By on October 19, 2011
Insurance? For moi?  What do you think I am! A jackass?

What’s the most dangerous thing on the road today?

A drunk driver? Some moron who is self-absorbed in his own little texting universe? Maybe an older person who simply doesn’t have what it takes to drive a car anymore?

Not quite.

The most dangerous thing on today’s roads are those folks who fall into these categories and dozens of other high risk behaviors… and don’t carry auto insurance.

Auto insurance is the first thing most car owners will cut out of their budget if they have trouble paying their bills. Food, shelter, health, transportation, and ‘entertainment’ are almost always given priority over the dreary and often expensive ritual practice of paying for auto insurance. Even the most conservative of owners see a good insurance policy as a necessary evil instead of an asset.

As a dealer I definitely consider it is an asset… because it can save your ass. Even if you’re struggling. It’s better to pay monthly and embrace a frugal lifestyle. To have just one accident will send you straight to the courtroom and the poorhouse.

It’s not easy. Every Monday I see the fallout from those who are struggling. In my mailbox will be anywhere from two to four letters from insurance companies stating that one of my customers will soon be running out of insurance or cancelled it.

‘Intent to cancel’ and ‘Notice!’ papers are par for the course. You just make a note of the date of cancellation and do a drill down by calling the customer and informing them that their insurance will expire and that the bank requires it at all times.

The more urgent ones come either in yellow notices or in ‘cancelled’ revisions. Some finance customers will buy insurance for the car as soon as it’s purchased and conveniently cancel it within a few days of the policy. They think that a fast one can be pulled with a simple phone call… and they’re right.

Because as soon as I get that piece of paper they get a personal call from me. If they don’t pay it within 24 hours, the vehicle will no longer be on their driveway. When I have to deal with this same situation three times within a six month period, it’s done.  I get my car back.  No regrets and no more chances.

This line in the sand may sound crass to some of you. But let me ask the Best and Brightest. Would you trust your own automobile with someone who doesn’t have insurance?

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73 Comments on “Hammer Time: Insurance… Optional?...”


  • avatar
    mike978

    Seems like a reasonable business practice. If they have been told before signing that auto insurance is a requirement for buying from you (never mind that it is the law) then no issue. Three times is if anything being generous.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      There was an interesting proposal a few years ago about adding basic liability auto insurance coverage to the price of fuel. A penny a gallon (or whatever the appropriate number was) would be added to gas cost and would provide basic liability coverage to all. If you want comp or collision, that would be up to you to buy. Makes perfect sense — the more you drive, the more you pay.

      Of course, the insurance companies lobbied this to death,

  • avatar

    I’m witnessing the fallout of an insuranceless driver on Twitter, right now, one of the people I follow was just in an accident & their foot was broken in 3 places when someone turned left in front of her and her husband. I would never drive without insurance, unless I wanted to go to prison. That $30-$75/month is priceless, covering multiple drivers on multiple cars, and includes medical for myself & occupants should I get into an accident with the 1 out of 5 irresponsible threats on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      cfclark

      Either we follow some of the same people, or idiots turn in front of people way more than you’d think. (Actually, I think this idiot did have insurance, so maybe it’s the latter.)

      Do not let your insurance lapse in California, ever, given that there are so many drivers on the road with no insurance, no license, and dubious immigration status, in vehicles that may be indifferently maintained at best.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        A coworker of mine was hit by an uninsured motorist of ‘dubious immigration status.’ The accident disabled his car and occured on the 5 freeway, so cops arrived on the scene. The illegal immigrant just said he was Jose Lopez of 123 Main Street and offered no identification. The cops wrote down Jose(maybe it was Juan) Lopez of 123 Main Street and sent him on his way. My coworker with the now totaled BMW said, “Don’t let him go!” “I’ll never see him again!” The cop responded, “That’s why you have insurance.” Imagine how the same cop would have treated an obvious American citizen who gave a fake name and address and no insurance information after causing an accident.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      $75/month or $900 a year is a deal in some areas of the country though…

      Ever hear of anyone paying about $4000k per year insurance? And it was 16 years ago (1995ish), a 19 year old driver, with two speeding tickets, driving a newer Formula 350 Firebird requiring full insurance, in NJ.

