Why Auto Insurance Is Compulsory in Most States

Those who favor the second alternative propose, with few exceptions, compulsory automobile public liability insurance as the best means of insuring indemnity to those injured through the operation of automobiles. Find cheapest st22 auto insurance rates here. The idea of compelling the owners and operators of automotive vehicles to take out insurance is not new; in many states and municipalities the proprietors of public automobiles, such as busses, taxicabs, etc., have for some time been required to protect members of the public in this manner.

These statutes and ordinances, in some cases, require that the insurance cover also the property damage (liability) hazard, a hazard, however, which is not generally included within the scope of the many laws now proposed for automobiles in general. So rapidly has the demand for compulsory insurance for all automobiles grown, that in spite of the fact that the entire history of the movement dates from after the war, it is reported that legislative measures embodying the general principle have been introduced into the legislatures of 38 or more states. In only one state, Massachusetts, has proposed legislation matured into a real compulsory liability insurance law, although a number of other states have enacted somewhat similar legislation.

The remaining states are watching with a great deal of interest the results of the Massachusetts plan, which is in the nature of an experiment. There is little doubt, however, that compulsory laws of one kind or another will be passed in many of the other states; these states are not so much uncertain of the need for legislation as of the precise kind of law which will best serve the purpose.
It is gratifying that the automobile associations are devoting so much attention to an investigation of the basic principles of safety and responsibility in the operation of motor cars. The automobile is still in its comparatively early days, and, as in the case of the steam railroad and other mechanical inventions, is at times destructive of life and property in this preliminary stage.

Progress was attained in the case of the railroad and factory machinery not by prohibiting the inventions but by minimizing as far as possible their injurious consequences. After years of improvement, railroad accidents were brought down to very small percentages, and in the factory all manner of devices were designed to protect the laborer, while workmen’s compensation and accident insurance reimbursed him if accidents did occur.

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