The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 22, 2013

Your View: No pay, no play

MALVERN, Pa. — As the Legislature seeks to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 339, which was designed to reduce the number of uninsured motorists, it may be worth considering the positive effects of similar laws.

A new study from the Insurance Research Council indicates that “no-pay, no-play” laws not only help to reduce the number of uninsured motorists, but they can also reduce auto insurance costs.

No-pay, no-play laws are based on the simple concept that if a driver does not buy insurance they should not receive all of the benefits that the auto insurance system provides to drivers who do purchase insurance.

While uninsured drivers are still compensated for medical costs and wage loss following an accident with an insured, at-fault driver, they are not able to collect noneconomic damages.

This approach encourages all drivers to carry car insurance.

According to our most recent estimates, about 1 in 7 Missouri drivers (13.7 percent) are uninsured, and the number has been growing.

We also estimate that about $12 million was paid to compensate uninsured drivers for noneconomic losses in 2012.

This directly affects insured drivers through the premiums they pay for uninsured motorist coverage.

The Legislature passed House Bill 339 with the hope of reducing the number of uninsured motorists.

Our findings suggest that a properly enforced no-pay, no-play law in Missouri could help reduce the number of uninsured drivers and reduce auto insurance costs for insured drivers in the state.

Patrick Schmid

director of research

The Insurance Research Council

Malvern, Pa.

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