Just because you saw the pig on the Geico commercial get pulled over by a police officer and hand over his smartphone as proof of insurance, doesn't mean that everyone is riding the wave of the future. In fact, it's a smart idea to hold onto your paper insurance card, since most states won't even accept electronic proof of insurance yet.
Currently, only 11 states have laws that expressly approve the use of electronic proof of insurance including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wyoming. Colorado also allows e-cards for registration, but not for police pull-overs. Other states, including Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin have pending legislation on whether to allow electronic insurance cards, while the governors of Kansas and Indiana are expected to sign legislation.
The idea of electronic insurance also complicates privacy rights. For example, if you hand a police officer your phone do they have the right to look through it? Or how can an officer tell if your insurance card is real or just an elaborate fake? Nevertheless, some experts argue that use of electronic insurance cards is more convenient for consumers and that it could help to reduce the time spent by courts addressing tickets that were issued simply because a driver forgot to put the newest paper card in their wallets, was ticketed, and then later proved they were up to date with their coverage. What do you think?
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.