Is it just me, or is it pretty messed up that people are legally required to pay for car insurance? I mean, insurance is supposed to be a service that someone pays for because they want to have it for sense of security or whatever, but what is up with having to be forced into buying it by state mandate or law?
Anyone have a good rationale for why a society will force you to pay insurance on your car, even though you do not want to?
Would you prefer debtors prison or debt bondage? Auto insurance is a condition of you taking on the privilege of driving. You can easily avoid paying it if you decide not to drive. I do wish there was some way you could self insure like with a savings account equal to the amount that liability would cover, a portion of that or some other set amount. You could then be saving that money and earning interest.
Actually, Texas (California, too) allows you to post a bond rather than pay for insurance.
Page 21, towards the bottom:
I think most States let you self-insure, so long as you are genuinely rich enough to do so.
New Hampshire (my current state) doesn't require car insurance. I think there might be a couple other states that don't as well. If you really don't want to have to buy insurance, move to one of those states.
However, it's still pretty dumb not to have car insurance (I do have it). Even if you think you're an excellent driver, it's only a matter of time until you will have an accident. Maybe you can handle your own car, but you can't always stop the other idiots on the road from hitting you. You'll still need insurance in case that other driver isn't insured, or you can't prove that the accident was entirely their fault.
You might think you'll be saving money by not having insurance, but one seemingly-small fender bender can easily cost thousands of dollars - that's probably a few years worth of insurance. That's not a gamble I'd be willing to take. Honestly, if you can't afford insurance, you can't afford to drive.
New Hampshire is actually the ONLY state that doesn't require auto insurance. But they do require all drivers without insurance to prove that they have the financial means to pay for any damages or injuries they cause! So the state still requires financial responsibility, as they should!
I looked into this, trying to reconcile the "NH only" and the posts above. What NH does for someone not carrying insurance is suspend the license and registration of the liable driver, until the driver shows he can pay for the accident. For a lot of people, not being able to drive is going to be a kind of debtor's prison or debt bondage, because they won't be able to work, either. [So there's still a huge stick and carrot mechanism favoring insurance; obviously, it doesn't do the accident victim much good if the at-fault individual can't work]
While I see the basis for your annoyance with the concept (being of a libertarian leaning myself), car insurance is a matter of simple practicality. Some people absolutely refuse to be responsible for their actions, and so they have to be made to. Here's a story to illustrate;
When my wife was in high school, she worked part time, saved up, and bought an old grandma oldsmobile. Her parents didn't buy it, she did, with cash saved up over three years when most kids (myself at that age included) would have blown it on something stupid. Her car was legally parked when a drugged out woman ran a red light and totalled it, damaging several other cars to boot. Not only did the wild driver not have insurance, but a suspended license as well. The woman was charged, convicted and did jail time.
But that didn't do squat for the wrecked oldsmobile, or the high school saludatorian whose three years of savings just got flushed down the john by a random idiot's carelessness.
I am also very proud to identify myself as a Libertarian...but, as you said, mandatory liability auto insurance is only practical! If your car is paid off, carrying any other types of auto coverage (comp, collision, uninsured motorist) are entirely up to you!
If you do have an outstanding loan or lease on your car or home, you have no choice but to carry full coverage to protect the lender's interest (collateral)!
I do not believe anyone should be required to purchase health insurance if they do not wish to do so. However, if they choose not to pay for health coverage, they shouldn't expect Uncle Sam (Medicaid) to foot the bill when they become sick or injured!!!
I am sorry that your wife got screwed over by someone who should have been behind bars instead of behind the wheel! I have heard stories like that far too many times and they always piss me off!!! That's the reason I pay $148 per year to carry $500k in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage and $50k in UI/UIM Property Damage Coverage on my auto policy...to protect me from those who violate the law and choose to drive uninsured and risk the safety and the property of me, you and our friends and family!
BTW, I'm an independent insurance agent in Georgia, so I have very strong opinons on this subject! Even with mandatory liability auto insurance in 49 states, the state minimum coverage limits are far too low in every state! Here in Georgia, the law requires limits of at least 25/50/25. That means $25k per person up to $50k per Accident in Bodily Injury Liability and $25k per accident in Property Damage Liability. Those limits are easily exceeded in relatively minor accidents, not to mention more severe ones.
Off topic, but it's something I have strong opinions on: It's not directly Medicaid that picks up the bill for people who could carry health insurance, but don't. It's paying (either out-of-pocket or through insurance) health care consumers. Imagine if your coffee shop had to give coffee regardless of ability to pay, and one out of 20 customers couldn't pay. Well, they'd "eat" that cost by raising prices 5% for paying customers.
There are ways healthcare providers can kind of force people onto Medicaid in order to be compensated (imagine if our coffee shop took food stamps, and could force people into the program), but Medicaid is a benefit for the poor, especially poor children. People who can afford regular health insurance don't qualify.
IME, people who can afford regular health insurance but decline it foreigners, people in new jobs, and people for whom it's not a good deal (usually the young and healthy; the analogy is collision insurance on a clunker).
I see a LOT of people here in Georgia who work for cash and don't report it on their tax return. Some of them earn $60k or more in cash, but to the IRS and the government as a whole they make little to nothing! So they can qualify for Foodstamps and Medicaid among other programs...pisses me off!
Nice to meet you Jason. Needless to day, I keep both of us fully insured these days. It's just good to be prepared.