People who drive without insurance.
Posted by Diane Grutkowski (+210) 8 years ago
Pretty sad when your 1st thought after a motor vehicle accident is NOT "Is everyone ok?" but instead "I hope they have insurance". Recently I've had several friends involved in accidents where the driver at fault did not have insurance. It is almost impossible to get back to normal. You end up with a wrecked vehicle(that may or may not be drivable) & possibly Dr & hospital bills while the uninsured motorist just has a fine to pay. You can't sue them because they don't have any money-You can't garnish their wages because they either don't work or they don't make enough money or there are already people garnishing their wages in line in front of you and you have to wait your turn (which ends up being years & years). In my case, the driver ran into the back of me, she was a minor, no license, no insurance in the dad's vehicle, dad is on SSI so can't garnish his wages, the mother works but part-time & there are so many people garnishing her wages ahead of me that it has been over 2 years and it's not even close to my turn. Where is the justice? Oh and the fine---the girl was a minor and had to do community service. UGH!!!!!
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 8 years ago
with the economy, it is sad, but there are many that cannot afford even liability insurance...so they "take their chances" which ends up hurting everyone else...Is there such a thing as uninsured motorists insurance in case of things like this??
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
"Uninsured motorist" and "underinsured motorist" insurance coverage is a good idea for this very reason.
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Posted by nevets (+357) 8 years ago
Yes there is such a thing as uninsured motorist insurance it saved my bacon shortly after I moved here when I got rearended.
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Posted by whitneyann (+271) 8 years ago
i think there should be a much larger fine or maybe even some jail time for folks who don't carry insurance. i get that it is expensive but then you don't get to do all or the added fun things. you should HAVE to be able to afford the things that come with driving or you don't get to drive. insurance is important, accidents can happen in a second. there is no excuse for people who don't carry insurance.
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Posted by Kelly (+2592) 8 years ago
Just curious Whitneyann, how do you feel about the insurance mandate in Obamacare?
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
EXACTLY, Kelly. Thank you.
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+480) 8 years ago
If you have comprehensive and collision insurance on your car, your insurance company will reimburse you for your medical bills and fixing your car, and then send ITS Lawyers after the person who hit your car for reimbursement. It will also fix your car if something happens that doesn't involve another car (such as a rock hitting your windshield or hitting a deer) If you had that, at least you will be reimbursed even if the other person didn't have insurance (I guess that will be a must-have for your next car!)

http://allinsuranceinfo.o...erage.html
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
Cheryl is on the mark here. Apparently "uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist" insurance typically only pays for bodily injury to you or other persons in your car -- not property damage (i.e. fixing your damaged car). Or if it pays for property damage it is a limited amount.
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Posted by t.anderson (+107) 8 years ago
Yes there is such a thing as uninsured motorist, but why should I have to pay more insurance because some drivers refuse to have any insurance at all?
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Posted by RS/SS (+38) 8 years ago
I always thought it would be interesting if the state would suspend the license of any driver that causes an injury or property damage to anyone and is not insured. The suspension would stand until the loss was covered. They suspend licenses already for reasons that are not connected to driving. It always amuses me when I see the picture of the policeman on a gas pump warning us of license suspension for a drive off. So you can cost someone thousands in damage and suffer nothing, but steal a few bucks worth of gas and the wrath of the system is upon you. Driving is a choice unlike Obama care, for most of us.
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
People who drive without insurance will also drive without a license.

Getting sick (and not being able to pay your medical bills thereby putting the burden on society) is not "optional".
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Posted by Leann (+178) 8 years ago
I feel those that drive without insurance should have there car keys taken away. To me there not grown up enough to be driving, as they don't want to take the responsibality of a crash if it turns out to be their falt. Doesn't one have to have prof of paid up insurance to renew their plates?

