Insurance agents appear to be trying to make doing business with them a little easier when it comes to buying automobile insurance.
As the Feb. 13 deadline approaches for motorists to acquire minimum liability coverage, one agency said it was likely the requirement would be waived that vehicles be certified as roadworthy by a mechanic at the owners' expense. Jim Tunick, who owns Theodore Tunick and Co., said Wednesday, "This is a practice that was used in the past for older vehicles, specifically, vehicles over five to seven years."
Given the large volume of people seeking insurance coverage and the hassle the inspection is creating for the public, he said, all insurance carriers used by his company will do away with the requirement to make it easier for the public.
"The same thing may happen to the physician certificate required of older drivers," he said.
There are indications, too, that the former requirement that motorists buying insurance coverage obtain and present a police record of their driving history will be dropped. Tunick said his company will accept the statement of the motorist.
At his company, "We don’t require those in any event," he said, "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."
Several insurance industry sources said that competition for auto customers will help determine what policies prevail.
Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II, as the territory’s insurance commissioner, has called a meeting Thursday with the police commissioner and representatives of the insurance industry to talk about motorist requirements and other issues relating to the new insurance law. As it goes into effect, he said, "there will be some areas requiring fine tuning."
Sen. Roosevelt David, who sponsored the legislation, supported the move in an address at the weekly luncheon meeting of the St. Thomas Rotary Club Wednesday.
When the 23rd Legislature meets in session Thursday, efforts may be made to force a vote on repealing or amending the law. David said there should be enough votes to defeat any such move. While anticipating "all sorts of antics," he said, "I believe our prudent lawmakers will understand that we cannot continue to have our community at risk."
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen circulated a draft amendment to her colleagues Wednesday that would postpone the effective date for compulsory insurance for 180 days.


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