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State OKs New Auto Policy 'Points' Rules

October 08, 1998|Liz Pulliam

State regulators have approved rules that will make it easier for auto insurance companies to drop motorists for traffic violations. The new regulations change the way insurers can weigh "points" that result from speeding tickets and accidents. Currently insurance companies can decide not to renew a motorist who accumulates three points in three years if two of the three points are earned in the previous 12 months. The new rules, approved by the Office of Administrative Law to go into effect next month, eliminate the 12-month requirement. The weight of certain alcohol-related offenses would also be increased. Having an open container of alcohol or being a minor in possession of alcohol becomes a two-point violation that could result in immediate insurance cancellation for motorists who do not have good-driver discounts. The Department of Insurance and Mothers Against Drunk Driving say the new regulations will punish irresponsible drivers. Consumer advocates protested that more than a million motorists could soon find it difficult to obtain reasonably priced insurance.

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