Oklahoma Limits Recovery Rights of Drivers Who Lack Coverage

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law on Thursday a “no pay, no play” car insurance proposal that will limit the recovery rights of drivers who flout the state’s mandatory insurance law.

Under the new law, motorists who get into serious accidents while driving without coverage will only be able to recover economic damages for medical costs, property damage and loss of income. An uninsured motorist involved in a crash — even if it was not his or her fault — will not be able to successfully sue for pain and suffering.

The proposal was approved by 74 percent of state senators and 58 of state house members who voted on the measure.

Oklahoma is now the second state this year to sign such a bill into law. Kansas added a similar law to its books earlier this month.

Oklahoma uninsured motorist rateOklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak threw his support behind the proposal last week, citing concerns about the high uninsured-motorist rate and lack of affordable auto insurance in the state.

Supporters of the legislation say “no pay, no play” laws help address both of these issues by providing a disincentive to drive uninsured and by helping to keep average claims size from ballooning, though the laws’ actual impact on those problems has been largely unquantified.

Opponents of this type of law says it has the potential to penalize individuals who dropped coverage due to economic hardships.

The law takes effect Nov. 1, 2011.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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