American consumers hardly need more reasons to get a new cell phone; the devices are already handy in nearly every walk of life. Still, several states are moving forward with plans that would make cell phones useful for one more thing: showing proof of insurance. If legislators in California, Idaho, and Arizona get their way, those flimsy paper insurance cards drivers carry in their wallets may soon be a thing of the past.
Instead, drivers will be able to pull up a copy of the card on their smart phones and show that to a law enforcement officer asking to see proof that the driver has insurance as mandated by state law in many places around the country. Some might question how drivers will end up with such a document on their phone to begin with, but at least two methods are possible. Insurance companies could begin emailing proof of insurance to consumers; in that case, drivers would need to be able to access their email on their phones. Alternatively, some insurance providers might develop specialized apps that would display a driver’s current proof of insurance.
In either case, drivers who want to take advantage of these laws, should they pass in their respective states, will need to acquire not just a feature phone used primarily for voice calls, but also a more advanced smart phone. Those who upgrade to a new handset should be sure to investigate cell phone recycling so they can be sure their old phone will not end up in a landfill where it will contribute to pollution problems.