Friday’s Post 11/18/11 – A new car insurance law started on November 1, 2011 will make life a lot more uncomfortable for those motorists without auto insurance in the state of Oklahoma . Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of drivers without insurance, which now stands at 25 percent of the driving population, almost twice the national average of 14 percent of all motorists. The new auto insurance law will bar an uninsured driver from receiving damages for suffering caused by an auto accident. They will, however, still be eligible for receiving economic damages for things such as loss of income resulting from hospitalization after an accident, property damages and medical costs. Bottom Line, uninsured motorists with not be able to benefit from “Pain & Suffering”. Oklahoma is not alone in introducing the new legislation, and several other states in the country have implemented similar laws recently.
The new auto insurance law is aimed at discouraging motorists from driving without insurance by reducing the benefits that were earlier guaranteed even for uninsured drivers. Auto insurance is a legal requirement in the state. The Oklahoma auto insurance commissioner, assented to the proposed changes that saw the new law passed in May of this year. Farmers Insurance Executive Director says that the new law will encourage more motorists in the state to get insurance and comply with legal requirements of the state. Personally, I don’t feel this will happen. Those whom drive their cars without auto insurance coverage, do so because they can’t afford to buy the coverage. Being excluded from their right to sue for Pain & Suffering is not going to encourage a change in behavior. Further; many attorneys will most likely find the new law unconstitutional.
Not everybody, however, supports the new law. Its critics term it as ‘punitive’ and point out that motorist who drive without insurance are forced to do so due to the high cost of insurance. They say that the new law will only end up hurting poor motorists who cannot afford insurance. They add that a reduction in the cost of auto insurance would have been a more welcome move. The laws of Oklahoma require all motorists in the state to have a minimum auto insurance policy that provides damages amounting to $25,000 for the death or injury of one person, $50,000 for the death or injury of two or more people and $25,000 for property damage. If you are a motorist in Oklahoma and are currently driving without auto insurance coverage; please give us a call at (800) 807-0762.