Texas Assigned Risk Revs Up Online

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By Mark E. Ruquet

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NU Online News Service, Dec. 3, 3:32 p.m. EST?The Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association said almost 30percent of its applications have come over the Internet since itimplemented an online process close to two months ago.

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The TAIPA acts as an assigned risk program for the state'sdrivers who cannot obtain insurance through the traditionalinsurance market. All carriers writing automobile insurance inTexas are a part of the plan.[@@]

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The procedure, dubbed the Electronic Application Submissioninterface procedure, gives agents the opportunity through theassociation's Web site to submit an application and obtaininsurance for customers. The form can later be printed for theapplicant's signature. The system also allows for the printing ofan authorized binder that the agent can give to the applicant.

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The association said in November alone, 28 percent ofapplications filed with TAIPA were through the new process, whichwas submitted by 419 agents.

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In a statement, Jon Smanz, chairman of TAIPA's governingcommittee, said that 86 percent of the applicants walk out of anagent's office with a binder in hand. He predicted that more agentswould use the system in the future. In the case of the other 14percent, said Jerry Johns, a spokesman for TAIPA, the agents do notobtain the applicant's binder over the Internet, but use otherprocedures, either fax or mail.

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