Ohio joins 37 other states with digital proof of insurance law

Ohio will join 37 other state Monday when it begins allowing motorists to show digital copies of their proof of auto insurance to law enforcement.

Drivers will be able to show law enforcement officers their proof of financial responsibility via a cellphone, laptop, tablet or other some other electronic wireless device.

E-insurance cards are part of a continuing trend for states to update and upgrade their insurance laws.

Sen. Edna Brown, D-Toledo, was the bill’s primary sponsor. In a statement after the bill passed in the Senate last summer, Brown said it “embraces new technology in a positive way.”

“According to the Ohio Telecom Association, half of all wireless customers in Ohio carry a smartphone,” she said. “While printed insurance cards are still valid, this additional electronic option follows Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles compliance standards and provides additional convenience for Ohio drivers.”

Gov. John Kasich signed the bill into law this past December, and the new e-card proof can also be shown when motorists renew their license or for court appearances.

While 38 states, as of Monday, will permit showing proof of insurance via digital means, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America indicates that in 2011 no law existed permitting drivers to use their cellphones to show proof of insurance.

Portman’s Obamacare anniversary comments

The controversial Affordable Healthcare Act that was signed into law five years ago this Monday, prompted Ohio’s junior senator to reflect on the bill, and calling for its repeal and replacement with a “patient-centered and consumer-driven that decreases costs and increases access to quality care.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said after five years, “it’s abundantly clear that this law isn’t working,” and it can’t be fixed “through ad hoc executive orders and administrative actions.”

“Obamacare continues to make insurance more expensive and jobs harder to find,” he said. “Millions of Americans have lost their health insurance or their doctor, and millions more have seen their premiums and deductibles skyrocket.”

Portman said the controversy “is the predictable result of forcing a partisan piece of legislation through Congress without amendments, proper consideration, or bipartisan input.”

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