Will New California Law Increase Insured Driving?

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  • Over the past several years, the number of people across the country driving around who do not have car insurance has been a major issue, because this group generally leads to higher coverage costs for those who do have insurance. Now, a controversial law in California may change that issue for residents, though whether it’s for the better remains to be seen. In the meantime, insurance agents may need to do a little bit more to explain to their clients what kind of impact uninsured drivers will have on premiums for everyone else.

    A new law in California that took effect at the start of the year is expected to make roughly 1.4 million illegal immigrants eligible for special drivers’ licenses, according to a repot from the Los Angeles Times. However, some people are concerned about the impact that this kind of allowance will have on rates of uninsured driving, because it’s possible that many of these people – most of whom are migrant workers – might get a license but not carry coverage.

    “I expect the vast majority are going to get covered,” Assemblyman Luis Alejo, a Democrat representing Watsonville who wrote the bill in question, told the newspaper.

    What’s being done?
    To counter this potential for higher rates of uninsured driving, the state is also rolling out a low-cost auto coverage plan for which many of these immigrants may likewise be eligible, the report said. Many of them are likely to be driving already, both unlicensed and uninsured, so getting them on the books by any means necessary could end up being a positive step for the state and its licensed drivers. Today, about 16 percent of people with licenses in the state already don’t have auto insurance.

    The more insurance agents can do to help their clients understand why they pay what they do for their coverage, the better off they’re likely to be in terms of keeping those people satisfied when rates do occasionally rise. The fact is that consumers have generally been proven to be okay with paying a little more for their auto or home insurance plans if they can also count on receiving high-quality customer service. For this reason, a focus on building a strong relationship may be key to agents who want to keep their retention and satisfaction rates as high as possible.

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