The Costs of the Mafia

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Why is it a bad idea to force people to buy car insurance – leaving aside the forcing them to buy it?

Well, because it enables the insurance mafia – how else to describe a business that uses threats of retaliation if you don’t agree to pay for its services? – to base what it forces you to pay it on criteria other than the only criteria that ought to be relevant as regards what it costs to insure anyone.

That being whether that individual has a record of incurring losses.

Not how many “tickets” they’ve received. Or how good, bad – or nonexistent – their credit is.

None of the above necessarily correlates with an increased likelihood of incurring losses in the future – in italics to harp on the insurance mafia’s assertions about probabilities as opposed to actualities.

To put it another way:

If a person has been driving for years – for decades – without ever having had what is styled an “accident” – which most such usually aren’t, being due to driver error and thus avoidable – then why should that person have to pay more for insurance when his driving record establishes him to be a low-risk driver?

Well, that’s easy.

It’s because there’s no money in it.

Or at least, less.

If you could choose to not buy car insurance – without being forced to give up driving (legally) then the insurance companies (which would no longer be insurance mafias) would be obliged to make you an offer you could refuse – in order to get (and keep) your business.

The cost of insurance would have to be worth it – to you, the person choosing freely to pay for it.

That is what’s called the free exchange of goods and services. It’s something you don’t hear much about anymore. Like the saying, it’s a free country.

Because of course it no longer is.

Ironically, it is probable more people would choose to buy insurance if they were free to choose not to – precisely because it would be worth it. Thus solving the putative problem used to justify forcing people to buy insurance and – thereby – forcing them to pay exorbitantly for it. Which, in turn, results in a fair number of people choosing not to buy it – because it’s less costly to run the risk of driving without it.

One of them may run into you one day.  It happens to someone literally every day.

A thinking person might give that some thought. Might begin to wonder how it can be that there are so many uninsured drivers out there – and why they’re paying uninsured motorist coverage, in addition to the coverage they’re forced to buy –  notwithstanding the requirement (in most states) that every driver buy insurance as a condition of being allowed to drive . . .  .

It’s kind of like what is styled “gun control,”isn’t it? The controlled don’t have guns – but the uncontrolled (who are the problem) do.

It’s worth thinking about.

But the mafia knows there is money in finding excuses to charge people more for what it can force them to buy – and that’s exactly what the insurance mafia does.

Because, of course, it can. The mafia has the power to make you pay – and so, it does.

You haven’t had an accident in years, if ever – but you did get that “ticket” last year.

Or perhaps you are a financially prudent person who does not buy things that cannot be paid for at the time of purchase; i.e.; someone without a history of applying for credit and making regular payments on things you could not afford to pay for when you bought them. This often results in having no credit, believe it or not. And that, in turn, can raise the cost of what the insurance mafia can force you to pay for by an astounding 72 percent.

It’s worth reiterating here that this extortion – what else would you style it? – is routinely performed in the absence of any record of “accidents,” or claims filed. The person with no or “poor” credit may have been bankrupted by a business failure – or an ex-spouse, who saddled him with bills he could not pay.

What has this to do with his driving?

The answer, of course, is nothing. At least, nothing specific that has to do with his driving. It is enough to impute future careless/reckless driving – and a greater likelihood of an “accident” (even if it never actually happens) to a driver whose financial affairs aren’t in order.

Even if his record of driving cannot be faulted.

In other words, what he has actually done (and not done) matters less than what the insurance mafia claims he might do, going forward – according to criteria that have nothing whatever to do with his actual driving thus far.

Is this not like charging a person who is not overweight, who does exercise, who does not smoke more for health insurance because he might become overweight, stop exercising and take up smoking?

Such things can happen.

But – once upon a different time – people were generally judged on what had happened, as a predictor of what was likely to happen. That changed – as regards insurance – when the latter became a mafia, which happened when it secured the backing of the government to threaten people with violent repercussions if they refused to buy its services.

And that’s why forcing people to buy insurance is such a bad idea.

. . .

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  1. Great article — and I may have a solution. We all ready have Medical / Health Savings / Flexible Spending Accounts, so why not one for vehicles? You would put money into it to be used for anything vehicular, and it would also give you insurance. Some innovative entrepreneur or company should originate this as a replacement for traditional auto insurance. Thanks for the incisive writes!

    • Thanks, Brent!

      I’ll go a little farther: Why not just leave people be unless they have caused someone else harm? If they cause harm, then hold them responsible for it. But not anyone else.

