You may have seen a certain insurance company’s a commercial – the one with their little “spokes-pig” showing a police officer his proof of insurance on a cell phone. While this may work in some states, it’s not legal in Ohio – yet. The Columbus Dispatch reports that “A proposed change to state law would allow drivers to show proof of insurance on digital devices, including cellphones, laptops and tablets.”
House Bill 20, sponsored by Representative Michael Stinziano, proposes changes to Ohio’s financial-responsibility law. It would allow drivers to either show their traditional paper proof of insurance document, or a digital version generated by their insurance company and shown on an approved electronic device. The “digital display of text or images” on approved devices would be accepted by law-enforcement officers, traffic-violations bureaus and courts.
Many drivers would undoubtedly object to a police officer thumbing through their phone or tablet. The bill is clear on this topic, stating, “only the evidence of financial responsibility displayed on the device shall be viewed . . . for the purposes of obtaining proof of financial responsibility.”
We all know how expensive these devices can be, so hand them over at your own risk. Within the language of a bill is a provision that states if the device is dropped or otherwise damaged you are responsible, unless the officer or official “purposely, knowingly, or recklessly commits an action that results in damage to the device.”
As more and more companies and consumers push for paperless solutions, legislators have moved to adapt. In the future, if you’re involved in an accident, you may simply be able to pull out your cell phone. But for now, make sure you have your insurance card.
You can read the bill in its entirety – the new proposals are underlined.
“Insurance card? It’s on my cell,” by Rick Rouan, The Coulumbus Dispatch, June 13, 2013.