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Thursday, 04 January 2007 02:42

State Cracks Down On Uninsured Drivers

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slide24The state has started to crack down on people who drive without car insurance. Now according to California Vehicle Code all insurance companies are required to report insurance status information to DMV for all private use vehicles and law enforcement and court personnel have access to DMV records to verify that your California registered vehicle is currently insured.

slide25 The state Department of Insurance estimates that nearly 3.5 million vehicles are without insurance in the state; with about 20 percent of the average insurance bill going toward uninsured motorist coverage, according to the Insurance Information Network of California. People who obey the law pay a heavy burden to subsidize those who don't.

Since 2001, about 1.4 million drivers have been convicted of driving without insurance; 78,000 have been convicted of failing to have liability insurance when involved in a collision, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The new effort to see that motorists are insured comes under a law passed in 2004 that requires insurers to notify the DMV when a driver cancels a policy. It took two years to set it in motion, but in November warning letters began to go out to such drivers. They will be followed by penalties that can rise as high as a $1,000 fine and suspension of a driver's license.

There may be some help on the horizon for the driving poor as well as insurance might be within range even for people on very limited incomes if the cost of policies weren't so badly inflated by the need to cover uninsured drivers. Furthermore, there is a state program — available now in 16 counties, including Stanislaus and San Joaquin — that offers bare-bones insurance through reputable insurance companies to low-income drivers with good driving records. The current yearly rate is $359 in Stanislaus County and $295 in San Joaquin. The policies satisfy the requirements for liability coverage.

Read 933 times Last modified on Friday, 28 August 2009 02:05