      Yeah, we told him to sell the Firebird and by a used P.O.S. Dodge Aspen.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    The short answer,

    Hell no.

    The long answer,

    Hell no as I have insurance and live in a state that requires one to have at minimum, liability insurance AT ALL TIMES to legally drive a vehicle here and usually when someone doesn’t have insurance, they are also more of a risk than usual for some reason.

    I struggle each and every day to make ends meet due to my meager income right now but I ALWAYS make sure my insurance (both auto and rental) are paid up.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    In this lawsuit happy world you have to be nuts to drive unprotected.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Nothing to do with lawsuits, just common sense to have insurance as well as a legal requirement.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      If you have no assets there is no risk in being sued. The very young, very poor, illegal immigrants, and those living off the books have nothing to worry about because they literally have nothing to lose.

      That’s why uninsured motorist coverage is absolutely critical.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Toad: +1

        I once got hit by an uninsured driver, and if not for my coverage, I’d have been screwed. And believe it or not, insurance companies actually go after the uninsured – the guy who hit me apparently paid up to them, and they refunded my deductible. Sweet!

  • avatar
    srogers

    I, fortunately, live in a place where insurance is required by law (O the horror – such government meddling!).
    It’s a $2875 fine for driving without valid insurance.

    • 0 avatar
      turbosaab

      Here in the free state of New Hampshire, we do NOT require insurance (unless you have proven yourself irresponsible by wrecking and not paying). It’s not a problem, most people still have insurance and it is a very safe place to drive.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    It’s interesting you’re on the hook at all for a customer’s insurance. I would think that would be their problem separate from whatever financing arrangement they have with you. I do see how it’s in your interest, of course. Do you think you could team up with a provider to offer them the car + insurance in one payment, similar to many mortgages that have taxes rolled into the payments? Would it be more or less efficient than tracking each customer’s separate policy?

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      My guess, and Steve please correct me if I’m wrong, is that he is running a lot for generally credit challenged customers and ends up keeping the title under his, or the dealer’s name until final payment. In my state this means that the title-holder is always responsible regardless of who was actually driving or had possession.

      I hope this hasn’t strayed from your point too much.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        No, my liability is in terms of cost.

        If they crash the car and have no insurance (or just liability), chances are I’ll never see another penny from them.

        I have to eat a financial loss.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Another reason your otherwise high total charges aren’t really high at all. Has anyone ever cancelled and then gotten in an accident before you received the notice?

    I was in an accident with someone w/o insurance. My insurance company covered under the uninsured motorist rider and the guy paid back over a few year period – guesstimating $100 per month back when that was real money for someone young and struggling. I finally got the deductible back so much later it took a while to figure out what it was.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I was taught that insurance was kind of something you need to have if you’re driving a car. Purchase price, fuel, maintenance, and insurance are costs that go along with owning a car for any period of time. If you can’t afford insurance, ride a bike or walk.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Mortgage companies require insurance.
    Auto financers need to do the same.

    Automobiles cost almost as much as my home. My home stays in one spot and only runs the risk of damage due to weather, falling aircraft, or fire. The safest place for a car is in the garage of the insured home. Once it backs out of the garage, the risks to that asset skyrockets as you drive it through one dangerous place through another.

    Not insuring your car is incredibly unwise.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    As a dealer I definitely consider it is an asset

    Of course you do. You own the collateral.

    On the other hand, the borrower with few or no assets has nothing to lose by driving without insurance. Financially, it makes sense for them to roll the dice, since they get to save money and are effectively judgment proof, as they don’t own anything that can be taken if they crash and are caught.

