West Virginia Insurance Verification Program Update

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Aug 17, 2011 in Car Accidents

There are a couple of automatic responses when you get into a car accident . The first is to check to see if everyone is okay. The second is to exchange insurance information with the other driver. In West Virginia, though, one in seven drivers is uninsured -- and that can turn a car accident into a nightmare.

According to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, checking to find out which drivers are covered takes a good deal of time. More than a few steps are involved. In an effort to make that process more efficient, and to save insured drivers and the state money, the DMV is implementing the Electronic Insurance Verification Program.

The program has actually been in the works for some time, prompting criticism of the state's progress and skepticism about the state's commitment to the project. The commissioner, however, says the project is well under way.

The program allows the government to verify insurance coverage in a couple of different ways. First, when a driver gets a license plate. It doesn't matter if it's the driver's first license plate or a renewal, the state will double check the driver's insurance status.

Second, law enforcement will have access to the database. Every time a driver is pulled over, the officer will be able to check insurance status instantly.

The state's chosen a vendor that has experience with similar programs in other states. Two states report that the number of uninsured drivers declined by 17 or 18 percent after the program came online.

By law, the state has 18 months to implement the program, and the DMV believes it can make that deadline easily. Much of the information needed from insurance companies is already available to the vendor, so they won't have to start from scratch.

The commissioner says the system will be up by June 1, 2013 at the latest.

Source: Metro News, "Insurance Verification To Change" Aug. 15, 2011

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