[This message has been edited by Leann (10/16/2011)]
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Posted by Thomas Bankston (+169) 8 years ago
Though for years I have been paying over a thousand dollars a month for vehicle insurance, I perfectly well understand the many reasons one would drive without insurance. The main one would be survival. Those who inherited well, have the world by the tail or maybe have never experienced "hard times," are the first to throw the proverbial stones. I had a discussion on this very issue several years ago on the air waves of Mississippi talk radio and the outcome was, I believe, a draw. At the time several of my friends had lost their high paying jobs as the economy back home worsened. Mississippi unemployment maxes out at $205 per week. Vehicle insurance pales in comparison to feeding three hungry children. Yes, it is a law that one must have vehicle insurance back home. I don't know about here. But the law simply makes criminals out of otherwise law abiding and responsible citizens. Yep, we all need insurance, but reality is a dish that must be eaten, but not necessarily liked by all...
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Posted by JessicaLee (+161) 8 years ago
I understand completely the frustration of bein in a accident with someone who is not insured however I also understand being on the other side....jail time??? How will that help a single mother struggling every day just to get by? Who will then lose her job and not even be able to keep a roof over her kids heads....I know its frustrating and I know driving uninsured is illegal, but mabye instead of condemming those who cant afford we should look at reduced insurance rates or something to help those who cant afford it.....I know speaking of myself, if it werent for familys help at this hard time, I (a single mother of 2, with NO help from the other parent at all, who struggles from pay check to pay check even with a decent paying job) would not be able to afford insurance all. Thank God for those that help me but not everyone has the luxery of recieving help from family. Its very frustrating all around and yes there are people that take advantage and very well could afford insurance but just dont but even tho its wrong for those people struggling to get by not to carry insurance it will continue to happen until they can afford it.
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Posted by Matt Smith (+788) 8 years ago
Thomas,

Why are your rates so high?

That's $12k+ a year for auto insurance?

It seems excessive to me.
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Posted by Diane Grutkowski (+210) 8 years ago
Jessica do you think it is harder on "a single mother struggling every day just to get by? Who will then lose her job and not even be able to keep a roof over her kids heads...." if she drives without insurance & is at fault in an accident or the "single mother struggling every day just to get by? Who will then lose her job and not even be able to keep a roof over her kids heads...." who is run into by a driver who does not have insurance and is now without a vehicle to get her kids to school, get to her job, etc ?

In an accident you do not have control over who you run into. It could be an elderly person who is barely making it on a fixed income, or someone in worse financial difficulty than you are.
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
According to this news article from February 2010, about 15% of Montana's motorists are uninsured. That was slightly higher than the national average of 13.8%.

Missoulian:
State insurance official says 15 percent of Montana drivers uninsured
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Posted by Mary B. (+195) 8 years ago
Diane, I am confused as to why your insurance did not cover your losses, as some have hinted at here. Did you have inadequate coverage yourself? I have been in this same boat, and the uninsured/underinsured portion of my coverage kicked in. Yes, I had my deductible, but that is hardly so catastrophic.
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Posted by Thomas Bankston (+169) 8 years ago
Multiple vehicles.
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Posted by JessicaLee (+161) 8 years ago
I understand where you are coming from Diane and please dont mistake what I have said as trying to make excuses for anyone. Your right, it needs to be fixed and above all....It is ILLEGAL to drive uninsured. I am very sorry you have to go through this. Its very uunfortunate. I was merely trying to make the point that whether it be a single parent struggling or a elderly person living on ssi or disability or someone unemployed trying to live on their unemployment....alot of people seriously struggle. And I think that those who are more fortunate in their lives sometimes forget how hard it can be for others. Your 100% correct, it needs to be fixed but tuffin up the laws and throwin people in jail will not change the fact that these people just DONT have the means to pay for it. Thats all. I was not arguing your statement just sayin..........
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 8 years ago
My relatives who have been in accidents with uninsured motorists have found that the people are often repeat drunk drivers for whom insurance is extremely expensive or impossible to get and often they don't have a license either. On top of that, they are still driving drunk regularly and are thus more likely to have an accident than average. Since their occupation is "hopeless alcoholic" there's no point in suing them. It's wonderful.
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+480) 8 years ago
Where I am living now you cannot register your car each year without Proof of Insurance. I am not positive if that is leading people to not register their vehicles along with foregoing insurance, or if it is helping the problem and forcing people to be more responsible. I do know that when they have DUI checkpoints here they usually only find one or 2 drunk drivers, but end up impounding 15-20 cars that are lacking registration, so maybe THAT will become a big deterrent to driving around unregistered and uninsured. (PS. some people are very upset by the fact that "big government" forces them to buy insurance. They claim the Insurance company Lobbyists had something to do with it, and see it as one more infringement on their individual rights.....)

