That Word…. Progressive

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Progressive insurance is a lot like public education. Both are euphemisms that sound happy enough but mask a number of not so-smiley-faced realities.

In the case of Progressive Insurance – the company – the smiley-faced ad girl you see on TV is quite unlike the cold, impersonal entity that will be riding shotgun with you in reality. An entity that wants to monitor, record and transmit deliciously detailed information about the driving habits of its “customers” (a despicable term, given that people are forced to buy insurance) in order that said “customers’ ” premiums may be “adjusted” accordingly.

Progressive’s calls it Snapshot- another False Flag euphemism ginned up by a clever copywriter to mask its ugly reality.

Because in fact, in reality, a  “snapshot” is taken (and recorded) every time you get behind the wheel. A given “snapshot” is merely the data sample the system sends back to Progressive HQ at any given moment. But the fact is the system keeps constant track of your speed, how rapidly you accelerate and decelerate, when you drive – and how often you drive. Just for openers.

Progressive says:

“Knowing more about your actual driving behavior allows us to more accurately predict whether you’ll have an accident, which is better for us, and helps you to control your insurance premium, which is better for you.”

Well, it is better for them. Because Progressive knows it can justify expensive premiums on the basis of vague “predictions” about a  person’s faster-than-legal (though by no means necessarily unsafe) driving, or by “predicting” that a person who drives more miles annually than average is more likely to wreck, even if he doesn’t actually wreck.

But it’s not better for you, because driving faster than an under-posted speed limit (or more miles annually than someone else) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a “risky”  driver – just that you’ll pay more for your premiums.

The irony is that while touting a personalized risk assessment, in fact Progressive is using generalized risk profiles (in addition to deviations from its arbitrary “good driving” standards) to justify its premiums.

“Speed,” for example, is a complex variable. It is by no means the only or even necessarily relevant variable in terms of whether a given person is a “safe” or “unsafe” driver.

A driver traveling 80 on a highway with a speed limit of 70 is technically “speeding.” That is, he’s driving faster than The Law says he may. But is it fair to characterize this as unsafe? The insurance companies say yes, absolutely. But the fact is they say this about every speed limit, and we know at least some speed limits are bogus – and the insurance companies have tacitly conceded this, but only after the fact.

After, that is, they “adjusted” people’s premiums.

Remember the 55 MPH highway speed limit? For 20 years, it was “speeding” to drive any faster. Millions of people got tickets for doing 60, 65, 70 MPH on highways that previously were posted 60, 65 and 70 MPH – and which are once again posted 60, 65 and 70 MPH (or even more).

Not one of those millions of people issued “speeding” tickets was issued a refund by their insurance company after the speed limits were raised back to where they were.

What makes our current speed limits any less suspicious? Any less arbitrary? The levying of fines and “adjusted” premiums based on these speed limits any less vicious now than it was then?

Well, it’s about to get even more vicious, if these in-car “snapshots” become mandatory – as you can bet your bippie Progressive and co. urgently, turgidly intend for them to be. Because not only will they be able to dun us for “speeding” every time we “speed,” the roster of chargeable offenses has been expanded to include even current non-crimes (by statute) such as accelerating or decelerating rapidly – that is, accelerating or decelerating more rapidly than whatever pace Progressive defines as “too fast” – even if you never exceed the posted speed limit.  

If you pull out ahead of the pack from a stoplight; if you enjoy taking off-ramps at a more than soporific pace; if you do other than a cruise-control pass – well, you may soon hear the cash register go ka-ching each time you do. Even if you never wreck – hell, even if you never so much as ding a door.

It will suck the life out driving.

Any deviation from The Law – or what Progressive and co. deem to be outside the parameters of “safe” driving – will cost you. Even if you’re costing them nothing.

But, that’s entirely beside the point. The whole object of insurance is to make money, not encourage “safe” driving. Insurance is very big business – and one of the few remaining businesses making real money, to a great extent because it has “customers” who cannot say no.

The truth is  that the “safer” a driver you are, the less profit there is in it for them.

And that is the key to understanding what “snapshot” is all about.

There are millions of drivers who “speed,” or rack up twice the mileage annually that the average person does – but who aren’t “adjustable” because (for the present) Progressive can only go by objective risk criteria such as whether the individual has had an accident. If he has not – if he merely drives fast (and evades being caught) or just drives a lot – the insurance mafia has a problem. It can’t “adjust” his premiums until he actually does something they can point to as evidence of “risky” or “unsafe” driving.

