New bill stabilizes military auto insurance program

Members of the military would be allowed to keep their auto insurance policies when they are transferred across the country under new legislation in the House.

Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the bipartisan Servicemembers Insurance Relief Act this week to ease the burden on military families when they are forced to relocate.

“Members of the military must change auto insurance policies with every move across state lines, and the Servicemembers Insurance Relief Act eliminates that cumbersome requirement for our brave men and women in uniform,” Royce, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation makes a simple but meaningful change to current law that will lessen the burden on servicemembers and their families during times of transition.”

The nation's auto insurance system is based on a state-by-state model that requires drivers to sign up for new policies every time they move across state lines. But the Servicemembers Insurance Relief Act would provide an exemption to this rule for military members who relocate for work. 

“Members of our military serve around the globe and make enormous sacrifices while doing so. As they move their families around the country, we should be doing everything within our power to allow them to do their jobs to the best of their ability," Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and current member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. "The Servicemembers Insurance Relief Act is an important step in that direction.”

The bill introduced Monday has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee. It has already garnered some support from USAA, a company that provides auto insurance polices to members of the military.

“The hassle and confusion of changing auto insurance every time they move to a new state is one burden they don’t need," said Brian Conklin, vice president of federal government relations at USAA. "This bill would let servicemembers choose a single policy that could follow them throughout their military career."