I have had relatives hit by uninsured motorists as well. That is why I feel that is important to make sure that I, who can afford coverage, need to have comprehensive and collision insurance just in case. I don't really know what to tell you except that it isn't right, it happens a lot, and as a result you need to cover your own behind if you can afford to.
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Posted by Diane Grutkowski (+210) 8 years ago
My vehicle has been paid off for years. I carry only liability on it. So my insurance company will not cover the damage on my vehicle.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
Good post Cheryl.

I feel that proof of insurance should be required to register your vehicle (expired tags lead to getting pulled over pretty quickly) - and I believe that dropping your insurance should result in the insurance companies having to report the policy cancellation to the motor vehicles division.

"Minimum limits" in Montana is 25/50/10 ($25k bodily injury per person, $50k per accident, $10k property damage). You might as well not even be covered if you cause a major accident with severe injuries or death while carrying minimum limits. If you've got teenaged boys, you're nuts not to get your liability up to 250/500.

Everyone should strongly consider increasing your UM/UIM (Uninsured Motorist / UnderInsured Motorist) coverage - even if you get hit by someone with minimum limits, you're going to have a lot of uncovered expense.

If you can't afford liability coverage, you can't afford to drive. Plain and simple. I couldn't care less if you're a single mother or not when your texting and driving kills my wife and kids and you just couldn't spare the extra $75/month for car insurance.

Uninsured drivers are a major problem, and should be dealt with very harshly regarding fines and penalties.
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Posted by Ken Minow (+381) 8 years ago
Let's say you've had vehicle insurance with the same company for 10 years.You've had no claims or traffic tickets.You don't renew your policy at the appropriate time.After several months,you go back to renew your policy.You now are "high risk" and pay substantially higher premiums for at least a year.Or you get sick and end up with a bunch of medical bills.Your credit takes a nosedive.You now pay a higher vehicle insurance premium than before due to your lower credit score.
If insurance wasn't mandatory,I'd say the insurance companies have the right to charge whatever they wish.I think since vehicle insurance is mandatory,there should be some kind of regulatory commission like the PSC does for utilities.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8302) 8 years ago
You now pay a higher vehicle insurance premium than before due to your lower credit score.

Well, let's be honest - if your worthiness metric is low, then you're obviously a rotten person who deserves to pay higher premiums. QED.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14239) 8 years ago
If you can't afford liability coverage, you can't afford to drive. Plain and simple. I couldn't care less if you're a single mother or not when your texting and driving kills my wife and kids and you just couldn't spare the extra $75/month for car insurance.

Uninsured drivers are a major problem, and should be dealt with very harshly regarding fines and penalties.


This is the mentality, that in the next breath, bitches to high heaven about single mothers not working and being on welfare, and gets upset when it is suggested that tax money be used to develop public transportation.

Seeing as most circumstances in peoples lives are interconnected, it seems to me that we ought to devise a method so that everyone can afford liability insurance.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
Because driving is an inalienable right.



Can't afford liability insurance = can't afford to drive.

That is the current law. In all 50 states. And as it should be.

But please, tell me more about my 'mentality.'
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14239) 8 years ago
Because driving is an inalienable right.



Can't afford liability insurance = can't afford to drive.


No, driving is not an inalienable right... but in this part of the world it is a necessity for those who desire to work and be productive. We need to make sure that liability insurance is affordable for all so that they can comply with the law. That probably means regulating insurance companies somehow.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
Insurance costs (premiums) are all about risk pooling. If you lower the costs for the higher risk drivers, you must raise the costs for the lower risk drivers. There may be SOME wiggle room for profit margin that could be regulated - but that doesn't change the basic premise of risk pooling, which is the foundation of liability insurance of all kinds.

