Two States Push to Legitimize Proof of Coverage on Smartphones

State Farm smartphone app State legislators in both California and Arizona are trying to eliminate the need for motorists to carry hard-copy versions of proof of insurance cards in their cars, and they plan to do so by making electronic versions of the cards displayed on smartphones an acceptable form of proof.

Drivers across the country typically need to provide proof of insurance cards when stopped by police or when they get into an accident. Police want to see the cards to ensure that the driver is in compliance with state financial responsibility laws, and other drivers involved in accidents need to see the cards so that they can contact the other party’s insurer if there needs to be compensation for damages.

Even though smartphone apps provided by insurers typically include features for displaying policy information, these cards are currently accepted only in hard-copy form. Insurers mail the cards to policyholders shortly after a policy is issued.

Giving consumers the option of presenting proof via a smartphone gets rid of “one of the small hassles in life,” said Assemblyman Mike Gatto, the author of the California bill, in a prepared statement.

The California bill would also make a little extra room in drivers’ glove compartments by making vehicle registration information available on smartphones through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Police in California and Arizona are authorized to cite drivers who cannot present documents showing that they are properly insured. But these citations are generally thrown out if the offender can prove that he or she in fact had insurance at the time of the stop.

The Arizona bill has so far been approved by the House Transportation and Rules committees.

The California bill has not received any votes since being introduced on February 16.

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.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article