(Press Release) Governor Brown has made California the 7th state in the nation to allow drivers to show proof of insurance coverage using their smart phone, said the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC). AB 1708, a bill authored by Assemblyman Gatto, will give drivers the option to show proof of financial responsibility electronically using a mobile electronic device.
“Governor Brown just brought proof of coverage into the 21st Century by signing AB 1708,” said Armand Feliciano. “California has long been known as ground zero for innovation and development of high tech products. Now policyholders can use their technology to show they carry auto insurance and avoid unnecessary fix-it tickets and a time-consuming trip to the court house. Under this bill, drivers will have a choice to use their smart phone or that little piece of paper in the glove box to demonstrate they are following the law and carrying auto insurance.”
AB 1708 is not a mandate for motorists or insurers. The bill simply provides motorists the flexibility to receive their insurance identification card electronically in lieu of a paper copy. Insurers will have the choice to offer ID cards electronically or in a paper copy to their customers. Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota all approved legislation in 2012 to modernize their laws to allow electronic proof of coverage. Alabama and Colorado authorized use of mobile electronic devices through regulations.
“Electronic proof of coverage is the wave of the future given how prevalent smart phones have become. Policyholders want to go ’green,’ but without a change in the law, insurers are still required to send paper ID cards to each customer,” said Alex Hageli, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America director, personal lines policy. “Several insurers already offer apps or will email copies of policies to consumers. Hopefully more states will follow in California’s footsteps in 2013 and modernize their proof of coverage laws.”
AB 1708 received strong bipartisan support throughout the legislative process. The California State Assembly voted 78 to1 to approve AB 1708. The California State Senate approved AB 1708 on a 36 to 0 vote.