Montana flat ignores this principal when it comes to gender, and teenage girls "overpay" as a result. (Then again, men overpay for health insurance as well).
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14239) 8 years ago
Insurance costs (premiums) are all about risk pooling. If you lower the costs for the higher risk drivers, you must raise the costs for the lower risk drivers. There may be SOME wiggle room for profit margin that could be regulated - but that doesn't change the basic premise of risk pooling, which is the foundation of liability insurance of all kinds.


And your assumption is that single mothers who are low income are always high risk. Nice.

I have a problem with insurance companies willy-nilly rearranging their risk pools, and thus their rates, based on the excuse of the day. Suppose a single mother has a job cleaning motel rooms in and the number of people staying drops and as a result she gets less hours and wages. She becomes a little slower paying her bills and as a result her credit rating goes down. Because of the change in her credit rating she gets shifted to a higher risk pool and subsequently her car insurance cost more money. She is now faced with the problem of how does she get to work. Her choices are limited; Either she becomes dependent on others for a ride to get to work, she walks to work, she quits working and goes on welfare.

Your attitude seems to be "though $hit, that's too bad" and she is a lazy SOB if she goes on welfare. I say that this is just another way that the system is broken. There ought to be safeguards in the system to prevent these events which are all too common. We ought to find ways help people in this kind of a situation remain self sufficient and comply with the law of the land. Instead we allow the insurance company to game the system to maintain their precious profit.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
Listen here little fella, you are putting a lot of words in my mouth and acting like a complete a$$hat.

Never did I make the "assumption" that single mothers who are low income are always high risk. I said that insurance is about risk pooling - and that those who ARE high risk will pay higher premiums for the system to work. If anyone has made that assumption, it is you. There is absolutely no reason that a single mother has to be low income or have bad credit just by virtue of being a single mother.

Excuse of the day? If poor credit has a statistically significant and direct correlation with increased risk, then higher premiums are not an arbitrary penalty, it is a legitimate risk categorization.

If you're a high risk driver, then "tough $hit, that's too bad," you pay more for your insurance. And it is even more important that you pay for your insurance than those lower risk drivers... because... YOU'RE HIGH RISK.

Of course insurance companies need to make a profit. Just like any other business on the planet.

Shouldn't you be loitering on Wall Street right about now?

[This message has been edited by Former (10/19/2011)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14239) 8 years ago
You're intentionally ignoring the problem. I am totally wasting my time trying to get you to focus on the issue.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
I understand what you view as "the problem."

There is no practical solution to it.

People's life choices have consequences. One of the more minor repercussions is increased car insurance cost. That doesn't excuse driving uninsured.
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Posted by Ken Minow (+381) 8 years ago
"Excuse of the day? If poor credit has a statistically significant and direct correlation with increased risk, then higher premiums are not an arbitrary penalty, it is a legitimate risk categorization."

I'd sure like to see the "statistics" that determine one's risk categorization.Let's say that statistics prove that drivers with poor credit are more accident prone.Who's statistics are the insurance companies utilizing?How was the data gathered and from where? Without some kind of oversight,do you really think the insurance company is going to be completely neutral and fair?
How about the person that lets his insurance lapse and is now considered high risk.Are you telling me there's overwhelming proof that a person that lets his policy expire is way more likely to get into an accident?
Hey I don't begrudge the insurance companies their profits.I just think that since vehicle insurance is mandatory it should be fair to all.
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Posted by Former (+180) 8 years ago
Of course it should be fair, and I'm sure that the state insurance commissioner keeps things in check. I don't and have never worked in the insurance industry, but there simply ARE legitimate factors used to determine risk category. Age is a big one. Gender SHOULD be one (Montana is one of the few states who don't allow legitimate categories or risk involving gender). Previous accidents and moving violations are big ones. I don't agree with the entire system, but I sure don't support someone not carrying insurance because it is for whatever reason "inconvenient."
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
Well, your credit worthiness is tracked by the big 3 credit reporting agencies, and I'm absolutely certain that they NEVER make mistakes. And the thousands of creditors who report to the credit reporting agencies NEVER make mistakes either.

