Nice Porsche. How's It Handle in a Cornfield?

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Vehicles used on farms are not likely to generate as many insurance claims as their tarmac-tied counterparts. So U.S. farmers enjoy up to a 20 percent discount on their auto insurance. Problem: farm discounts on vehicular insurance are being applied to city folk. The Hartford Courant reports that some 7.52 percent of farm-use vehicle insurance discounts were written for people in locations where, according to Ed Harris, "absolutely nobody is engaged in agriculture." Harris works for Quality Planning Corp., a company specializing in indentifying "premium leakage" (i.e. lost insurance revenue). "When we discovered that a Jaguar XJ6 was reported garaged at a five-acre farm in Brooklyn, we weren't sure who'd be more interested – the DEA or the policyholder's insurance company." Connecticut ranks second in the nation for this type of fraud. Marketwire ranks New Jersey as tops in farm-use discount abuse– which makes sense as the Garden State has the nation's highest insurance premiums.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

More by Glenn Swanson

Join the conversation
  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Aug 11, 2007

    Ironically enough, the highest I've been quoted for insurance was $6K for an annual policy on a '91 CRX. I giggled uncontrollably at the operator I was speaking to after finding out that they wanted me to pay a policy that was three times the value of my car. This has me thinking that perhaps we have it all wrong. Insurance plans should be set up like 401(k)'s. What you put into your insurance should be what you get out of it. You dump 6K into a policy for a car worth $3K, you should be eligible for $6K worth of repair. Only makes sense when they're making me pay that much for insurance and then have the audacity to want to total the car out when I sustain $1000 in repair damage. Insurance companies are the second largest hustlers after the banking industry.

  • Edgett Edgett on Aug 11, 2007

    Not to defend the insurance companies, but there are lots of people out there working diligently to defraud them as well. I saw an ad for a body shop recently on TV who promised that they would write an estimate and then "give" you $500 toward your deductible. You might think an insurance company would wonder about that one...

  • Turbosaab Turbosaab on Aug 11, 2007

    In many cases, the fault lies with the insurance agent. For example, I was a 22 year old and had always been the only driver on my policy. My insurance company knows my birthday (obviously). That does not keep them from putting "No drivers under the age of 25" as a condition on my policy. Another example, I use my office address as my billing address, insurance company records that as my residence. A likely explaination for the Brooklyn Jag is that they have a country home (which may or may not be a farm, farm plates don't necessarily require actual agriculture, in some states it's just a restriction on distance you can travel from home). They keep the Jag at the country home but have the bill sent to Brooklyn. Insurance agent screws up and puts Jag as being garaged in Brooklyn.

  • 917K 917K on Aug 12, 2007

    Ironically enough, too, Porsche used to make tractors, the last being around 1963, all named for good reason Porsche-Diesels. Never saw any skid pad numbers on them, but I don’t believe they did too badly in a cornfield. Not sure how they’d do against a John Deere. Not to mention one of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s tractors. Plus, it’d be hell on the crops. Don’t get me started on insurance companies, however.