Most states have already adopted laws that require motorists in their jurisdiction to purchase car insurance, or to prove financial responsibility. The necessary requirements change from state to state but the bottom line is that the law wants to ensure that drivers are responsible for themselves and any potential damage they may do to others while on the roadways. The state of Indiana is looking to take this step just a bit further by proposing new laws that would make it even more difficult for residents that don’t maintain the minimum Indiana car insurance.
One of the big problems, even for states that require motorists to have car insurance, is that there are still a large number of uninsured motorists operating vehicles throughout the country. The recent downturn in the economy is certainly a factor, as people must make choices on where to trim corners and cut costs. When compared to rent, groceries or gasoline – car insurance is not always a top priority. Many drivers are willing to take the risk of operating a car without insurance even when the potential of heavy fines or license suspension is possible.
Now Indiana lawmakers need to make a decision regarding how strict they want to be when enforcing the requirements of the Indiana Department of Insurance. A new proposal, if approved, would require car insurance companies to report to the State whenever an individual’s auto policy is canceled or about to be canceled. Not only must insurers report this information to the State, it must be done within 10 business days and submitted in a timely fashion. The consequences of these reports could involve suspending or revoking the license and registration of uninsured Indiana drivers. It would also mandate the car insurance companies send out a notice to customers that may cancel their policy that reads: “The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is being notified of the cancellation or expiration of your motor vehicle policy. Indiana law requires you to continuously maintain financial responsibility with respect to your motor vehicle for as long as you operate your motor vehicle on the public highways of Indiana.” The state does plan to give drivers 20 days to respond and explain their plan to maintain the legal insurance requirements for Indiana.
There is another bill being circulated in Indiana regarding auto insurance. This one requires car insurance companies to continue to attempt contact with individuals involved in any claims received. The company would need to attempt to reach all parties for 30 days before settling the claim. If no one can be reached after 30 days, the company must settle the claim with the third party, unless otherwise directed by that third party.