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thesameguy
May 20th, 2015, 09:34 PM
This is my PSA.

A good friend of mine (the daughter of the owner of my diesel Suburban - I've known her since she was 8, she's like 30 now) was in a very bad accident about six or eight months ago. While riding her properly lit bike in a designated bike lane an idiot somehow completely missed her, crossed into the shoulder to make a turn, and hit her at full turning speed from behind. A completely indefensible accident. He wasn't high or drunk or anything. Totally creamed her, she nearly died. The guy has nothing and was driving on expired tags without insurance. He has nothing to cover her with, nothing worth suing away from him. She had cancelled her car insurance because she sold her car and was riding her bike, so she has no insurance to fall back on either. Now she is stuck with huge medical bills, has limited ability to work for the time, and has zero recourse.

1. If you have auto insurance, get Underinsured Motorist Coverage. In some states, UIM is part of uninsured motorist coverage, but it isn't always. The point of the coverage is to cover your medical needs if the other person does not have adequate insurance. It typically mirrors your liability, and typically cannot exceed your liability. So, if you have a California state minimum insurance of 15k/25k, your UIM is limited to 25k and you must buy it separately. It is not automatically included in your policy. $25k won't even cover a broken bone or some ambulance transport. Along those lines, that means in any reasonably bad accident vs. someone with state minimum insurance, you're going out of pocket for sure.
2. As such, get the highest liability limits you can afford. 100/300 or 500/1000 for sure. Get UIM to match. Liability insurance is typically cheap, UIM is typically VERY cheap. $10 or $15 per month.
3. If you don't have a car, maintain non-owner car insurance. Yes, it could cover you if you're driving your friend's car or a rental car, but what it means is that when some asshole creams you on your bike you have a big fat insurance policy to tap into. Your UIM generally follows you and applies in any motor vehicle accident, whether you were in a car or not. Your regular car insurance will not.

I'm not an insurance agent and I'm not a lawyer so check with your insurance agent and your lawyer but I do know the laws in California. If you're here, this applies to you. If you're not, have this discussion with your people. Don't end up broken because you were trying to save $10/mo or didn't know the rules.

KillerB
May 20th, 2015, 09:54 PM
Why, oh WHY can we not just have universal liability coverage paid for with a gas tax?

thesameguy
May 20th, 2015, 10:43 PM
I dunno. It's so cheap that dividing $15/mo into the average person's, what, $150/mo fuel bill would be inconsequential. Maybe universal liability would screw up the statistics that make it cheap or something. No idea. But as this situation proves, the requirement to carry liability insurance has no actual, practical meaning *and* the state minimums are a joke. This guy did $150k worth of damage to her, easily. WTF good would a $25k policy have been anyway?

Rare White Ape
May 20th, 2015, 11:55 PM
We have compulsory third party cover for personal injury, which is paid for with rego.

In the case of unregistered or you can't identify the culprit, the State here provides a nominal defendant, which is just an entity that stands in place of the culprit in court, and if it's proven that the unidentified party caused the accident then you're able to sue the ND for medical costs.

TheBenior
May 21st, 2015, 12:13 AM
Why, oh WHY can we not just have universal liability coverage paid for with a gas tax?
Because SOCIALISM BAD!!!

thesameguy
May 21st, 2015, 12:19 AM
That sounds way more reasonable that what happens in California. Curious, though, from what source does the ND pay?

Dicknose
May 21st, 2015, 01:23 AM
Sounds like you need a compulsory 3rd party personal insurance!

As RWA said - we have that (in every state I think)

Your vehicle must have insurance to cover medical costs of any accident you cause.

Now I hear you say "but this guy wasnt insured!"
But the system is designed that all the insures then contribute to a pool to cover these situations.
So that the injured person is always covered.

The cost is not cheap - its is about $500 a year.
And due to a quirk of how they do the accounting, motorbikes are totally screwed over (they calc the motorcycle costs based on claims made by riders against cars!)
So a motorbike can cost more than a car, but its much harder to cause any damage to another person.

Yw-slayer
May 21st, 2015, 02:03 AM
Because SOCIALISM BAD!!!

And OBAMA!!!!

Rare White Ape
May 21st, 2015, 07:42 AM
Curious, though, from what source does the ND pay?

I'm not 100% sure but I think it's from the CTP pool that DN mentioned.

I've only heard of it being used once in my state, when a girl was able to claim compensation for a hit & run. There's got to be more cases.

Victoria has the best scheme in the world. Their Transport Accident Commission is a hugely profitable insurance company that is fully owned by the government and runs on a no-fault basis for personal injury. They'll cover everything, including lost wages, the idea being that the claimant - even if they're at fault - shall not be hindered at all in an accident.

My mate works for them. He told me that someone can claim from TAC no matter what the situation if the vehicle involved has ever been on a road. For example, you buy a Pee Wee 50 for the kids, and immediately ride it on the road. If your kid ends up running into a barbed wire fence on a farm sometime down the track, the kid is covered.

21Kid
May 27th, 2015, 09:54 AM
Why, oh WHY can we not just have universal liability coverage paid for with a gas tax?

Or universal healthcare, so people without auto insurance didn't have to worry if others have it or not. What a joke.

KillerB
May 27th, 2015, 10:36 AM
Even given universal health insurance AND universal liability coverage, there justifiably could be arguments on either side as to which type of insurance should cover it.

But yes, I agree on single-payor health insurance. There's an entire floor of our headquarters that could be eliminated if we had that.

Crazed_Insanity
May 27th, 2015, 12:07 PM
Single payer health insurance won't work in the long haul. Even if such an entity is forced to be non-profit, it could still end up becoming a wasteful bureaucracy just like government entities. So having multiple entities compete with each other should help drive costs down? But maybe instead of each of us carrying different insurance cards, perhaps we all should just carry an OBAMACARE card and government can take care of deciding which insurance companies to work with behind the scenes so that it's 'invisible' to the patients and the healthcare providers... But again, that sounds wonderful and painless for us, but then later on these companies could come with lobbyists and get in bed with government and end up screwing the people in other ways... so maybe current way is the best compromise?

As for car insurance, I'm not sure if it can be made to work like health insurance... because we must take into account of penalizing bad drivers, right? How do we do that if we just add the insurance tax into gasoline? Granted, the more miles you drive the more you should pay, whether its road maintenance or insurance, but surely a person with spotless driving record shouldn't be charged the same rate as folks with multiple tickets or accidents? Universal car insurance probably won't work very well.

Everyone should have basic healthcare... and this should cover the medical expenses when a freaking car hit you while riding a bike.

However, perhaps everyone should be forced to have non-owner car insurance whenever they get or renew their driver's license.