There is evidence that insurance agents are trying to make doing business with them a little easier, especially when it comes to buying automobile insurance.
As the Feb. 13 deadline approaches for all motorists to have minimum liability coverage, one agency said it would probably waive the requirement that vehicles be certified as roadworthy by a mechanic, at the owners' expense.
Jim Tunick who owns Theodore Tunick and Company, said Wednesday that "this is a practice that was used in the past for older vehicles, specifically vehicles over five to seven years."
Given the many drivers seeking insurance coverage and the hassle the inspection is creating, he said, all insurance carriers used by his company will waive the requirement.
"The same thing may happen to the physician certificate required of older drivers," Tunick said.
There are indications also that the past requirement that motorists buying
insurance coverage obtain and present a police record of their driving history will
be dropped. Tunick, for one, said his company accepts a statement from the motorist instead.
"We don’t require [a driving record] in any event because we can have the insured sign a document certifying that he does not have any tickets. We can accept that
in lieu of the driving records."
Theodore Tunick and Company's policy is not necessarily that of other agencies. Several insurance industry sources acknowledge, however, that competition for auto insurance business will help determine what policies will prevail.
The territory’s insurance commissioner, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II, will meet Thursday with representatives of the insurance industry to talk about what will be required of motorists and other issues relating to the mandatory insurance requirement.
Several details must be ironed out, he said.
"The police commissioner as well as members of the insurance companies will get together with us to discuss the issues relating to mandatory insurance," James said "As it goes into effect, there will be some areas requiring fine tuning to do along the way before we can say it is easy to manage."
Meanwhile, Sen. Roosevelt David, who sponsored the legislation, appeared before the St. Thomas Rotary Club Wednesday to push for the mandatory insurance law to take effect as planned on Feb. 13.
When the legislature meets Thursday, there may be an effort to force a vote on repealing or amending the law. David appeared confident, though, that there were enough votes to defeat any such attempt.
"I am sure all sorts of antics will come forward, but I believe our prudent lawmakers will understand that we cannot continue to have our community at risk. I do not believe that attempt will go anywhere," he said.
Senator Alicia "Chucky" Hansen Wednesday circulated a draft amendment to her colleagues that would postpone the effective date of the compulsory automobile liability insurance law by 180 days. It was not clear when Hansen would attempt to move the amendment.


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