State leaders have tired of the old trick of a driver buying insurance in order to get a proof of insurance card, and then canceling the policy. That is why they are making all insurance companies send in their "Full Book of Business" each month. This way the state knows who kept and who canceled their insurance and whether a motorist they pulled over is covered. Insurance companies must comply with this law or face their own punishment from the state.
Kentucky is not the only state requiring this reporting. Georgia began using a computer system to instantly check whether motorists had car insurance. The state reported this week the number of uninsured motorists on the road dropped from 22 percent two years ago, to about 2 percent today.
Going without auto insurance is a risk you do not want to take in Kentucky. But if the cost of insurance is a concern, here are a few tips that can help you reduce the price:
If your car is older and has a low resale value, you can decline purchasing collision insurance, and opt for liability insurance only.
To reduce the cost of annual premium to buy a policy, choose a higher deductible; meaning you will to pay more out of your own pocket should you cause an accident.
Insurance companies usually offer discounts to customers that insure all of their vehicles with the same company. And discounts are usually provided for auto insurance if you have purchased homeowner's insurance or some other insurance policies from the same company.
The price to insure certain cars and trucks with more safety features is lower, and make sure to ask about discounts for airbags, automatic seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, and other safety features.
Some companies offer discounts for lifestyle habits such as those for non-smokers, non-drinkers, good students, or children at school away from home.
Insurance rates can be lower for those with good driving records, for completing courses in drivers education and defensive driving, or demonstrating that you drive a short distance to work.
And a change in age or marital circumstances can mean lower rates. Some companies offer discounts to drivers over age 50, retirees, female drivers ages 30 to 64 who are the sole drivers in their households, or married men under 30.
Kentucky law has required motorists have insurance for nearly 20 years, but it is making it a point to end the "free ride" for those who have ignored the law. With this new lightning quick way of tracking down those without insurance, you can bet the state is serious about taking uninsured drivers off the road. If you want keep driving in Kentucky, make sure your name is on the list when they check it twice.
Orysia K. Meyers is Nationwide Insurance Regional Vice President for the South Central Region, which includes Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.