I was once made aware that Experian was reporting that I was over my credit limit on an HSBC Mastercard I have the pleasure of holding. Being quite certain that I was nowhere near over my limit and having confirmed it with HSBC, I contacted Experian to protest the error.

Experian, "Have you been denied credit?"

Me, "No."

Experian, "Do you have a copy of your credit report that shows the error?"

Me, "No."

Experian, "You must first purchase a copy of your credit report from us or be denied credit before we will investigate the supposed error."

Me, "I became aware of the error because your credit report monitoring service that Mellon Bank is paying for due to their ineptitude in securing their computer systems notified me of the error."

Experian, "We are aware of the problem and we are working on fixing it."

Crooks. Nothing but crooks.

Once automobile liability insurance became mandated by law I think the "profit as we see fit" aspect of that insurance can be fairly called into question.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1664) 8 years ago
I used to work with credit reporting agencies for a living. There are a shocking amount of reporting errors, both on the input side by the creditors, and the output side by the reporting agencies. Sometimes the errors are next to impossible to fix, and if you are lucky and are able to resolve the issue, it can still take months to remedy.

Unfortunately,your credit score wields a ton of power over your life, from procuring loans, obtaining decent interest rates, securing employment, shopping for insurance, etc.
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Posted by Kelly (+2592) 8 years ago
http://www.annualcreditreport.com

for your truly free credit report
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
I wasn't willing to waste my one free annual credit report from Experian fighting them over fixing their error.

Now that I think about it, I couldn't even talk to someone at Experian without first purchasing my credit report/having a copy of my credit report in hand.

My situation differed from the norm in that I became aware of the issue because the credit monitoring service "Triple Alert" notified me that a "potentially negative" report had been added to my file and it showed specifically that I was over my credit limit on my HSBC M/C.

"Triple Alert" is owned by Experian so by calling Triple Alert (whom I was allowed to talk to) I was able to get Experian to fess up to the error.

The error, as I understand it, affected "thousands" of HSBC customers and was probably an error on the part of HSBC. I think HSBC cardholder's credit limits were incorrectly uploaded. For example if you had a $10,000 credit limit they reported that your credit limit was $100. So, if you happened to have a balance over $100 you were suddenly over your credit limit.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8302) 8 years ago
It would be total socialism to suggest that there be some form of regulation and oversight of the credit scoring agencies wouldn't it?

Rick? tax_payer? Korky? Any thoughts?
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Posted by jabba (+19) 8 years ago
Just my 2 cents. I lived in Miles City for several years and did not have a car for the first three. I rode my bike and walked. That's how I got to work and that's how I got groceries and got to the laundromat. It was what I could afford at the time.

I now live in Billings and have a car, but often choose to take the bus to save money.

Driving is not a right and for many people, even in places with no public transportation, it is not a necessity. It is a convenience.

I was recently hit by an uninsured motorist who was 25 and admitted that it was his 4th accident being uninsured. I took him to court and he's now paying me $25 a month - better than nothing and I hope he thinks about insurance every time he writes the check.
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Posted by Mary B. (+195) 8 years ago
Problem with that philosophy, Jabba, is that it is not simply "inconvenient" to have your eight year child walk to school when it's 20 below zero. It's considered abuse. Life is not that simple when there is no public transportation option.
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Posted by jabba (+19) 8 years ago
In that case I would ask what you were thinking about when you decided where to live. We thoroughly thought through transportation issues when we rented and when we bought. Our choices were to live within walking distance of school or far enough away that the school would have to pay for the bus. All choices have consequences. Choosing to drive without insurance should have consequences as well.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8302) 8 years ago
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Posted by jabba (+19) 8 years ago
Was that directed at me? Because I think I explained that I do know what it's like to not be able to afford transportation and that I made decisions about other things in my life accordingly.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8302) 8 years ago
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+480) 8 years ago
When I was 10 my parents made me walk from S. Custer Street to Washington School (about a mile each way) in 20 below weather. Almost everyone else also walked to school from all over town so I didn't even realize I was being abused, and it added to my repertoire of stories to tell my (admittedly spoiled) kids about the hardships I endured as a youth (there were almost no fat kids back then either!)