      It astounds me that this has become such a radical idea.

      If a person must put money into a “vehicle savings account” to self-indemnify against harm he may cause with regard to cars/driving, then you can bet the control freaks and neurotics will says people who own guns must do the same. It will elaborate. It will never end. Because anyone might do anything.

      I understand that there are people without the means to pay for harms they cause. Forcing people to buy insurance has in no way ended that problem. Yet we are told we must buy insurance as the solution to that problem. It is essentially the same asd telling people that guns must be “controlled” because some people handle guns recklessly and criminally. Yet “controlling” guns has done nothing to “control” criminals or reckless people.

      The principle in law is (or was) that a person cannot be punished before he is convicted – and conviction presumes guilt has been established by presentation of evidence. A driver who has not harmed anyone is guilty of nothing yet he is punished by having to hand over money (lots of it) to “cover” harms he has not caused.

  2. Hello to all,

    About 3 months ago the spagans, led by the femonaziz in Spain passed a law legalising bestiality with animals, as long as the animal was not injured and did not need veterinary care. Healthy, no?

    This morning I received an email. As of 23 Oct 23 the mafia now requires obligatory insurance for domestic pets. Incredible horse shit world we live in now. George Orwell…..

    Animal Welfare Law
    Since September 29, 2023, the Animal Welfare Law stipulates the obligation to insure all dogs.
    With Terranea Civil Liability insurance, protect your dog and don’t worry.

    Ley de Bienestar Animal
    Desde el 29 de septiembre de 2023, la Ley de Bienestar Animal estipula la obligatoriedad de asegurar a todos los perros.
    Con el seguro de Responsabilidad Civil de Terránea, protege a tu perro y despreocúpate.

    • Hi Frank,

      I’m appalled- but not surprised. After all, if they can force you to buy insurance for a car, then they have stablished they can force you to buy it for pets, too. And to own a gun. All of it a mechanism to control what you are allowed to own (the money is just part of it).

  3. ‘Sometimes ya gotta wreck the truck to get the insurance payment so you can make the truck payment’ – Larry the Cable Guy (paraphrased).

  4. Here in WA motorcycle insurance is now mandatory years ago not. “Proof of insurance” if stopped also required. Oh and your “endorsement “ proving you’re “legal” to operate said motorcycle. Disgusting. Meanwhile, Jerry Atrick can roll out in a motor home of any size no “endorsement” required for him/her. Who again is a size able risk to others on the highway, uh huh.

    I’m about to begin year two of expired license on the bike. Might hair dryer off the expired tabs and replace with a 1 x 3 inch Gadsden flag sticker.

  5. Car insurance is the payoff to the insurance companies that allows you to work, move about in a free manner, and raise your family. They are a complete scam. I have never had an accident yet have paid out tens of thousands of dollars over the years in premiums!

    • Amen, Joe –

      I’ve pointed out the same in prior columns. No accidents or claims in 30 years. Yet I am obliged to pay… and pay and pay and pay… for harms I haven’t caused, just in case I might cause them. I have a 22-year-old truck that’s worth maybe $4,500. Over the course of the past ten years, I’ve paid about a third of its current value in premiums. It will be half before too much longer. If I had back all the money I’ve been forced to pay to cover this truck – plus my motorcycles, plus all the other vehicles I have owned over the past 30 years – I’d be at least $20k richer. Add in the almost $40k I have paid in property taxes… and god-knows-how much in Social Security “contributions” – and I’d have no money worries today.

      • As far as car insurance, yes most states have minimum requirements like here in Florida. But if a person only wants the minimum then the cost is small. As an insurance agent I get the comment “ it’s so expensive “ every day. That’s when I inform the customer that they can just get the minimum if they want which is pretty cheap. But then they say “ Oh no, I need full coverage “. So essentially it’s not the insurance “ mafia “ forcing them to pay higher premiums. They ELECT to do so. And then complain about it. Plus it’s not just the insurance industry. If you have a loan on your car or house the LENDER will force you to buy insurance. In Florida over the last few years we’ve had numerous homeowner companies go bankrupt or leave the State. Do you think that would be happening if the insurance companies were raping the consumer for unreasonable profits? No. I generally love your website, but this article is just whining. If you don’t have a loan then just buy the state minimums on your car, or go uninsured on your house if you think rates are too high. If you have a loan blame your lender. Otherwise quit complaining.

        • “But if a person only wants the minimum then the cost is small.”

