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Idaho Senate Passes Insurance Bill

Have you ever been pulled over in a traffic stop and then fumbled through your glovebox, only to realize you didn’t have a proof of insurance card with you?

The Idaho state Legislature is working on a solution to this issue in the form of a new bill passed Tuesday in the Senate that would allow drivers to use electronic insurance verification.

Senate Bill 1319 passed unanimously in the state Senate, and now it’s on to the House.

Insurance companies seem to support it.

In fact, Progressive Insurance sent Local News 8 an email Wednesday, saying, “This bill would make life easier for both consumers and law enforcement.”

Reporter Jessica Crandall caught up with insurance agent Reese Shurtliff Wednesday right after he hung up with lawmaker Erick Simpson.

They were discussing the new insurance bill.

“There’s obviously broad support for it in the Legislature. There’s not really any downside to it,” said Shurtliff.

When an officer pulls over a driver, that officer can immediately check for a valid driver’s license electronically. Shurtliff said a similar electronic insurance database could be a reality for police officers if the bill makes it into law.

So hypothetically, if your insurance card expires and you forget to change it out, you would no longer have to rush down to the Department of Motor Vehicles to prove insurance coverage following a traffic stop.

“From what I understand, those days would be gone because they could just pull it off the database,” said Shurtliff.

That’s not the only thing that could be avoided. Shurtliff said it will cut down on fraud.

“It will probably encourage people to buy more insurance, which is great for us. For people out there driving, you’re less likely to get hit by an uninsured motorist,” said Shurtliff.

Bonneville County Capt. Sam Hulse made this statement, “We support anything that streamlines the process and makes our job more accurate.”

The bill should move on to the House for its vote by next week.

If you would like to read the exact wording of it for yourself, click here.

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