    The current cowboy system that we have in the US is ridiculous. State registration fees and fuel taxes should include some sort of third-party liability policy in the cost, so that everyone who buys fuel is automatically insured. Let the states be the liability insurer; let the insurance companies sell comprehensive add-on policies to those who want them.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Yeah, except in my state, the government is the jackass. I’d rather have multiple eyes on drivers – insurance company plus collateral holder – than my incompetent and verging on a vast RICO enterprise state government.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Well, of course the problem with this is that good drivers will end up subsidizing bad drivers because they all will be in the same risk pool. In DC, at least, when you renew your vehicle registration, you have to provide proof of current liability insurance for the state-specified minimum coverages. And, as you now know, we lock up people who drive around in DC on expired license plates . . . even if they’re from some other state. ;-)

      Lang’s problem is that he needs his customer to carry collision and comprehensive fire & theft to protect his collateral. And his practice in that regard is no different than any other lienholder on a motor vehicle. So, while the state may take care of making sure that Lang’s customer has liability insurance, it’s not going to do anything to alert Lang that his customer has dropped all of the other coverage.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Well, of course the problem with this is that good drivers will end up subsidizing bad drivers because they all will be in the same risk pool.

        That’s wrong on a couple of levels.

        For one thing, the difference in risk could be reflected in the registration fee. The riskier driver could pay more than the less risky driver.

        For another, those who want to be protected from the harm caused by the uninsured are obliged to pay for uninsured motorist policies, so you’re already paying for the uninsured with those additional premiums. It would be much better to get some money from them than to get the nothing that is collected from them now.

        Australia includes third-party bodily injury liability in the registration fees. Additional coverage can be obtained at reasonable prices, and can be obtained quite easily. The combination of national healthcare and near-universal auto insurance coverage lowers insurance premiums because an insurer’s exposure is minimal.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @DC Bruce
        “Well, of course the problem with this is that good drivers will end up subsidizing bad drivers because they all will be in the same risk pool.”

        True, but in theory, you also now have a larger pool of insured drivers, so the risk is mitigated.

    • 0 avatar
      Duncan

      Automatic state liability insurance doesn’t sound great to me. Unlike road use tax, insurance premiums don’t necessarily scale with fuel economy.

      I think shame is a better way to enforce the policy. Maybe a Scarlet Letter approach by broadcasting “not insured” with smart license plates or driver’s licenses.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I can’t imagine driving without insurance. I consider myself a pretty observant driver, but s*** happens and it tends to snowball. My insurance is finally to a reasonable rate (for a person my age) and will be going down in 2 years if I continue to behave myself. I also get the PIF discount so it adds up to $625 for 6 months’ full coverage. My premium generally falls during my 3 paycheck month so it’s fairly easy to factor it in.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    We could solve the uninsured motorist problem in one fell swoop if we adopted “pay at the pump” insurance.

  • avatar
    jeff_vader

    You guys should come and live in the UK. Over here its a criminal offence to drive without insurance but its now one of fastest rising crimes in the country. And as the people who don’t pay for insurance are the same ones who are most likely to have an accident, it gives yet another excuse for the insurance companies to bump up the premimums. Who are these people? Well some of them are currently kicking up a fuss about being evicted from a large ‘caravan’ site, while others seem to live in groups around Birmingham, Bradford & Leicester for some reason.
    And then they bump up insurance premimums for young drivers to such a ridiculous levels (£3000 for a 2001 VW Lupo worth £2200) so a large amount of them now drive without insurance too.
    Result? If you have an accident that isn’t your fault getting money out of anyone can be a total nightmare. And thats without the problem of people deliberatly causing accidents to claim “whiplash” from the multiude of ambulance chasing lawyers that Blair has left this country infested with & who some insurance companies automaticaly give your details to. Oddly enough, a lot of these cases are brought by the same people from the same areas mentioned above.