          Is the cost 0?

          Because 0 is exactly what I should be required to buy, by law, from your industry.

        • Hi Abolt,

          All my vehicles are paid for – so the argument (legitimate) that a lien-holder has the right to insist on insurance – does not apply to me and others who own their property.

          I do buy the bare minimum – but that is beside the point, which you are missing. Which is that I am forced to buy anything. I’ve not harmed anyone. I’ve not damaged anyone’s property. Yet I am made to pay – because (so it is said) I might cause harm. Well, how about a refund for all the harms I have not caused over the past 30 years?

          Let me ask you a serious question, which I hope you’ll answer honestly:

          Would you consider it “whining” if I were to force you to pay me $100 – and you objected to my doing that? How about $20? How much theft is ok?

          I don’t have a problem with insurance. My objection is the forcing people to buy it. And, consider: The fact that it became legal to force people to buy car insurance set the precedent for forcing them to buy health insurance.

          Do you support that?

          • The cost in Florida is not “small”. I have two vehicles, both owned with no loans and the minimum legally required insurance. Never had an accident and never filed a single claim against my insurance company in the last 40 years, haven’t had a moving violation in over 20 years. I’m still paying just under $2000 a year. I think I’ll keep complaining.

              • Hi Abolt,

                I understand you’re trying to help – and that $800 is less than $2,000. But, consider: Over just six years, $800 per year comes to nearly $5,000 spent on insurance. That is a lot of money to most people. I understand it could be even more money if there is a major (or even minor, these days) accident. But the point is that the option to save the money for just-in-case has been set aside (by force) and the result is that the $5,000 is gone forever and the only benefit to the person who paid it is that he was “covered.” Maybe he’d rather have his money instead. That is perfectly legitimate, assuming he didn’t wreck and caused no damage to anyone else’s property.

                Keep in mind that the people who insist that everyone who owns a car must carry insurance – because they might cause harm while driving it – could just as easily insist that people who own guns also carry insurance, for exactly the same reason. This would then make owning a gun much more expensive and thereby make owning a gun harder. It has done exactly that to cars. Some will say that’s justified (see point above). I say it’s a case of presumptive punishment and a mechanism for exerting control over things, by people who (fundamentally) do not like it that others have/use such things.

                Risk cannot be eliminated from life. What can be eliminated is the certainty of harm caused – by the government.

          • Hi Eric, thanks for the response. I am not a fan of minimum insurance requirements. My argument was that it is the insurance “mafia” that is causing this. As a libertarian I’m sure you agree that any company has the right to sell and price their product anyway they choose, and live or die with the consequences. Right? It’s government and lenders that have mandated insurance. Not insurance companies. Plus one issue you didn’t address is what happens when an uninsured driver causes an accident and has no means to pay? Drivers complain about that every day. Then your insurance has to pay, or in your case with only minimal coverage, you’re out of luck. So I guess you can’t complain there either? Uninsured drivers are a big driver of the costs that insured drivers pay. Because SOMEONE has to pay. So it’s not an easy conundrum to get out of. I didn’t design insurance, but unfortunately it’s a bit like communism. Everyone insured pays premiums but when claims happen that are not their fault the insurance company still pays, and those claims are shared amongst all other policy holders. It sucks, but I don’t see how it could be otherwise. But again I do love your website and share it with money people.

            • Hi Abolt,

              I have no issue with any business pricing and selling their services any way they choose. I defend their right to do to precisely that. But I also defend my right to refuse such services, if they are unattractive to me for whatever reason.

              Certainly, there are irresponsible people who cannot afford to pay (or refuse to pay) for the damage they cause. Does this justify forcing everyone to pay for that? And the fact is that despite the requirement to cary insurance, irresponsible people don’t and cause damage/injury to others they can’t or won’t pay for. Ergo, the primary justification for forcing everyone to buy insurance isn’t justified by the results of doing that. All it has done is raised the costs for everyone far higher than they would otherwise be. This is inevitable when any company can force people to pay for what they’re selling.

              How much would a cup of coffee cost if the government required us to buy a cup each day?

