Texas Insurers, Officials Push Electronic Proof Bill

More than a half-dozen states in the U.S. allow drivers to electronically prove their coverage when authorities ask them to—and Texas wants to be the next one.

Two bills are pending in two committees in the Lone Star State, but both are asking lawmakers to authorize drivers to display electronic proof of insurance coverage to government officials.

SB 181 and HB 239 both had committee hearings last week but were left pending. A legislative aide for the Senate Committee on Transportation that heard SB 181 said that its sponsor, Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), could bring the bill up for a committee vote during a future meeting, which has not yet been scheduled on committee calendars.

During the March 6 Senate committee hearing, Bo Gilbert, government relations vice president for USAA, offered support for SB 181 from the Texas-based insurance carrier, which is geared toward military and service members.

SB 181 would be effective upon its passage.

Also testifying in support of the bill was the Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions, a coalition of insurance providers in the state including Allstate and Farmers.

Executive Director Beaman Floyd also backed HB 239 during a hearing of the House Committee on Technology on March 4.

“This is a technology that is pervasive,” Floyd said. “We think that if you can deposit checks with this technology, handle your bank account with this technology, then this would be a good use for this technology as well.”

Some major insurers, including State Farm and GEICO, offer PDF versions of policies, dubbed “e-cards,” that can be displayed on smartphones.

Electronic Proof Developing in Other States

According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), legislative efforts allowing electronic means of proving financial auto liability are now under discussion in 21 states.

Since PCI issued that update in February, two states on that listing—Arkansas and Wyoming—have already had proposals pass the state Legislatures.

Arkansas’ bill was signed by Gov. Mike Beebe on March 1, less than a month after being introduced to lawmakers.

Wyoming’s bill is awaiting the Gov. Matt Mead’s final decision.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com 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.

No comments yet.

Comment on this article