Seriously, the public transportation in most small towns is pretty much non-existent, and I hate it that our economy has gone so far downhill so that all of our jobs have been sent over to India and China and Vietnam (and insurance and other "neccessities" have become so expensive) that people can't even afford to plan for accidents with insurance. Health Insurance is another pet peeve, as we are paying $800 a month for the 4 of us to be covered (with a high deductible), and that is with what I am told is an equal co-payment by the Employer. How can someone who can't find a job pay $1600 a month for health insurance and $170 a month for car insurance!!
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Posted by Thomas Bankston (+169) 8 years ago
Cheryl, you have opened the proverbial can of worms with that last question. It seems the prevailing thought on car insurance here on this thread is that if one cannot afford to purchase vehicle insurance, then they have made poor life decisions and should not be allowed to drive a vehicle. If that is true, then using those same theories, what of those not able to afford health insurance?
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 8 years ago
Without Car insurance, you just have to bum a ride or walk or take a bus if available...without health insurance, you simply die if a bad accident or health issue strikes...bigggggggggggggggg difference IMO...
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+480) 8 years ago
Cheryl, you have opened the proverbial can of worms with that last question. It seems the prevailing thought on car insurance here on this thread is that if one cannot afford to purchase vehicle insurance, then they have made poor life decisions and should not be allowed to drive a vehicle.



Mr. BANKston, I have "opened that can of worms" long before this. Who is to say that the people who can't afford car insurance or health insurance made "poor life choices"? Plenty of College Graduates and Veterans that served our country cannot afford basic insurance either.
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Besides, there are no buses in Miles City. When it is 40 degrees below zero (with a wind chill factor of -100) do you want single Moms and their young kids to walk several miles to work and school because "they made poor life choices"? What about the people who worked hard all their lives yet their 401 (K)'s were wiped out. Should they walk several miles in -40 degrees even though "they" did not make poor choices, just because they can't afford insurance?
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+480) 8 years ago
I'm not making excuses for people with no insurance, just don't think it's actually fair to take transportation and healthcare away from poor people, whatever their circumstances. I don't see how that helps them and their families "get back on the right track". Ever.

....and I guess that I am just going to segway back into my original stance that if you want to be covered by insurance, and CAN afford it for whatever reason, you should buy comprehensive and collision insurance just in case.
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Posted by Skidoorulz (+34) 8 years ago
Back on subject, Montana law used to be that you had to present proof of ins. every time you went in to license a vehicle. That still did not stop the deadbeats from licensing their cars. They simply bought ins and then their license and promptly cancelled the insurance and got the refund. Second since MT has an insurance law, why should anyone have to carry un insured or under insured motorist ( I do ) on their vehicles? 3rd, there is nowhere you can live in MC that is to far for healthy people to walk to work or school. We as kids walked to school every day rain or shine cold or hot. My single divorced mother walked to work every day rain or shine hot or -40. I agree with several here. Driving is a privalege not a right. If you can't afford the privelage then you shouldn't do it. JMHO
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago


I don't recall Montana ever having a law where you had to show proof of insurance to license your vehicle or to get/renew a driver's license. What timeframe was it that such a law existed?
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Posted by tax payer (+350) 8 years ago
When the law first came out you had to show insurance, but they haven't asked for it in years. Looks like it is still on the record tho... http://www.dmv.com/mt/mon...istration/
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14239) 8 years ago
Here in Wyoming, they check online when you buy your very expensive ($525 for a 09 Ford F150) license plates.
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
I remain unconvinced that there was ever any provision in Montana law that required showing proof of insurance at the time that you register a vehicle. Yes, you are required to have insurance to operate the vehicle, but I don't see anything in the law that says you must show proof in order to register the vehicle.

Note that one section of the Montana Mandatory Liability Protection law [not copied here, see final link on this post] says that a law enforcement officer can access an electronic system to verify liability insurance is in effect and said electronic system supersedes any insurance card that is carried in the car.

