Next Year, Californians Go Mobile with Car Insurance Documents

Californians who buy car insurance can soon go mobile when they renew their policy.

The Golden State is modernizing state insurance law, a trade group said Thursday, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on SB 251, a bill that will allow policyholders the option of getting their policy renewal documents delivered electronically.

The bill’s finalization makes California the 8th state in the U.S. with a so-called “e-delivery” law, according to the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC), so that “Californians can use their laptop or smartphone to manage their insurance.”

SB 251 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Policyholders are increasingly mobile and want to control their business in the same way, according to the ACIC, which cited a study showing that mobile means are becoming the preference among consumers.

“Insurers want to respond to their customers preferred ways of communicating,” Armand Feliciano, a vice president for ACIC, said in a statement. “This new law gives consumers and insurers the tools and choices they need.”

Legislators and industry groups voiced strong support as SB 251 moved through the state Legislature this summer, saying that e-delivery laws in other states like Oklahoma, Idaho, Arizona and Kansas had eased business transactions for consumers.

Support was so strong that the bill saw not a single “no” vote throughout its time in the state Legislature. Lawmakers said they were happy with the opt-in measure and how they bill still instituted security measures to shield consumers.

“[SB 251] provides choices and flexibility for consumers, with strong safeguards that will protect policyholders,” Nicole Mahrt Ganley, spokesman for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), told Online Auto Insurance News in August.


About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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