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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 19:07

Oklahoma Commissioner Backs Temporary Insurance Plan for Uninsured Drivers

A pair of legislative proposals would allow Oklahoma law enforcement officers to remove the tags of uninsured vehicles and create a temporary insurance plan for them. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak announced the bills on Feb. 5 at the State Capitol.

“We simply cannot afford uninsured driving in our state any longer,” said Doak. “Not only does it raise auto insurance rates for all Oklahomans, but if an uninsured driver hits your car, the costs could cripple you financially. We must put an end to this serious problem.”

The legislative proposals include Senate Bill 701, authored by Sen. David Holt, R–Oklahoma City and House Bill 1792, authored by Rep. Mike Christian, R–Oklahoma City.

The similar bills allow law enforcement officers to remove the tag from the uninsured vehicle. It would be replaced with a temporary sticker.

The proposal also includes an administrative fee that provides temporary insurance coverage for the stickered vehicles. Once the offender pays the required fees and fines and purchases insurance, his or her tag will be returned.

“Unfortunately, right now, the fine for driving uninsured is less than the cost of insurance,” said Doak. He also announced the formation of the Coalition Against Uninsured Drivers (CAUD). Its members include AAA, Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Safety Council and Oklahoma Trucking Association.

Around 25% of Oklahoma motorists are uninsured, according to Chuck Mai, Oklahoma AAA Vice President. An evaluation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department found that approximately 563,692 vehicles in Oklahoma are uninsured, resulting in an $8.8 million dollar loss for the state’s General Revenue Fund and Police and Firefighter Pension Funds.

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