    Oh and in case you don’t know, the UK is up a certain brown watered canal without any form of manual propulsion.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      “And then they bump up insurance premimums for young drivers to such a ridiculous levels (£3000 for a 2001 VW Lupo worth £2200)”

      You’re not insuring your car. You’re insuring the damage your car may cause. 10 year old beaters are as capable of mid six figure catastrophe as any other car.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I’ve been driving for 25 years without having a claim.

    My parents for 50 and no claims.

    I asked our agent about the statistics. He said that the average claim occurs once every 34 years per insured member. I was surprised at this frequency.

    Playing the odds, someone who owns the car outright could certainly roll the dice and with careful driving, may never need it.

    Although, if you are in an accident and not at fault and it is discovered that you are uninsured, I think you’re still busted and fined, correct?

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Playing the odds, someone who owns the car outright could certainly roll the dice and with careful driving, may never need it.

      Like my parents (and probably yours). Never owned a car except outright. Never had an accident that was their fault. Never carried collision. Always had the means to buy something if they did have an accident (especially after a decade or so of no collision premiums). Frugal Depression era kids, both.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      I’d say that is beyond lucky…Do you live in the middle of nowhere?

      In the last 5 years I’ve had 5 claims while _stopped/parked_ (2 keyings, 2 people knocking over my motorcycle in various parking lots, and one rear-ending while I was stopped at a stop sign).

      I’ve had several other accidents while I was never found at fault, and I’ve had 3 single vehicle accidents (all motorcycle) in which I filed one claim & paid the other two out of pocket. Single vehicle accidents were due to cold on 2/3 and avoiding a speeding car driving dangerously.

      Idiots are everywhere!

    • 0 avatar
      BoredOOMM

      The problem is not the physical damage to the car, but the cost of the lawyers for “pain and suffering.”

      jeff_vader, insurance is compulsory in about every US state also, but 2005 CA statistics state 50% of CA motorists were uninsured.

      The two above increase cost of insurance premium the most.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Strangely, average recovery times dropped to something like a third of what they had previously been after our province eliminated any payments for “pain and suffering”. Who would have thought that that payment was somehow causing people to have physical problems?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Doesn’t take an accident, in most states you’ll have to show proof of insurance when stopped for any kind of moving violation. I wouldn’t care to roll those dice.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Also, why is it that when you renew your plates you are not required to show proof of insurance?

    No insurance, no renewal. No tag, ticket while you drive, no insurance, you’re fined and the car impounded.

    Looks like a pretty simple solution to me, but a nightmare to implement.

    • 0 avatar
      V572625694

      Odd that insurance companies can notify dealers when insurance is cancelled, but can’t seem to find the time to notify the DMV in states where insurance is required.

      • 0 avatar
        blowfish

        Dont worry the Choir boyz will notify u or when u realise u’re involved in any moving altercation. Sometimes may even be simpler u grab the gun from the Peace officer & shoot yourself.
        When u’re >18 u as an adult should know the rules though.
        Simply car co or finance co didn’t want to be tangled in your mess, since they’re the owner of the car, they could be on the paying end too should the car accidentally plough into someone without any valid ins.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Maine tried to require insurance companies to notify the state when insurance was dropped. It was a total and complete nightmare. If the renewal notice never made it to them or you changed insurance companies, chances are either the new company or the state would screw up and next thing you knew you were getting a notice of registration suspension in the mail. And God help you trying to get that straightened out. This happened to me TWICE, even though I personally CALLED the state agency responsible to attempt to inform them of the change after the first time. There was just not enough money for the state to fund the program properly and it was dropped after a couple years.

        But, you do have to show proof on insurance annually for registration, and it is a stiff fine if you are stopped with no insurance. Which I think is enough.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      This is exactly the process in many states. You certainly cannot register a car in Massachusetts without proof of insurance. Pretty easy to implement actually.

      Looking at the web, liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility is required in 49 states.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      I have lived in Florida and Alabama. Both states require insurance. In Florida you have to show proof of insurance to get a driver’s license or license plate. I have lived in several counties in Alabama and have never been asked to show proof of insurance. They just take your word for it.