              It may be sensible to buy insurance; it may be sensible to pay extra for additional “uninsured motorist” coverage. But the issue at hand is whether it’s legitimate to harm people who’ve not caused any harm because (in the view of some) they may cause harm. As a libertarian, my position is that people who cause harm ought to be held responsible for the harms they cause. This strikes me as objectively fair and I cannot understand anyone who’d take issue with it. On the other hand, if I fail to see the light has gone red and run it – and run into someone – not only should I be held responsible, I know I ought to be held responsible. I would want to make it right. But I resent it when I am “ticketed” for an “offense” that entailed no harm done to anyone. Similarly, it is obnoxious to be presumed guilty of having harmed others and made to pay for harms you didn’t cause, which is what forcing people to buy insurance comes down to. It is even more obnoxious in the case we’re discussing because insurance mafias are for-profit private businesses.

              I’d like to see such businesses make money they way private businesses used to have to make it – as by persuading people their products/services were worth the money and people freely choosing to bu them.

            • Maybe the insurance companies don’t mandate insurance, but you can bet your ass they bought off the politicians to do so. How many lobbyists does your industry employ asking the government to mind its own business and stop mandating private marketplace decisions? Lemme guess. Zero? Now, how much does your industry spend lobbying the government for less regulation and higher rates? Probably more than I can calculate. Who do you think is driving the latest idea to track individual mileage? I doubt some politician or government apparatchik had an epiphany in the middling of the night, I’m sure a little insurance birdie whispered in someone’s ear.

              • As a matter of fact, as libertarians, we should applaud government getting out of regulating insurance laws and rate regulations. Insurance companies would love that! Let each company set their own rates and rules, and in a free marketplace compete for customers. If they want to track mileage, as you correctly point out, then the consumer can go to another company that doesn’t. Or are you saying the opposite, that government SHOULD regulate insurance companies?

            • Hi Abolt,

              I submit that there is an easy way to deal with the legitimate problem of irresponsible people who cause harm to other people and their property.

              Hold them responsible.

              If they have no money, make them work it off. I have no problem with indentured servitude in such cases. You owe someone you harmed restitution. If you cannot pay, then work it off.

              This business of holding other people – responsible people – responsible for the irresponsibility of irresponsible people will be the undoing of what was once a free society. It is much less so now because the idea of collective responsibility has taken hold.

              We are each responsible – morally – for what we do. And that ought to be the sum and total of it.

              • I agree. However, I doubt indentured servitude is coming back any time soon. Much like repealing the 19th Amendment isn’t going to happen either (LOL). So how do we handle it in the meantime?

                • Hi Abolt,

                  Well, a start would be to end the use of government power to make people buy insurance! And we could make a start toward getting there by conceding that it’s wrong (in a free society) to force anyone to buy anything.

                  As for instance health insurance… stay tuned!

          • As far as health insurance I in no way think people should be forced to buy it. My father was a physician and he always said the main cost driver of medical expenses was mandating insurance, and especially Medicare, which destroyed medicine in this country. But I’d guarantee that NONE of your readers here over 65 would give up their Medicare coverage if they were allowed to do so. Because none of them could afford to pay out of pocket for their medical care. So that’s the world we live in. For younger people, many do , in fact, live uninsured.

            • In fact, it a social conditioning, where people totally understand that they have to pay out of pocket for a plumber to come to their house, or to get their car repaired, but balk at having to pay $200 to go to a Dr for their annual checkup. They think their insurance should pay for that! it’s ridiculous. When I talk to people about health insurance I tell them to get the highest possible deductible, and pay for normal things themselves, and again they balk at that and think their policy should pay for even the smallest expenses. My philosophy is those should only pay for insurance on things they cannot afford to lose, otherwise they should take the risk and not buy insurance. But most people want to insure everything and then bitch about the cost. That’s just my experience.

              • Hi Abolt,

                I agree completely. If people used insurance to pay for oil changes and tire rotations, these would cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars (in the form of what you pay for car insurance).

                I don’t have health insurance. Never have had it. Because I consider it a waste of money. I don’t go to the doctor because I don’t need to. And because I have avoided spending what would literally have amounted to tens of thousands on “coverage,” I can afford to pay for whatever I might need, short of some catastrophic event. And in re that. I probably would have bought a very high deductible policy for just that – and only that – if I could have. But – thanks to Obamacare – such policies are not available. I’d have to pay for things I don’t need to get what I want – and I refuse to do that.

                • I totally agree that Obamacare destroyed everything in healthcare. It was. (Is) another government LIE. Affordable Care Act? What BS. It’s never been as unaffordable as it is now. If fact Obamacare really isn’t insurance, because you can buy it AFTER you get sick. Like buying home insurance AFTER your home is on fire. That violates the very principle of insurance. So we are in complete agreement here.

