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Pay by the Mile Car Insurance

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner released regulations permitting mileage verification for pay-as-you-drive – car insurance by the mile. Apparently, the goal of paying as you go would be to get people thinking about how many miles they are putting on their cars, which will lead them to drive less.

I’m not sure who is writing these policies. Spokesmen for State Farm, Allstate and Progressive said they are considering, but have not decided, the issue of whether to offer this type of insurance coverage in California.

As an auto accident lawyer, I’m a little concerned about the coverage issues that would ensue. For example, in Texas, you can buy insurance in bundles of miles driven. In other words, your policy says, “You are covered for 3,000 miles of driving.”

But this requires drivers to keep score. People keep score poorly. Then their insurance lapses. The result is a lot of uninsured motorists on the road. We already have too many uninsured drivers in Maryland. So unless there is a plan to make sure coverage is maintained, this well-intentioned plan could cause more harm than good.