July 09, 2013

Consumers can go paperless in Missouri when showing proof of auto insurance

Insurance policies also can be delivered electronically

Jefferson City, Mo. - Missourians can soon go paperless when showing proof that they have auto insurance under a new law signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

House Bill 322, which takes effect Aug. 28, gives consumers the choice to prove that they have auto insurance by displaying their insurance identification card in a paper or electronic format, such as on a smartphone or other portable electronic device.

"Consumers are becoming more dependent on storing their important information on their smartphones or tablets for easier access," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "This law gives consumers the choice of utilizing today's technology when showing proof of auto insurance."

Insurance companies across the country have been providing their policyholders with smartphone apps for nearly four years. Prior to the bill's signing, Missourians had to keep paper auto insurance cards to show proof of insurance when registering their motor vehicles or when stopped by law enforcement officials.

Missouri now becomes one of more than two dozen states that have passed similar legislation. California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Alabama and Arizona passed laws in 2012 for electronically showing proof of auto insurance.

House Bill 322 also gives consumers the choice to have insurance policies, such as a homeowners policy, sent to them electronically.

Huff said consumers will benefit from having electronic copies of their policies that can be easily saved and maintained on a computer flash drive or electronic device. Paper policies still can be mailed to consumers at no extra cost.

Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance can call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit us at insurance.mo.gov.