Schroeder sheds light on digital display of proof of insurance
White Bear Lake, MN
White Bear Lake, Mn. - As Wisconsin has now joined the ranks of 24 other states, including Minnesota, in allowing display of digital proof of insurance to law enforcement personnel, St. Paul area attorney Rick Schroeder recognizes the need for more consumer information.
"We've all seen the commercials for storing your auto insurance card on your smartphone. For my clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin, this is great news. Finally, you don't have to worry about whether the card in your wallet is there, or current, "Schroeder said.
Major auto insurance companies provide the smartphone service through an app and as of early 2014, 25 states permit this as a legitimate form of showing proof of insurance.
"However, with every innovation comes some pause for consideration. Before you leave your cards at home or inform the company you no longer need them, apply common sense to your driving situations" Schroeder advised.
- People who travel to any of the 25 states that DO NOT permit digital proof, should carry the paper card.
- If the phone is lost or stolen, immediate access to proof of insurance is too.
- If there are multiple drivers in the family, some may still prefer cards to carry in their wallets. Ask each member his/her preference.
"Because we now live in an age where we know our personal information is less private than ever before, accept no guarantees that personal information attached to your account via this app is secure. Read the fine print," Schroeder said.
According to Schroeder, it is important for persons who opt to go with the digital proof of insurance and drive in multiple states to also know each state's laws around this measure. For instance, in Wisconsin, law enforcement can only use the phone to obtain information about the driver's insurance.
"Other states may not have created that firewall, leaving a phone open for a broader search, if it is offered to the officer in lieu of a paper card. If you have any doubt or concern about this, opt to carry the card just as you've always done," Schroeder concluded.
Richard Schroeder is managing partner of The Law Offices of Schroeder and Mandel, PA, and helps clients navigate the complex world of insurance claims.