States across the country have been looking for ways to crack down on the rates of people driving without auto insurance for some time, and Tennessee recently arrived at one of the more extreme efforts in this regard. Starting just a few days ago, people who get into accidents or are pulled over, and do not have insurance, may be subject to fines and even arrest. It seems that someone was recently charged under the latter rule, making him the first person in the state to have this happen. These new rules – regardless of where a person lives – are something that insurance agents will have to keep track of, so that they can better educate their clients going forward.
Jeffery Alan Holcomb, a man who allegedly got into a minor accident in a gas station parking lot on Monday, July 6, became the first man in Tennessee to be arrested and charged with driving without auto insurance, according to a report from the Sweetwater Advocate and Democrat. Travis Wilson, the owner of the other car in the accident, told police that around 4:30 p.m., a man in a green Buick with a missing passenger window covered by a sheet of plastic hit his truck then drove off.
What happened next?
About 30 minutes later, there were reports of such a car driving down Highway 68 in a manner that seemed to indicate the driver was impaired, the report said. Police stopped the Buick, driven by Holcomb, and found that he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, and that his license had been revoked. Holcomb was driving but did not own the car, but the passenger who allowed him to drive was the owner. In the end, Holcomb admitted to being the driver in the hit-and-run, saying he left the scene because his license was already revoked, and was charged with driving on a revoked license (second offense), failure to render aid and give information, and not having insurance.
What about the charges?
The last of these carries a penalty of fines for as much as $300 if he is convicted, the report said. However, that charge is not considered to be anything more than a standard traffic offense. The new state law would have also allowed police to tow and potentially even impound the car used in the no-insurance case. However, that extra step was not taken in this case.
Changing state laws and other issues related to auto insurance often arise over the course of time, and as such, insurance agents will likely need to make sure they’re always able to reach out and educate their clients about these things. The more that can be done in this regard, the better off both parties are likely to be. That’s because consumers tend to be happier with their coverage overall when they’re kept informed and have a good relationship with their agent or insurer in general. That, in turn, typically translates to higher customer satisfaction ratings and client retention rates as well.