                • Hi Eric, I get what you’re saying. You’ve forgone all those premiums on health insurance. I hope you’ve saved them. Most people don’t. If you have cancer or a heart attack it will easily cost you half a million dollars for treatment. Have you save that much by foregoing premiums? If not you will have to rely on public subsidies. Is that what a libertarian would do? Have others pay for your care? I suppose you could just go home and die, but most people aren’t willing to follow their principles when they face death. Are you?

                  • Morning, Abolt!

                    Let me preface my reply with some background: Both my dad and grandfather were medical doctors so I grew up around allopathic medicine. I think allopathic medicine is fine for dealing with acute injuries such as open wounds, broken bones and so on. But think it is far too reliant on (and frankly, beholden to) pharmacological mitigation of symptoms. I have also lost almost all trust in what the medical apparat says; most doctors are now employees of hospital chains and HMOs and they are under pressure to do what they are told. And tell you exactly that, as during the “pandemic.” I want nothing to do with it. So I take care of myself. I exercise six out of seven days; I keep my weight within normal parameters. I have never smoked. I eat reasonably (usually!).

                    Since I’m self-employed, the cost of “coverage” is beyond ridiculous and so I don’t buy coverage – and as the saying has it – I shift for myself.

                    I don’t have kids – and if I croak, Dawn is provided for. Thot is the extent of my responsibilities. I refuse to live my life addled by the fear that something might happen and spend my life working to pay insurance against the chance it might!

                    We all die. I am under no illusions. But I prefer to live – and when death comes, it comes.

                    I know… I’m a kook.

              • Hi Abolt,

                There’s another aspect of this I’d like to touch on – and will be glad to get your take on. You’ve taken issue with my use of the word mafia to describe insurance companies. You have said they don’t force people to buy insurance; the government does. I think that’s disingenuous – but let’s leave it aside. Here’s the thing I wanted to touch on that bears on the latter:

                Insurance companies will immediately report to the government (DMV) if you cancel your coverage. It used to be that the government might catch you (if you lacked “coverage”) by “random checking.” But no longer. Now it’s automatic – and it’s done by the mafia.

                To my mind, this is done precisely for the obvious reason: To alert the government so that the government can punish the person who did not renew/cancelled or failed to pay for the “coverage.” This – to my mind – completely washes away the argument that insurance companies are just selling insurance and it’s not their fault the government forces people to buy what they’re selling. The fact is the insurance companies very much want people to be forced to buy what they are selling – and punished if they don’t.

                Hence my use of mafia.

                • Regarding the fact that insurance companies report lapsed coverage to the State (they do) i have no idea if that came from the State or the Insurance companies, so wouldn’t automatically assume that it’s the “Mafia” that did it. Also, the idea that insurance companies are a lot of money on State Minimum coverage is false. It’s like a “Loss Leader” in a retail store. They make money on full coverage and high liability limits because they know that the likelihood of large loses is low nd they still get to collect the higher premiums for the higher coverages. That’s where they make their money. But again, I’m with you on being against any mandatory insurance requirements. But i dispute the assertion that Insurance companies prefer a government mandate. They may actually like the lender mandate, because that usually requires more coverage, and hence more premium. In Florida in fact ther has been a push by insurance companies to get rid of PIP (no fault) but the cottage industry of lawyers and chiropractors has fought it every step of the way, and therefore we still have it.

            • Hi Abolt,

              I am glad to hear that! But, consider: If the government an be used to force people to buy car insurance then the principle has been established it can force them to buy other kinds of insurance, such as health insurance. Why not gun insurance? There is no principled argument that can be put up against this, if it has already been accepted that government can be used to force you to buy any kind of insurance.

              This is the core thing at issue – and the foundation of my objection to using the government to force people to buy car insurance.

              • Hi Abolt. You said that people should only have insurance for things that they can’t afford to lose. I have minimal insurance in Florida, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is 40k for liability. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I could cover 40k if I had to. So why should I have to pay GEICO for something that I don’t need or want?

                • Indeed, Floriduh –

                  As I’ve been trying to explain to Abolt, the objection here is not to insurance, per se. The objection is forcing anyone to buy it, using as justification the assertion that they might cause harm and therefore must indemnify against the possibility. This is essentially punishment before the fact. And it is a dangerous principle to allow to get traction, because once it does, then it will be expanded. It already has been. People are now forced to buy health insurance – and were subject to fines if they didn’t.

