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New coverage laws in Florida, licenses for undocumented immigrants in Illinois, closed Superstorm Sandy claims in New York and allegations of insurers placing a higher value on customers' education and income than on their driver records. The following summary sheet wraps up some of the most significant auto insurance news developments in January 2013:
  • A handful of new car insurance laws took effect on the first of the year. Florida coverage laws changed dramatically, Californians can now verify coverage legally by showing electronic proof on a smartphone or tablet and state officials in Alabama and Montana are now making full use of insurance verification systems set up there.

  • New York regulators updated their public report card for insurers handling claims from Superstorm Sandy. About 80 percent of the more than 385,000 claims filed with the state's largest insurers had been closed by Jan. 23.

  • Illinois passed a law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain limited driver's licenses, which will hopefully make streets safer by helping them get properly prepared for being on the road and providing an easier path for them to obtain auto insurance for their vehicles.

  • The Insurance Information Institute and the Consumer Federation of America butted heads once again after the latter released a study alleging that insurers' pricing models place a higher priority on income and education over a motorist's actual driving record.

  • A new survey released by J.D. Power and Associates indicated drivers filing insurance claims in the fourth quarter of 2012 were slightly more satisfied than drivers who filed claims in the fourth quarter of 2011. The survey showed the average time it took to settle a claim fell 2.5 days between the two survey periods.

  • A wave of new insurance-related legislation began to roll out in the first month of 2013. New Jerseyans want to see "reverse rate evasion" made a crime, and Ohio and Wyoming lawmakers want their drivers to be able to verify coverage electronically instead of having to use physical insurance cards.
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