Hammer Time: Insurance… Optional?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

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?

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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  • SherbornSean SherbornSean on Oct 19, 2011

    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?

  • Dvp cars Dvp cars on Oct 19, 2011

    .......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.

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three
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