduced a number of proposals in February that aim to make it tougher for motorists in the state to be on the road without car insurance coverage.

The bills would beef up the requirements for proof of auto insurance and limit the types of damages that uninsured motorists would be allowed to be compensated for after an accident.

All of the bills have been introduced, but none of them have made it out of committee yet.

Three of the bills involve changes to requirements for proof of coverage.

One would require drivers to show proof when registering a car, another would make it so that law enforcement officials are required to ask for proof when pulling over drivers for traffic violations, and another would increase the penalty for not being able to show proof from $100 to $250 for a first offense. That bill would also implement a minimum $500 fine and mandatory impoundment for a second offense.

The fourth bill would establish a “no pay, no play” statute. These laws bar uninsured motorists from collecting for non-economic damages that arise from an accident that they are involved in where they are not at fault. Exceptions are made for certain types of accidents.

Legislators in Minnesota, Montana and Oklahoma also are pushing for “no pay, no play” statutes in their states.

The Insurance Research Council has estimated that in 2007 Tennessee had the sixth highest rate of uninsured motorists in the nation. It was estimated that 20 percent of Tennessee drivers lacked basic, state-required liability coverage that year.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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