  • avatar
    jonny b

    In British Columbia not only is insurance mandatory, but every car must show a sticker on the rear license plate showing the date your insurance expires. If a cop sees a car with a past date he pulls them over and the car is impounded immediately. You don’t get your car back until you buy insurance and pay a hefty fine. Uninsured drivers are virtually unheard of.

    • 0 avatar
      blowfish

      In BC, is only $1500 at the max and 6-700 on the lower side for no ins coverage. We’re covered by Icky Bicky aka ICBC, is mandatory, everybody needs to have a valid sticker on the back of the plate.
      One kid drove his car to Tim Horton for coffee, it didnt even have an expired plate on, the cop spotted him, so the car was taken away by Dr Hook. When I met him, he tried to sell me his Subie from the compound for $500. But wait a min, u think I am going to give him my mulla without even try out the car? Solly, no serie Bob.

      A couple of times i almost got nailed, I was riding my dirt bike, Honda CT90, in a small town, on dirt road. Came close to a real road, somehow my Guardian angel did kind of told me not to go up to the stop sign. Secs later a cruiser passed by. if I had done it I would be 6 bills out of my pocket.
      Another time was riding in a supermarket parking lot, only stone throw away from that Stop sign too. A GM Suburban from the gendarme passed by. I parked my bike, took off my helmet and pretend as trying to get into a parked car. Very looky they drove away.
      I guess is not fun if I had to explain that was still on private land of the supermarket.
      In BC one can buy underinsured policy, thats when u got hit by someone with Zilch coverage and u still be compensated, is only $50 a yr.
      I have talked to people with no ins coverage, that was in Ontario.
      In the old days , 30 yrs ago, in Ont. one can buy into some ins fund, basically is a poll of $ , can’t remember if u have to re-pay if u did used the fund though. Is not run by an Ins co though, so is not for profit.
      private ins can be fun, they can pick & choose as who they want to insure too.
      Unless u have nothing else for your plaintiff to seize, if u have anything at all, is not wise to drive without any ins at all.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The whole problem with auto insurance is, those who have nothing to lose, i.e; non-homeowners, driving bombs, minimally-paying or no job – those are the people that hit you. You, on the other hand, are responsible and have everything to lose; a real job, a decent car that you are making payments on, a home, a life! That’s the difference, sterotypical or not, in a nutshell.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    If you have any assets, minimal car insurance or letting your insurance slip is beyond dumb. But I know a few people who ride that wave…

  • avatar
    Mathias

    Every problem has an engineering solution.

    About 25 years ago, long before computers made this sort of thing easy, a friend of mine let his insurance lapse by accident. Within a week or so, the police came to his apartment building, found the car parked in the street, and took the license plate off.

    To get the plates back, he had to pay a fine — nothing egregious, as I remember — and had to show proof of insurance. This was in Germany, which is more restrictive in these matters, but I don’t see why we can’t this in the US.

    Here in MI, you are required to have insurance; the ins. co’s are networked with the Secretary of State office, and all driver license holders are required to keep their address current. All that’s missing is a minimum of political will.

    Instead, over 30 percent of drivers are uninsured. We have first-world laws and third-world enforcement.

    I believe that no liability insurance = no driving.

  • avatar
    rem83

    Sure, it pisses me off that people feel they can drive around without financial liability for their actions – but that’s why we have “uninsured motorist” riders on our insurance policies. I’d much rather spend time and effort trying to reduce the number of drunk and / or distracted drivers than divert some of that effort to convince people to buy insurance. After all, I haven’t run into an insurance policy yet that promises to bring someone back to life.

    • 0 avatar
      MrBostn

      +1 rem. drunk drivers who kill get very little jail time in MA.

      A guy just got 6 months + 2 years suspended sentence for driving drunk and killing a guy walking across the street.

