Under a proposal introduced to the Texas Legislature in February, uninsured drivers would be barred from collecting noneconomic damages when they are injured in a crash.
Under the bill, HB 1774, uninsured drivers could still get compensation for injuries and property damages after a crash, but they would not be eligible for compensation for things like pain and suffering damages. Termed “no pay, no play” in the industry, such laws are meant to provide a disincentive for motorists to get on the road without insurance.
HB 1774 was referred early last month to the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, where it still sits.
An Insurance Research Council (IRC) study on “no pay, no play” showed that, along with the various fees and penalties for driving without coverage, such laws could curb the rate of uninsured motorists; the study found that a state’s uninsured motorist rate can drop as much as 1.6 percent after “no pay, no play” laws go into effect.
“No pay, no play” laws exist in the following states:
According to IRC data from 2009, the rate of motorists lacking insurance in Texas is nearly 15 percent, above the nearly 14 percent nationwide average for that year.
Oklahoma, the latest state to enact “no pay, no play,” is even looking to strengthen its law. Though current law for the Sooner State prohibits an uninsured driver from compensation for noneconomic damages, awards for property damages and medical and wage losses are still fair game.
Oklahoma’s SB 691 would nix any type of award for an uninsured motorist, stating that “no recovery for any damages arising from a motor vehicle accident [could be] claimed by” an uninsured motorist suing another driver in court.
The bill passed its first House committee earlier this month after clearing the entire Senate last month by a 31-9 vote.