Monday, February 21, 2011

Group Pushes Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance Bill

A bill currently in the Washington State Legislature would allow insurance companies to offer Pay-As-You Drive Insurance. So what is Pay-As-You Drive Insurance? It's the idea that motorists should be able to pay for their insurance based upon the amount of miles they drive.

The Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC) is pushing for this bill, as they believe it will encourage alternative forms of transportation besides driving alone. That's because if your car is sitting at home while you walk, bike and ride the bus to get around, the chances of you getting in a car accident are minuscule. Plus you would pay a lot less for insurance if you're not driving your car.

In addition, TCC says mileage based insurance reduces congestion, air, water and climate pollution, promotes environmental stewardship, and makes auto insurance more equitable. According to them, the average driver that switches to mileage based insurance is expected to reduce their annual miles driven, crashes and insurance costs by at least 10%.

Here is more information on the bill. And if you would like to show support for it, TCC asks you to click here and fill in your zip code so they can send a letter on your behalf to your local representative.


Rachel said...

That is great!
I drive maybe 200 miles a month during the winter and less in the summer. I would save so much money!

SRTC Staff said...

I would too! And maybe it would help the folks who are driving around without insurance because they can't afford a blanket insurance policy?

Not said...

It would be a step in the right direction. However, I think it would be even more useful to bundle insurance with the purchase of gasoline (and diesel.) This means that everyone that buys those fuels is insured - no more uninsured drivers. It also means that vehicles with better fuel mileage get a discount on insurance, and drivers that speed automatically pay more, since fuel consumption rises at higher speeds.

Here are the first two problems with my plan:
1. Electric vehicles get a free ride. If we want to encourage electric vehicle adoption, then this is a benefit.
2. It would need to be adopted on a Federal level, to prevent (for instance) Spokane residents from driving to Post Falls to buy the cheaper, insurance-free gas.

- Ventura

SRTC Staff said...

You raise some interesting points Ventura. Literally buying insurance at the gas pump has been discussed by lawmakers in the past, so its not out of left field. The hard part would be doing it on a federal level, but you're right, that is what would need to be done. Already, people are making trips to the state line to buy liquor and cigarettes, so they might as well fill up while there. Throw in insurance added to your gas bill though and there would be folks making a weekly pilgrimage instead of monthly.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.