With Snapshot, that driver “does something” every time he gets behind the wheel.

For the moment, this cancer is confined to Progressive – where it is also still a voluntary thing. But there is no question that Progressive and the entire insurance mafia wants to force a system like this onto every driver in the country. Just consider how much money red light cameras and photo radar bring in each year. And that is a mere trickle compared with the potential “revenue stream” that could be opened up by a system fully capable of recording – and charging  – each and every driver for each and every instance of “speeding” and more, each and every instance of  “accelerating too rapidly” or “braking with too much gusto” or driving past 10 p.m. or whatever else they define as “risky” or “unsafe” driving.

And the government will be the other half of this tag-team.

It has for years wanted to impose a regime of “congestion pricing” on American drivers: The more you drive, the more you pay. Even though, of course, you already pay more if you drive more in the form of the motor fuels taxes you pay on each gallon of fuel you burn. But congestion pricing would go further by punishing people who bought economical cars as a way to save on their fuel costs. With congestion pricing, merely driving “too much” can be punished, in addition to “driving too fast” and also “driving at night” – and limitless other things besides.

Safe driving has nothing to do with it. Money has everything to do with it.

And control.

Picture that sitting beside you instead of the happy-go-lucky smiley-faced front girl you see in the commercials.

Because that’s the true Snapshot – and the truth behind Progressive’s happy talk.

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  127 comments for “That Word…. Progressive

  1. methylamine
    December 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Oh god. I’m just going to quietly slit my wrists now; if my daily banzai run to work is ruined, it will suck another 20% of my happiness down the drain.

    I wonder if this will apply to liability-only insurance?

    Another thing: GPS jamming. Very effective, very cheap devices to create a bubble of GPS invisibility. Click it on for your banzai run, click it off for the grocery store trip…

    How many people will actually accept this?

    Nevermind. Stupid question. It’s almost as dumb as asking “how many people will accept being irradiated and shown completely naked to a pervert hiding in a closed office?”…and yet we have TSA.

  2. clover
    December 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    From what I know about the subject, speeding is one of the smallest part of the newer systems. Some can detect hard braking, hard acceleration and all of them detect miles driven. Hard braking and hard acceleration is the driving habits of an aggressive driver. Aggressive drivers cause more accidents and is a proven fact. Aggressive drivers are the ones you see in the ditch in the winter and in winter accidents. Aggressive drivers are ones like I ran across a few days ago. The person must have been running very late for work and passed me at well over 55 mph on a very curvy and hilly mountain road. They passed me on a corner and hill with double yellow lines. I thought what an idiot but then they stayed in the left lane longer than what was needed and did not switch to the right lane until they reached the top of the hill. There would have been deaths and major costs if someone was coming the other way. Aggressive drivers that drive a lot increase costs for us all more with the old system of determining premiums. I really doubt if these systems will change your rate for the 5 mph over the limit or whatever but if you are driving 85 to 90 mph with hard acceleration and braking then I would bet they would and also should according to all statistics ever studied. Some people say that they drive aggressively and do not cause accidents but when people are put into a group when determining their rates they would fall into that group that costs us more. It is kind of like charging the 20 year old boy more than someone who is 30. If you fall into a group that costs us more then you pay more. I doubt if you would want a middle aged guy with a car that he drives a couple of hundred miles a year to pay the same rate of a young kid that drives 15,000 miles or more.

    • Gail
      December 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I’ll say this for you, C.: You’re consistent.

      • December 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        Yes, like blue bottle flies in summer…

    • mithrandir
      December 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Please cite your sources:
      Aggressive drivers cause more accidents and is a proven fact.
      ———————————————————–
      Aggressive drivers are ones like I ran across a few days ago.

      If you ran across an aggressive driver, then you should turn yourself in to the police and be charged accordingly. ;)

      I really doubt if these systems will change your rate for the 5 mph over the limit or whatever but if you are driving 85 to 90 mph with hard acceleration and braking then I would bet they would and also should according to all statistics ever studied.

      I would not want to depend on the kindness of an insurance company.

      • December 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

        He can’t because none such exists.

        What is an “aggressive” driver?