                  That happened because people had gotten used to being made to pay for car insurance. If they hadn’t been so conditioned, it would I think have been much harder to foist Obamacare on them.

                • Minimum coverage in Florida is $10k Property damage, and PIP (no fault). No Bodily injury liability required. I’m at my office now and just ran a quote on a 32 year old male and the minimum coverage would run him $149.58 every 6 months. Certainly not free, but less that a lot of expenses that people take for granted like for example, his cell phone bill. So again it’s true that we can’t get away from the mandate (which I don’t agree with) but people can seriously mitigate their insurance expenses if they’re really willing to take the risk, and just go with minimum coverage. My experience is that most people won’t do that however, they want a lot of coverage but then bitch about the price. In other words they want to “have their cake, and eat it too”. And there is some validity to their thinking. Even if you’ve been driving for 30 years without and accident and have state minimum coverage, and then injure or kill a neurosurgeon with a wife and 4 kids, are you going to be able to handle the massive lawsuit for millions of lost wages the widows attorney will be able to place in front of a jury that you took away from her? The fact is that driving a car is the greatest physical and financial risk people take on a daily basis. You either assume the risk yourself, or transfer the risk to an insurance company. And I agree with Eric and you, that it should be solely your choice.

                  • I just thought further about the neurosurgeon example above. (Doesn’t have to be a Dr.). If a person chooses to operate a motor vehicle without insurance (which I agree should be their right) then, given that most people are not wealthy and indentured servitude is not realistic, all liability shielding of property should be removed. No shielding of retirement accounts, or primary residence, for example. On my example above, the wife (who has been severely hurt financially by the at-fault driver, should be able to (if she prevails) seize any and all assets of the perpetrator if he doesn’t have the cash to indemnify her for her losses. But as of now, that’s not the way it is, and the person who caused such hurt can still keep his house and his 401K even if it has a million dollars in it, and basically walk away scott free. Eric I’m interested in what you think about this idea, or id you have a different one?

                    • Hi Abolt!

                      I’m in complete agreement. Full restitution. If I injure someone, I owe that someone for the costs incurred. If that means I lose my house and my Trans-Am, that would be ok with me in that I understand it’s just. What I consider to be an injustice is this business of making people pay for harms they have not caused because there is a possibility they might cause harm.

  6. Given that most states require people who drive an automobile to carry insurance, plus the desire from governments and their puppet masters to force people out of cars altogether, if government fails to do that, they’ll simply accomplish it via the insurance mafia refusing to insure EVs given the problems we KNOW exist with them…..

    • Nah. They will redirect and reclassify risk and make the ICE engined cars the culprit. They will then gas light us into accepting higher overall rates and rendering ICE cars the uninsurable ones.

      • Hi Swamp,

        You think that they’ll make gas powered vehicles the culprit? That sounds like when they tried to make “The Unvaxxed” out to be the culprit for the “pandemic”. Remember the narrative “Pandemic of the unvaccinated”? We had the Biden Thing, Tony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, and certain media figures uttering that narrative in unison.

  7. The sky is falling, everything is wrong.

    Pay taxes of all kinds for what amounts to 50 years now, house insurance, auto insurance, business insurance, have to be bonded, soon enough the total is a lot. Add in your health insurance, the cost increase some more.

    As long as you can manage to stay alive, you can’t complain that much.

    Probably a good 100 grand for all that protection, which is not much protection for all of the money spent… for nothing. Probably another 100 grand, just thinking about how much you really do pay. You have to grin and bear it, not much can be done, you can stop paying.

    Face it, you’re being fleeced.

    The insurance companies know how to extract a pound of flesh.

    But it don’t do no good to get angry, so help me, I know
    For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter…
    As you watch yourself sit there in your very own chain of sorrow
    – John Prine, Chain of Sorrow

  8. There’s another problem with insurance today: insurance is less a matter of protection against catastrophic losses and more a matter of pre-paid health care/car repairs.

    Part of it is that we aren’t able to save money like we used to (for many reasons!) Part of it is that insurance companies can get a bigger “cut of the swag” with more common smaller losses than rarer catastrophic losses. Part of it is the vicious cycle of rising costs when people don’t pay for things directly.

  9. One of the few good things about Taxachusetts is they have decent consumer protection laws, and your credit score can’t be used in figuring your insurance rate. Not that it matters, all it takes is a “moving violation”,such as rolling through a stop sign, to get a “surcharge” for the next several years. No property damage, no payout from the insurance mafia, but a double whammy for the driver who now has to pay for the ticket and the increased premiums.

