The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has announced that non-compliance notices will be mailed to uninsured vehicle owners as early as Spring. The notice will serve as a warning to those driving without insurance, stating that the situation must be rectified immediately. The notice will detail the potential fines for driving without insurance and warn repeat offenders that their licenses may be suspended.
The non-compliance notices are being sent out as part of the 79th Legislature’s TexasSure Uninsured Motorists Verification program. According to the law, insurers must submit their active policyholder information to the state, comparing the submitted Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) to the VINs in the TxDMV’s registered vehicle database. Insurer VINs were successfully matched to the vehicle registration database in 99 percent of cases.
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One in Four are Uninsured
While the Texas Department of Insurance will not release specific figures, it is estimated that one out of every four vehicles on Texas roads is currently uninsured. DPS officers and all 254 county tax offices were given access to the TexasSure program in June 2008. The show was a huge success right away. “Motorists have overwhelmingly embraced the TexasSure database, especially given its 99 percent success rate in matching vehicles to insurance coverage,” said Rebecca Davio, Director of Vehicle Titles and Registration for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. “It’s proving to be a fantastic resource for locating those who are uninsured.”
The one percent of policyholders whose insurer reported coverage but whose VIN could not match current vehicle registration are receiving notices now.
Ongoing Monitoring of Uninsured Vehicles
“Texas insurance agents and citizens have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Christine Huddleston, President of the Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas, says (AIAT). The AIAT was instrumental in getting the TexasSure program passed and implemented.
The system has been praised by law enforcement across our state, who appreciate the ability to check whether a vehicle is insured simply by running its license plate number.
However, preventing uninsured drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place has always been a top priority for us. These notices will act as a proactive measure to reduce the number of uninsured drivers, and we applaud the TDI’s efforts in bringing us to this point.
Non-compliance notices will begin in the spring of 2010, according to TDI. All registered vehicles will be tracked continuously to ensure that they are adequately insured. A letter of non-compliance will be mailed to the registered owner after a vehicle has been listed as uninsured for nine (9) weeks.
Insurance Agents, Are You Ready to Handle the New Business?
“Agents must be well-prepared. It’ll be like the 1980s all over again, “GAINSCO Auto Insurance Territory Manager Mary Ann Hooten says. When the mandatory insurance law was first passed in Texas in 1982, Mary Ann worked for an insurance agency. “Every night until midnight, our phones rang nonstop. Even though the phones were ringing, we had to turn them off at night because we couldn’t handle any more business.”
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