Here is what the Montana State Department of Justice website says about "titling" a vehicle in Montana:
[f]Titling Provisions

How to Title a Motor Vehicle

1. Apply at the county treasurer's office in the county you live in.
2. Present the previous year's Montana registration receipt or
out-of-state title:
* If you have recently purchased a vehicle from a licensed
auto dealer, the dealer will send or deliver the necessary
paperwork to the county treasurer's office.
* The county clerk may ask you to complete a Statement of Fact
(Form MV100) to clarify certain facts about the title transfer.
* Be prepared to pay title and security interest/lien filing
fees.
3. Once the title process has been completed, you must pay all taxes
and fees, and your vehicle will be registered and license plates
issued.
4. A copy of the registration receipt must be kept in each
vehicle at all times, along with proof of liability insurance
as required in MCA 61-6-301.

5. When the ownership of a vehicle titled in Montana is transferred,
the signatures of all parties shown on the face of the title must
sign off on the title and have their signatures notarized.[/f]http://www.doj.mt.gov/dri...ration.asp

Here is MCA 61-6-301:

[f] 61-6-301. Required motor vehicle insurance -- family member exclusion.
(1)(a) Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), an owner of a
motor vehicle that is registered and operated in Montana by the
owner or with the owner's permission shall continuously provide
insurance against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for
bodily injury or death or damage to property suffered by any person
caused by maintenance or use of a motor vehicle in an amount not less
than that required by 61-6-103, or a certificate of self-insurance
issued in accordance with 61-6-143.
(b) Notwithstanding the mandatory motor vehicle liability
insurance protection provided for in subsection (1)(a), nothing in
this part may be construed to prohibit the exclusion from insurance
coverage of a named family member in a motor vehicle liability
insurance policy.
(2) A motor vehicle owner who prefers to post an indemnity bond
with the department in lieu of obtaining a policy of liability
insurance may do so. The bond must guarantee that any loss resulting
from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, or damage to
property suffered by any person caused by accident and arising out
of the operation, maintenance, and use of the motor vehicle sought
to be registered must be paid within 30 days after final judgment is
entered establishing the liability. The indemnity bond must
guarantee payment in the amount provided for insurance under
subsection (1).
(3) Any bond given in connection with this section is a continuing
instrument and must cover the period for which the motor vehicle is
to be registered and operated. The bond must be on a form approved
by the commissioner of insurance and must be with a surety company
authorized to do business in the state.
(4) It is unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle upon
ways of this state open to the public as defined in 61-8-101 without
a valid policy of liability insurance in effect in an amount not
less than that required by 61-6-103 unless the person has been
issued a certificate of self-insurance under 61-6-143, has posted an
indemnity bond with the department as provided in this section, or
is operating a vehicle exempt under 61-6-303.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 592, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 503,
L. 1985; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 425, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 393,
L. 1995; amd. Sec. 194, Ch. 542, L. 2005.[/f]http://data.opi.mt.gov/bi...-6-301.htm

Here is a link to the entire "Mandatory Liability Protection" section of MCA:

http://data.opi.mt.gov/bi...61_6_3.htm
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
Correction on one thing -- you can be required to show proof of insurance in order to get a driver's license in the situation where your driver's license has been revoked. For instance, if you lose your license due to a DUI conviction, you would be required to show proof of insurance in order to get your license reinstated.

Overall, I am curious to know if there was ever a provision in Montana law that required showing proof of insurance in order to register a vehicle. If so, what was (is?) the law and if it was repealed, why? Seems like a reasonable thing to do.
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supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14053) 8 years ago
I have never been asked for proof of insurance when registering a vehicle, or transfering a title.

Used to be, when you got pulled over, the police would ask for proof of insurance along with your license and registration. I recently got a speeding ticket from the Montana Highway Patrol and I pulled out my insurance card, but the patrolman had no interest in looking at it. So, that law somehow got changed. I suspect the drunken Republicans in the legislature had something to do with that.
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 8 years ago
Maybe the patrolman had already accessed an electronic verification system to confirm you had insurance in effect.
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supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 8 years ago
An electronical system in Montucky?
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Posted by Skidoorulz (+34) 8 years ago
Every time I went to the courthouse in MC from when the insurance law passed in the seventies I had to show proof of insurance, as did everyone else. Seems like this lasted about 8 years before showing proof was dropped, also seems to me it was during the time that everyone licensed everything they owned in January before the staggered system began. Man what a cluster that was. You also could not get tags in the mail because of having to show proof. For sure you would spend at least an hour at the courthouse every year just to get your plates. Come on someone else hear surely remembers this.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9723) 8 years ago
I thought I had to show proof of insurance back in the early 80's to either register a vehicle or get my tags. Everyone had to get their tags in Jan or by Feb 1st or 15th or whenever the deadline was.

