Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Insurance… Only YOU Do
A few weeks
ago, a deer hit my truck. Might as well have been a government worker
in a city-owned vehicle.
to pay to repair the damage they caused.
No doubt you
have heard about the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
It means you cant sue the government or hold it (or its agents)
criminally or civilly responsible for anything, no matter what.
Unless the government deigns to allow itself to be held responsible.
a lesser doctrine that operates on the same principle.
In my hometown
of Roanoke, Virginia, a woman named Susan Burr was driving her van
when it was struck by a city-owned vehicle. This resulted in $2,000
in damages to her vehicle. Instead of a check from the city, she
got a letter that read, In order for a municipality to be
liable for damages, they
must have been negligent.
And of course,
the city and its shysters get to decide for themselves what constitutes
In this case,
the accident was allegedly caused by a sticky gas pedal. So the
city is absolved and Burr is left with the bill. (See
here for the full story.)
Just like other
exemptions and privileges bestowed by the Government Class on itself
(including but far from limited to such outrages as ex-cops and
even county attorneys being allowed to carry firearms into places
where alcohol is served and drink while Mere
Ordinaries, even if they have concealed handgun permits, are not
allowed to carry firearms into such places at all even if
alcohol never crosses their lips) this business stinks to high heaven
and reveals in all its yellow-toothed, sore-gummed ugliness not
merely the hypocrisy but (much worse) the almost-Bourbon arrogance
of the creeps who wield political power in this country.
are the same solons who pass laws for you and me that
require us to have insurance on every registered vehicle we own
and who would pursue us with Javert-like ferocity to recoup monies
for damages we caused to city-owned property.
used to say, Who are these people?
we should not be surprised. The government has for years been a
one-way operation. We pay, they collect. They demand, we submit.
The IRS takes more money out of your hide than they are (ahem) legally
entitled to. It takes you a year or more to correct the error.
The IRS eventually, grudgingly, sends a check. But no interest
or penalties. We all know perfectly well what occurs when the roles
Or, how about
the owners of 25 homes flooded with raw sewage as a result of a
water-main break of city-owned pipes have been notified that the
costs of cleaning-up the city-caused filth (as high as $25,000 per
home in some cases) wont be covered by the citys insurance
because ta-dum it was just an accident
and not the result of negligence.
And the cherry
on top? Many of these people will end up paying out of pocket because
their own insurance policy wont pay, either. Because they
didnt have a sewer back-up insurance rider. (See
The same Catch
22 might happen to you, too, in the unlucky event you get creamed
by an accidentally out of control but not reckless
government-owned vehicle. They wont pay and
your insurer might not, either because as far as theyre
concerned the damages were caused by another party and thus, theyre
most policies will probably cover it eventually under the
uninsured motorist clause, or maybe you live in a no
like an out or at least, a safety net but it isnt.
For one, if you do have full coverage, its a solid bet that
even though theyll pay to fix your vehicle, theyre gonna
jack up your rates to compensate. And youll at minimum get
stuck with whatever the deductible is. Remember: You did nothing;
someone else did. But youre the one paying.
And if you
are someone who drives an older vehicle and so chose not to buy
a full-coverage policy to save yourself some money, you are SOL.
Such a policy pays for damages you cause to other
peoples stuff but damages caused by others to your
vehicle are your problem if they cant or wont
pay. You either pay for the repairs yourself, out of pocket
or you junk your vehicle.
The city walks
So, be careful
out there. Getting hit by a city-owned vehicle is as much a threat
to us mere Ordinaries as bounding deer.
Only the deer
are innocent animals that serve a useful purpose in the natural
order of things.
with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.
[send him mail] is an
automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2011 Eric Peters
Best of Eric Peters