Insuring the Driver – Not the Vehicles

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by Eric Peters EricPetersAutos.com

Recently by Eric Peters: Using Your Senses… To Save Money on Car Problems

Mandatory car insurance is a pretty hateful concept – a form of prior restraint that says, in effect, because you may cause injury you must be insured against the possibility. Even though millions of people go a lifetime without ever actually causing anyone any injury, they suffer the certainty of paying, year in and year out, fees to the insurance mafia – backed by the ever-present billy club of the state. Over 20 or 30 years, the sum lost can easily run to $20,000 or more. Out the window – and into the pockets of the insurance mafia.

That’s bad.

Worse, though, is this business of forcing people to purchase insurance coverage on every vehicle they own – even though (so far as we know) a person can only drive one vehicle at a time.

Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to insure the driver?

After all, cars don’t drive themselves – yet. Until the driver gets behind the wheel, they’re inert. If he’s driving one, he can’t be driving another. Which means, he can’t cause injury or damage with the vehicles not being driven. Thus, even the odious prior restraint argument so beloved by Clovers doesn’t hold water.

So why – in effect – tax him multiple times? Why compel him to pay for coverage that, by definition, is unnecessary?

This question answers itself, of course. It’s because of the money to be made by the insurance mafia.

Each car equals a ka-ching.

Sure, the insurance mafia will usually give you a “multiple vehicle” discount – but you’re still paying for multiple vehicles. Which means, you’re paying a lot more than you would if you only had to insure yourself.

It’s a particular burden on the car (and bike) hobbyist/enthusiast, who may have three or four (or more) vehicles. Typically, only one is the “daily driver.” The others go out occasionally. Some sit for months on end – as in the case of motorcycles during the winter. Others may be temporarily inoperable while they undergo repairs. But even so – in many areas – The Law, friend of the insurance mafia – says all vehicles must be registered – or else they’re subject to seizure as junkers or derelicts by the polizei. There have even been cases of on private property, out-of-sight, in the backyard or garage – but unregistered – vehicles being threatened with seizure or actually seized by the local thug scrum.

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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