WHERE’S THE LIABILITY?

This has to do with the auto hobbyist and liability insurance and it contains a serious question, one that I would really like a reasonable answer to.

I have played with cars and trucks all my life, a very long time now.  I pursued this as a kid and then later as a bonding experience with my sons.

In the years before state mandated liability insurance what I am addressing here was not a problem. Today it can be a huge expense for the hobbyist on a limited budget.  A major expense that in my opinion could have a very simple solution.

I am the only driver in my household and I have four vehicles, my everyday driver and three works in progress, all of which are registered and insured.  Any time that I am driving one vehicle three others are parked.  Also, at any given time one or more will not be in operable condition due to some work being done, yet the insurance bill goes on.

I asked my agent if there was some special deal for hobbyists.  His answer, “nope.”
I asked if it would be feasible to drop-add vehicles to the policy when they came in and out of service.  His answer, “nope.”

In order to get a driver’s license in this state you have insurance or sign a declaration  that you do not have a vehicle.  My question is this, why can’t state mandated liability auto insurance be made a function of having a driver’s license and then you would be covered for liability no matter what you drive.

I asked my agent and he gave a vague, dismissive response that no insurance company would take on that sort of liability although he couldn’t explain how a vehicle parked on private property might be creating a liability.  He did mention the possibility that the vehicle might be operated by an unlicensed, therefore uninsured driver and my comment was that such an occurrence would only result from the vehicle having been stolen, in which case the company wouldn’t honor a claim anyway.

I don’t know how many reading this are in households where there are more vehicles than drivers but there must be some.  I feel that this is a serious matter that needs to be discussed and perhaps even acted on via state legislation.

While insuring drivers rather than individual vehicles would not increase the liability exposure to the motoring public, it could result some serious cash savings for a lot of families where dad and/or mom likes to hang over a fender, twisting wrenches .

In my case, the single greatest continuous expense of my hobby is the cost of unused liability insurance.

I would welcome any input on this subject, apart from the form letter I received when I addressed this to my state legislator.  His response was, “we are working diligently to see that the insurance industry treats all our citizens in a fair and equitable manner.  Thank you for expressing your concerns.”

 

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About rixlibris

Retired from child care photography after thirty years of coaxing smiles and wiping noses. Currently venting years of repressed fictional story lines via self-published novels. Married and still alive in a remote corner of Waller County, Texas.
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11 Responses to WHERE’S THE LIABILITY?

  1. Scott Nagele says:

    Yes, it could save families money, and as far as the insurance lobby is concerned, that’s the problem.

    • rixlibris says:

      So true, it’s all about the bucks. I’m still paying for an accident, car totaled by a drunk driver, he arrested at the scene. He was insured but I did not have “gap” coverage. His company’s position was that my covered loss (liability) was the book value of the car, not the amount of the outstanding note, in effect penalizing me for my insurance rather than looking to the insurance carried by the guy who caused the wreck for full restitution. My agent agreed with their position. Auto insurance is a scam front to back and gap insurance is 90% profit to the industry. Thanks for your input.

  2. Capt Jill says:

    I agree with both comments so far, “it’s all about the money” and “its a scam’! There is not too much I hate more than mandatory insurance. (Auto, health, and any other kind). It IS a scam! A huge scam! I fought against it for years before they made it mandatory in TX. It’s not in FL, where I grew up. It is still MUCH cheaper over there, not a big deal. Easily affordable. Here in TX, prices went up triple as soon as they passed the law to make it mandatory. Which is what ALWAYS happens when something is made mandatory! (You can look at what Obamacare did to health insurance for another example).
    Why do you have to pay for more than one car when you can only drive one at a time? I had the same question years ago. I never got a decent answer either. There IS no reasonable answer, that’s why!
    Its a scam, its a scam, its a scam!
    I’ve always thought insurance should be bought voluntarily, ONLY by the person who wants to insure themselves, their property, etc. That way if you have a super expensive car, you can get insurance to cover that. If you’re worried about uninsured drivers, you can buy insurance to cover that. If you only have an old beater, you can just get cheap liability ONLY. If you have more than one car, you can get it just for YOU being the driver (liability of your being at fault in any accident). If someone causes you harm while driving and they don’t have insurance, you can buy insurance for that too (if you choose). If not, then too bad. We all take chances (or at least we SHOULD BE ABLE TO)!
    I also support changing the law to where it’s about restitution to the VICTIMS instead of money/punishment for the state. People ought to be responsible for their actions. Seems like our whole system now is to let everyone avoid it in every way possible (insurance is a good example of that too).

    • rixlibris says:

      We are definitely on the same page here. The argument I tried on my agent was that since we buy health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, all written to cover one specific individual, why not driver’s liability insurance also written for a specific individual. His answer was very astute: “It’ll never happen.” All those extra cars sitting idle represent too much non-risk profit for the industry to ever voluntarily do the right thing for the consumer. I tried to discuss this with my state legislator and he blew me (and my vote) off with his form letter, non-specific reply.

      • Capt Jill says:

        Seems that politicians are always the same, they won’t help you unless you can help them!
        I’d just like to see them follow the LAW (meaning the Constitution!)
        If they did that, there would certainly be NO mandatory insurance of any sort!

      • rixlibris says:

        Cap’n Jill, you are so correct. Unfortunately too many of our legislators treat the Constitution as if it were a list of suggestions rather than laws.

  3. Over here once you buy your car, you must get insurance which is expensive to be able to register – pretty much like the US and the thing is that a year would pass and the insurance hasn’t been used so it’s just money going to someone’s kitty.

    • rixlibris says:

      Thanks for your comment. The way that the insurance game is played today it amounts to nothing more than government mandated extortion. I believe in free enterprise but when the government demands that you buy a product, any product, those industries that provide the product will begin to lobby the legislature to create laws and rules that heavily favor the industry at the expense of the consumer. That is clearly evident in the insurance industry. The deck is stacked to maximize profit to the industry to the detriment of the insured.

  4. amommasview says:

    Crazy, isn’t it. Paying for something you really don’t need or use. Had a discussion with my husband the other night about a similar thing re insurance.

    • rixlibris says:

      Last year we had major floods in our area. A friend was flooded out. He contacted his insurance agent only to be told that they were swamped, it would take a couple of months to get to his claim and that he should go ahead and pay for whatever repairs he needed and they would reimburse his losses. He did so but when he submitted the invoices his insurance company used those figures as a base from which to negotiate the claim downward.

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