The Zebra Newsroom

State driving law developments roundup

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Here’s a list of states that have updated or have been talking about making changes in driving legislations in the past year: 

 

Florida
Florida announced in October that the Florida Chamber of Commerce plans to reform or replace the state’s no-fault auto insurance system in 2021. 


Idaho
Effective January 1, 2021, the Idaho Distracted Driving Law fines drivers on their phones. The first offense is a $75 fine, two offenses in three years is a $150 fine and a potential auto insurance rate change, and three offenses in three years is a $300 fine and potential 90-day license suspension. This new law requires all devices to be in hands-free mode even at stop signs and red lights. Auto insurance providers are also allowed to consider violations when establishing rates when drivers violate the law twice in three years. 


Louisiana
Passed in June 2020 and effective January 1, 2021, Louisiana will be enforcing tougher rules to win auto accident damage awards in an effort to address the runaway auto insurance claims environment by ultimately lowering the state’s insurance premiums. Aimed to shrink the number of lawsuits filed after car wrecks across the state and make it more difficult for those lawsuits to be successful, this “tort reform” will force jury trials more frequently, allow seat belt usage as evidence, limit mentions of insurance coverage during trial and cap certain medical expenses.


Michigan
The state announced that drivers can now choose how much PIP medical coverage they want to purchase for policies issued or renewed after July 2020. This new law also prohibits auto insurance companies from using certain non-driving factors such as sex, marital status, home ownership status, credit score, education level, occupation and ZIP code.  


Texas
In January, Tesla received the green light to sell auto insurance in Texas. The company will be underwriting claims through Redpoint County Mutual Insurance, an Austin-based MGA that also underwrites for Go Insurance and Cover Financial. Tesla partnered with Markel subsidiary State National and rolled out the auto insurance program first in Palo Alto, CA in August 2019. 


Washington
The state Insurance Commissioner offered a legislative proposal to ban the use of credit information in underwriting and rate-setting for auto, homeowners, renters and life insurance.

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