I wish more
people would stop to think about what making any product
mandatory will necessarily do its cost as well as to the
service provided. If you cant say no, theres
little, if any, incentive for the manufacturer/provider to keep
costs in line, or please its customers a term
thats sickeningly inappropriate when coercion is involved
(as is the case today with mandatory car insurance and soon-to-be-mandatory
this is also the simple truth behind the debacle that is government
itself. Consider the current dog-and-pony show about federal spending
government spend less or operate more efficiently? Whats
In fact, the
incentive is spend more. Be less efficient.
Why not? If you can legally force people to hand over their money,
why would you voluntarily (leaving moral considerations aside) ask
for less? The more inefficient you are, the more money you need.
worker ants, too.
The only way
well ever see efficient or responsible
government is when we are finally free to decline its services.
not lost on insurance companies. And its the reason why insurance,
like government, is rapidly becoming inescapable; a legal requirement
that must be dealt with and paid for want it or not,
like it or not. Theyll force you to be their customer
And that, in
turn, is the reason why insurance underwriting is one of the few
big profit centers (other than Internet porno and, of course,
government itself) left in this country.
It all began
with mandatory car insurance.
There was a
time when people were free to choose to have it or not. Many
people chose not to, because they did the math, evaluated their
own potential risks and decided it wasnt a good buy for them.
Then the Clovers mewled that no one should be permitted to drive
around without having purchased insurance coverage first. This has
a superficial appeal, but think on it some more.
The need for
car insurance that is, its value varies
considerably from person to person. If, for example, you are a good
driver (not just skilled but possess good judgment) the chances
of your being involved in a wreck caused by lack of skill/poor judgment
are very, very low. Note I did not use the term, accident.
This is an important distinction. Most wrecks are in fact caused
by poor driving or poor judgment. They are
not accidents because for the most part, they could
have been avoided.
properly defined, is something unavoidable. For example,
a deer suddenly darting into the road and startling the driver,
resulting in loss of control.
(so-called) are the result of actions (or non-actions) such as failure
to pay attention, excessive speed for conditions (or ability), following
too closely, misjudging the closing speed of other traffic as when
merging or changing lanes etc. In other words, driver
error. Not deliberate, perhaps. But certainly avoidable.
My point being,
a good driver someone competent in terms of skill and who
also has (and exercises) good judgment can avoid most of
the situations that lead to bent metal and personal injury. He is
a very low risk, as far as being the cause of a motor vehicle wreck.
And, to a great extent, liability insurance is only a wise purchase
if you are someone who is likely to be the cause of a motor
vehicle wreck, and so financially responsible for damages caused.
If you are
not such a person, then buying insurance is money out the window.
Money youd probably have been better off putting into your
If you could.
We all know
people who go decades, a lifetime, without having caused an accident.
Ipso facto, they did not need insurance. (The other driver
the one who caused the accident is financially and legally
responsible.) Yet theyre forced in most states
to buy insurance anyway, thanks to the Clovers. If you own several
vehicles, you have to buy coverage for each one even though
you cant drive more than one at a time. If you own motorcycles,
and live in an area that has winter weather, the bikes may not even
leave your garage for months at a time. But the law says you still
have to buy coverage, and maintain it, year round.
decades, this can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Money
that could have been put to productive purposes such as long-term
investments toward retirement.
a good driver according to insurance industry standards.
Not one wreck (or claim) in 25 years; no traffic tickets on my DMV
rap sheet (thanks, Mike Valentine) ; in my 40s, married, good credit,
etc. I qualify for every discount my insurer offers. None of my
vehicles are high-dollar (two compact pick-ups with four-cylinder
engines) so I have the bare minimum liability-only coverages. Yet
because I have multiple vehicles, I end up paying close to $800
annually to the insurance Mafia. This may not seem exorbitant
and relative to what many others are being forced to pay, it isnt.
But multiply that $800 annually over 25 years. Thats $20,000
will screech about all the What Ifs: What if youd had
an accident? What if youd hurt someone? But what if
I did not have an accident? That never occurs to the Cloverian
mind. It also never occurs to the Clovers that its not the
responsible people who need insurance its the
irresponsible ones. And of course, its the irresponsible ones
who very often drive without insurance, the law be damned (just
as gun control is of little concern to criminals, etc.).
Another thing never occurs to the Clovers, too: Had I not been compelled
to hand over the $20k to the insurance arm-breakers, if Id
had that money to invest in something productive, Id probably
now have a lot more than $20,000. Just like Social Security contributions
had I been allowed to keep/invest my own money rather than
surrender it to the government in return for, well, nothing.
(Many people dont realize theyre not even legally entitled
to receive SS benefits, notwithstanding a working lifetime
of contributing to the scam.) The money would still
exist. It would be available to draw upon if I ever needed to pay
for damages to my property or someone elses property. And
if no damages occur, then Id still have the money instead
of the insurance Mafia.
arguing for years that insurance mandatory insurance
is a major contributing factor in the bankrupting of the American
middle and working class.
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
annual cost of the premiums for all this coverage can
easily be $5,000-$10,00 a year. Over twenty or thirty years, this
adds up to a very large sum as much as $100,000 or more.
Thats without taking into account the potential growth of
that principle, had it been devoted to actual productive purposes.
How many working/middle
class people can afford to devote such a large percentage of their
income to insurance?
con. A Bamboozlement.
about to get much worse with ObamaCare yet more mandatory
really believe well be paying less as a result?
the answer sure seems to be yes.
See you at
the soup kitchen, I guess. But the good news is well be covered.
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
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