They also put your social security number on your drivers license. When you wrote a check, the cashier would frequently write your social security number drivers license number on the check. The bank also printed checks with the drivers license number already on them to save the step. Now that was a great system.
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supporter
Posted by Don Birkholz (+1142) 8 years ago
I have been following mandatory auto insurance in Montana since its inception in 1979. (I am opposed to mandatory auto insurance). The first two years of the law you had to have insurance to get a registration. I know in subsequent years the county treasurer's have blocked laws to show proof of insurance at registration, since it makes more work for the county treasurers. (And the individual can cancel the insurance in a month). At the start of the law, I believe motorcycles also had to have insurance and motorcycles were exempted,I think two years later (by Senator Allan Kolstad). I requested a food stamp study thru my local legislator and this study showed 12% said they had to go on food stamps due to mandatory auto insurance. Study can be seen at http://www.foodstampstudy.com/

That would equal 30,000 over the last 20 years who would have said they had to go on food stamps due to mandatory auto insurance.

And I am sure many landlords are getting late rent or not at all due to mandatory auto insurance. And the nation's leading insurance company (State Farm) is opposed to mandatory auto insurance.

I would rather drive the highways with 1,000 excellent drivers who don't have insurance, rather than 1,000 three time DUI's that have insurance. Insurance does not prevent accidents.

There is a current law that is probably not in effect yet that will require insurance at registration (if you have a permanent plate, you will have to get a new one every so often), and an insurance verification system (I don't think is in effect yet). There are still many ways around the system. If you have to get insurance at registration, many will probably drop the insurance after a month or six months. In Mississippi there are 30% driving without insurance.

Collision insurance will pay you 20,000$ if someone without insurance wrecks your vehicle. Collision insurance works, liability insurance does not work. And your health insurance pays if you get injured by an uninsured driver. Why continue with a liability system that does not work? Some states still do not have mandatory auto insurance laws.
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Posted by luckycharms (+53) 8 years ago
Ok people. Back to the point. Regardless of who you are, it is LAW that you carry insurance on the car you drive. I had a problem paying for my auto insurance. Even though I was supposed to be getting a discount for have home and auto with the same insurance company, I never saw a discount. What I saw was my rate going up every time. I have never had a wreck OR a ticket. I am well over 25. Credit score is fine. Insurance companies are THEIVES! SO, I actually went to Geiko.com. Guess what, I pay $76 for 6months of insurance. Is it the greatest insurance? no, but I am legal! I would rather have cheap, crappy insurance then none.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+269) 8 years ago
Just for your info, I just read that there are only three state out of the 50 that have a higher insurance rate for autos than Montana. 18 percent of the drivers in Montana are uninsured. North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are all in the top 10. We all share another thing in common. We all have the highest DUI rates in the nation. Just food for thought.
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supporter
Posted by Don Birkholz (+1142) 8 years ago
As for % driving without insurance and DUI, they told New Mexico that they had 30% driving without insurance and New Mexico disagreed and said it was closer to 20%.(in the years past)

As for DUI numbers, Montana and South Dakota both have high Native American populations, and sad but true, there is a very high rate of DUIs in these areas. It would be interesting to see what the rates are in non Native American areas.

There is a new law that requires two time DUI convictions to check in once or twice a day for blood alcohol tests. They say there is nearly 100% compliance, which is hard to believe. I am wondering if some DUI convictions move to avoid DUI penalties.

In another subject, Wyoming has a law that certain types of sex offenders cannot collect food stamps. I wonder how many of these move to Montana to get food stamps?
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