      I guess an elected official needs to lose a loved one to a drunk driver to have this taken seriously.

      http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/malden/2011/10/globe_staffa_malden_man_was.html?p1=HP_Well_YourTown_links

  • avatar
    jmo

    Auto insurance is the first thing most car owners will cut out of their budget if they have trouble paying their bills.

    Most? I think you’re mistaken. Perhaps, this is due to you failing to account for the fact that you are dealing with those at the very bottom of the socioeconomics barrel.

  • avatar

    I’ve always grumbled a bit about states mandating that drivers carry insurance — not because I think drivers shouldn’t if they don’t want to, but because I don’t like the state legislating it. But it is irresponsible not to carry insurance, because it is not that hard to cause more damage to life and property with your car than you are worth, and if you cause damage I think you should pay for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      “because I don’t like the state legislating it.”

      Then don’t use the road that was provided for the common good on land that is owned by the public for the common good. IT IS SOCIALISM AND IS COMPLETELY UN-AMERICAN!!!

    • 0 avatar
      turbosaab

      So join the Free State Project and move to New Hampshire. No insurance requirement here :)

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    Requiring proof of insurance to get a plate renewed is a good idea, but people drive with expired plates. Or expired licenses.

    Laws on the books do not always equal enforcement either. Here in NC I was required to prove insurance to get my tag for a new car. But now I’ve had that car for 10 years and always renewed online. The insurance policy number on my registration is 10 years old, haven’t had that particular policy for years, and they’ve never asked me to update it. I have kept insurance continuously, so maybe they track that and don’t bother asking for an update if they know I have it.

    I like the idea of paying for insurance at the pump. That also implies they can’t raise your insurance rates for traffic violations, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I like the idea of paying for insurance at the pump. That also implies they can’t raise your insurance rates for traffic violations, right?

      Sure, if that’s the only insurance you carry. But any insurance provided in such a manner would be bare-minimum liability, if you have any significant assets you’d still want to get your own insurance, and if you’re making payments you’d need to get collision and comprehensive. But at least you could drop uninsured motorist, as deadbeats would be paying for themselves at the pump. And people who are scraping by to pay for liability but can’t manage uninsured motorist as well won’t get hosed when nailed by a deadbeat. Sounds like a great idea to me.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I’m of the opinion that insurance companies should only be able to raise your premiums if they, or another company if you are shopping around, actually have to pay a claim. I don’t think that speeding tickets should be factored in since, as many here have asserted, speeding over a wide-open road at 80 doesn’t necessarily make you an unsafe driver.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        “I don’t think that speeding tickets should be factored in since, as many here have asserted, speeding over a wide-open road at 80 doesn’t necessarily make you an unsafe driver.”

        If you are speeding over a wide-open road at 80 then you aren’t going to get a ticket because you aren’t going to get caught.

        If you can’t identify places where a cop could hide then you aren’t paying attention. If you aren’t paying attention you aren’t a good driver. If you aren’t a good driver you should pay more for your insurance.

        My insurance company judges me on a number of risk factors that are unique to me. For this reason I pay about half the local average for insurance despite having a 3-year old $40,000 car and carrying the maximum insurance levels any company is willing to offer in my state.

        There are legitimate reasons why an 18-year old kid with less than 200 hours behind the wheel should pay more for insurance than I do.

        There are legitimate reasons why someone with 3 at-fault accidents should pay more for insurance than I do.

        There are legitimate reasons why someone that races stoplight to stoplight in a neighborhood with packed sidewalks should pay more for insurance than I do.

        Pay at the pump insurance means I pay more for my insurance. And if reasonable coverage levels are available as “extra” products, then it means that I pay more than the irresponsible. Yeah, it sounds good in theory but it would absolutely suck in the real world – unless you are one of those folks that have no interest in changing bad habits.