    • I think it might be good business for an insurance company to explicitly state that it won’t rate drivers based on speeding tickets. I wonder how many people would sign up.

  10. When my sister graduated college and got her first job, she bought a new car. At the time Chrysler had an incentive for college grads that gave her favorable terms on a loan. She had no credit established at the time, and was driving a hand-me-down from my parents that was old, but could have been run for a few more years while she saved up money.

    That’s great, and she did just fine with making the payments and all. But it set in motion the trend of always buying new vehicles, always making a payment… and always buying more than she could afford to pay in cash. This trend really got going in the 1980s, when manufacturers began offerning credit directly, bypassing banks, although I think GMAC was issuing credit earlier. For them it was a win-win. They sold a more expensive car, and they got the interest payments. And if sales were slow, they could sell 0% loans to clear the lot.

    They should have gotten into the insurance racket too. Maybe then they wouldn’t need bailed out every 10 years.

  11. Speaking of uninsured drivers, millions of potential “drivers” have infiltrated the border in the past few years. The feds do nothing but accommodate them at our expense. Are the auto insurance companies preparing to do the same by jacking up our rates to compensate?

  12. Not to take away from the fine points Eric makes in today’s piece, but what this really comes down to is, insurance companies are just a microcosm of that which has occurred throughout the economy for the last century or so. The moral & ethical degeneration in the way ins. cos. conduct business is not the result of some natural organic process which had evolved because of efficiency, increased knowledge, or advantageous ways acquired over time. No, that’s pretty obvious. But the bigger problem of course is that the same disease which infects the insurance industry is, sadly, also in play with practically every business in every industry today. And what is the root cause of that disease? Well, that too is pretty obvious.

    • Friedman doctrine.

      In a free-enterprise, private-property system, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct responsibility to his employers. That responsibility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires … the key point is that, in his capacity as a corporate executive, the manager is the agent of the individuals who own the corporation … and his primary responsibility is to them.

      The problem comes in when the “owners” of the company have no long-term interest in the company. When you can unload a stock position in miliseconds, why should you care about anything but what the price is at any given moment? Of course you’re going to demand short term thinking, and reward whatever pop-culture behavior pushes the stock price higher. It also causes CEOs to undercapitalize and cut R&D that won’t pay out in less than 5 years, instead pushing innovation off on startups, many of which come out of the universities, funded by government for the basic research and exploited by VC firms.

      The 401(k) and mangement stock options created this mess. All that cash flowing into the stock market on a biweekly basis gave traders far too much leverage. Then the big hedge funds just skin the retail traders alive, but as long as the S&P goes up everyone’s happy.

  13. Corporatism (fascism) in the land of the Free (loaders) sucks….. No?

    Hold on to your wallets,,, CBDC is coming soon. Tired of tyranny,,, You ain’t seen nothing yet!

    Use cash or layaway, not debit or credit.

  14. That reminds me — I have to go participate in the election month this week.

    Capo Gecko has a generator slush fund, Proposition 7, on the ballot here in Texas this November.

    If pass, in return for promising to have the generating capacity online by 2029, the Capo and any other interested party will be able to borrow from the fund to build gas-fired “backup” generator capacity for the state electrical grid.

    Something tells me that the Capo isn’t going to let those generators sit idle until then.

  15. I don’t have a credit rating, because it’s been 45 years since I’ve had any debt. I haven’t noticed excessive insurance costs associated with that, but it can, and has caused other hardship. Prospective employers will reference your credit rating, which I wised up to and started noting my situation on my resume. Tried to buy cell phone service, and was told I had to put down a deposit due to my lack of a credit rating. TracFone has no such requirement. Fortunately, I am not required to buy cell phone service from a particular vendor, yet.

    • Hi John,

      A good friend of mine is a “cash only” guy; he didn’t get a credit card until after he got divorced – and he only got it them because he discovered he had “poor credit” – notwithstanding he paid in full for everything he has and always paid his bills.

      Also: Another friend – who is in a position to know (he may see this and chime in) tells me that he found out that the mafia is now using dismissed tickets against policyholders, “adjusting” their premiums upward on that account.

      • What’s the point of driving school to get the ticket dismissed if the mafia is going to increase the rates anyway.

        The driving schools are then just another racket.