        Because let’s face it – this is what it is. You pay a lot for insurance because you are statistically risky. We’ve all been there and done that. Some of us figured out how to be less risky and were rewarded with less costly insurance. The rest of the people just don’t feel like changing and want the responsible people to help shoulder the cost of their irresponsibility.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        @Chicago

        I’m going to assume that you were using a general “you” and not speaking directly about me. That being said, the actions you spoke about such as speeding up to lights and weaving in and out of traffic, along with being general d-bags through neighborhoods, are much different than speeding. Those drivers are being exceedingly risky and should be paying accordingly, but drivers who are paying attention to the road, but are going above an arbitrary speed should not be penalized, if they are otherwise behaving themselves. Also, anybody with at fault accidents, and to a lesser extent not-at-fault (weren’t paying attention and got hit by a car they could have seen and moved away from), should pay more.

        I think you and I agree more than we disagree. For the record, I drive the speed limit and don’t do anything that would warrant undue attention from police. Like I said, my insurance is a decent price for my age and experience.

      • 0 avatar
        FleetofWheel

        “Some of us figured out how to be less risky and were rewarded with less costly insurance. The rest of the people just don’t feel like changing and want the responsible people to help shoulder the cost of their irresponsibility.”

        That’s a rather harsh assessment from a Social Darwinist perspective.

        Have you considered that the more crash prone drivers could be suffering from lowered nutrition levels, attention deficit disorders, long work shifts for unfair wages or in work places where their cultural frame of reference is not validated?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Pay at the pump insurance means I pay more for my insurance.

        Only in the bizarro world of the internet can people possibly believe that collecting premiums from all drivers would be more costly than the status quo, which includes many drivers who pay nothing at all.

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        Where is it that you live where speeding tickets are only handed out to people racing light to light along sidewalks packed with children? I’d like to move there.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Here in Baruth country, it is fines and jail time for uninsured drivers. Definitely not worth it. OTOH, there a number of ins. cos. hereabouts that advertise the minimum legally required insurance in easy weekly or monthly payments.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m in total agreement with Steven here – if his customers aren’t insured, that’s an unacceptable risk for him. The problem is that for a lot of folks, insurance really isn’t affordable, and it’s not an option.

    Here’s a very simple solution to the problem of the poor not buying insurance: expanded funding for mass transit.

    I sympathize with someone who’s so broke that it’s either food or insurance – I’ve been there. Thankfully, I could take a bus to work. At the same time, I’m realistic enough to know that for some of these folks, not having a car isn’t an option because without one, you can’t work – in a lot of places, mass transit is inadequate, or doesn’t take you where your job is. And let’s keep in mind that in many states, including mine, insurance companies are allowed to charge more for people with credit problems, and not coincidentally, credit problems and poverty tend to go hand in hand. It’s a real catch-22 for a lot of people – they can’t work unless they drive, but they can’t afford to drive. What’s the alternative – living off the dole?

    By expanding mass transit access, and waiving the credit qualification process for drivers under a certain income level, we’d be doing a MAJOR favor to the working poor.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Well now this is interesting. Almost unanimous consensus that auto insurance should be required to drive. With the resaoning being that an accident with an uninsured driver causes the insurance company of the insured driver to pay, and those costs are passed on to all consumers of auto insurance, which is not fair. OK.

    I think this requirement is exactly what the teapartiers would call a ‘mandate.’ And mandates are BAD in health insurance, because if a an ininsured person gets sick and goes to the hospital, they are still treated, but the costs are eventually passed onto all consumers of health insurance, which again is not fair.

    So how come everyone agrees that a mandate for auto insurance is a good idea, but half the country goes crazy over the idea of a mandate for health insurance?

  • avatar
    dvp cars

    …….one way or the other we’re already subsidizing uninsured/ unlicensed/expired drivers, a huge percentage of whom are the working poor. In certain economically sensitive areas, guesstimates run as high as 20%. The political will to completely eradicate the problem is understandably absent. Imagine your chances of re-election if you precipitated even a 10% drop in the economic activity generated by cars, and a corresponding leap in jobless/welfare claims by people no longer able to drive to work. Employers would be the first to call for heads to roll. It’s not a simple problem, and there are no simple answers.


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