      • Yes, that is correct. As a state activist for the country’s only drivers rights organization, i received an email from a member telling me that his insurance company charged him for a ticket reported to a company called Lexis Nexis, a private company that rates drivers based on driving records and credit ratings.

        The member stated that the Lexis Nexis report showed that he had a ticket dismissed but was found “guilty” of the volation anyway under deferred adjudication. If you don’t receive a ticket within a court ordered period, the violation does not get adjudicated as “guilty” and it stays off your official driver record. Unfortunately, Lexis Nexis still records it as an offense to rate your driving.

        I had an instance over 20 years ago when I cancelled my insurance (but not before instating insurance with another company) and was ratted out by the insurance company. I had to go to the NC DMV and prove my innocence. I don’t pretend to be a constitutional scholar, but I know that goes against the fifth (innocent before proven guilty). I, by God, called my state rep. Vented for about 5 minutes, felt better and moved along.

        My patience is wearing thin. I wish there would be a mass movement to quit buying insurance and even registering vehicles as costs are exorbitant in some states.

        This collusion and “partnership” between insurance companies and government has been going on for decades, but today, it is painfully obvious that it is a fascist collaboration. It’s past time to resist it in as much as possible.

        • Hi PG (!)

          Yep; similar happened to me when I decided to not renew the “coverage” on one of my old bikes (1975 Kaw S1 250) that is basically a museum piece that I ride up and down my street maybe three times a year to keep the crank seals pliable. I did renew the coverage of all three other bikes I have “covered” by the same company. But within two weeks of cancelling the “coverage” on the ancient museum piece ’75 Kaw (with “antique” plates) I got a threat letter from the DM demanding I return the plates and better dare not operate the bike on public roads.

          There is no longer any meaningful difference between the government and private corporations.

          • It’s disgusting. Sometimes the corporations are even worse. During “COVID” you heard some sod buster politician say that as a “conservative” he/she was against all government mask mandates, but conveniently ignored the corporate ones. In the rare instances where they were repealed or rolled back, some corporations kept their mask mandates in place. Some were required by the feds to keep up the charade like the airlines, and some just kept the mandates in place out of spite.

            Sprouts, the hateful peddler of reasonably priced groceries went full in early on the “COVID” nonsense. Despite a neighboring town of Oklahoma City, Yukon, not having a mask mandate, I was badgered and harassed every moment I was in the store for not wearing a maaaaask. The perpetrator advised me that I would not be able to check out of teh store without one on. He told me it was “corporate policy.” That company is on my lifetime ban list. I will never ever forget the deprivation of rights and liberties that came with that. Corporations, unrestrained, are worse than government. Some companies require that you only use credit cards. At least cash is still around for now.

          • the slave planet runs on maritime law….

            All so called governments are corporations, federal, state, municipal…you are referred to as a corporation too…your name in uppercase on licences, etc…on your birth certificate as soon as you are born into the slave market…..this is how they trap you in their maritime…corporate law system…corp means dead….the land of the dead….you can remove yourself from the system….but it isn’t easy to do….

            • Hi Anon,

              I’ve heard of this maritime law stuff before and it strikes me as nonsense. They don’t need to put your name in all caps to own you. They just do. Using lower case – asserting you are a “sovereign citizen” before a cop or a judge will accomplish nothing because – as per Judge Dredd – they are the law.

  16. About 20 years ago I got hit by a young girl. She didn’t have insurance. And it wasn’t her car. And she didn’t have a driver’s license. And the state of Alabama did, wait for it, nothing. Not that the trailer trash skank would’ve paid any fines anyhow…

    My rates went up of course. So I changed insurance companies. The repair shop did a shitty job. So all-in-all it was a miserable experience. I can only imagine how much shittier it is now with the insurance cabal & the manufacturer’s plastic cars.

    • Par for the course here in Washington- it’s a sanctuary state so there are thousands of illegals here causing mayhem on the highways. They always run after a wreck and rarely caught. Will the state do anything? Hell no, there is no money in that since they have no assets. If you or I, the home owning tax mules with any kind of asset base get caught trying to “run” we’d be wrung dry by the so called legal system here. See also DUI, a great revenue stream for the Man if you’re an otherwise responsible citizen.
      Then the insurance mafia stands ready licking their chops.

      Add in the “equity” justice system good luck if you’re whitey. Some years ago a manager from where I worked rear ended a stalled car on the freeway killing four. He wasn’t seriously injured. He was drunk and high, empty booze bottle on the floor. Nothing. “Person of color” so freedom for him.


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