        It’s just another loaded term, a straw man argument. Its sole purpose is to equate any violation of The Law with dangerous driving. For example: A driver who exceeds the posted limit to execute a fast pass around a Clover doing 52 in a 55 is “aggressive.”

        In fact, such a driver (the one executing the fast pass) is typically a better driver not just in terms of skill but also in terms of his likelihood of losing control/wrecking than the “law abiding” Clover.

        It infuriates people like Clover to see someone perform at a higher level than they’re capable of – and their primal howl of protest is, “there ought to be a law!” He’s an “aggressive” driver!

        Last winter, for example, I wrote about my encounter with a local Clover as I was trying to make my way back up the mountain (literally, it’s called Bent Mountain) right in the middle of a pretty significant snowstorm. Roads not plowed; several inches on the pavement. Now, Bent Mountain is about 1,500 feet of elevation gain in less than three miles of 6-8 percent grades, with numerous curves. If you do not have (and maintain) momentum, you are not going to make it. Well, I have my truck in 4WD Low and am clawing my way up; I’m sliding a little but fully under control. Up ahead – a Clover. This prick is inching along and as I come up behind him, the fuck hits his brakes even though there’s no one ahead of him and the road is clear (other than snow). This asshole is not only going to get stuck on a mountain road with no shoulder, he is going to get me stuck, too. If I didn’t do what I did, that is – which is, punch it and pass the Clover in the other lane (clear) and over the (snow covered) double yellow. The little shitweasel honked his horn at me! But I made it up the mountain.

        Clover didn’t.

        • clover
          December 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

          Eric it sounded like you had Boothe in front of you. Who else do you know that hits the brakes when you come up behind them? Get real Eric. The least you could do is leave a distance between you and the driver in front of you and then if he stops or loses control you have time to determine the best way to go around him. You know I have a major problem with the guys that come up behind me particularly when the road conditions are poor and like Boothe says there is usually someone a few seconds in front of me. If someone can not leave a distance in poor weather then get them off the road.I am pretty sick of the guys that drive like idiots in the name of being slowed down by a few seconds. Saving a few seconds or even a minute is not excuse for endangering others.

          • Jonathan
            January 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

            To leave distance between him and the vehicle in front of him would require him to reduce his speed to the that individual in front of him which is exactly what he did not want to do. Have you ever even driven in ice and snow? Come here to Colorado and I will take you up one of those winding passes in January after 18” gets dumped.

          • January 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

            What Dom said…. Clover’s not reachable by reason. He “believes” and he “feels” and he “just knows.”

          • Jonathan
            January 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

            *dumped* not “dumbed”

          • dom
            January 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm

            Jonathan, it’s a waste of time trying to reason with clover. I don’t even know why you guys take her seriously. She is only trying to get a rise from us.

          • February 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

            There is a remedy i use with tail-gaters my dad taught me, but it only works during the day, which is to flip the headlights on and off real quick, which appears to the ‘gater like a tap of the brakes. So you get to maintain your speed while watching them quickly drop back :).

      • Darkitec
        April 21, 2012 at 4:06 am

        And do these insurance rates rely upon the horribly inaccurate speedometers in our cars? To get my Odometer to read correctly my speedometer reads anywhere between 3 to 7 mph higher than my actual speed. Calculated by not just one but 3 different GPS units. To achieve an actual 55mph, my speedometer has to read 62mph.

    • Boothe
      December 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      Oh yeah, the Snapshot is a cloverian wet dream if ever we’ve seen one (puke). Here you go clover check this out:

      http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=189394

      The implantable bio-chip that can relay real time changes in your body back to your “physician”. Do you like to indulge in a little nicotine? Maybe some alcohol? Or……a bit of THC? Then this little gem can rat you out to your life and health insurance providers for quick boost to their bottom line (ka-ching!). Have a little job related stress or maybe exert yourself a bit too much shoveling snow? You guessed it, more data to raise your rates or cancel you. And the beautiful part is it could be set up, like Blue Tooth, to communicate directly to your Snapshot (or other GPS enabled telemetry device) and send your “health status” data out right along with your driving data. Is that cool or what!?!

      Just think clover, you drink a beer and have to run down to the hardware store an hour later and you’re at a BAC of .081. Officer Friendly will have you cuffed face down on the shoulder before you can say On Star. I’d better quit now because you’re probably getting excited (wink-wink)….

      • December 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        That’s the logical – and inevitable – direction we’re headed, once “health care” becomes enforceable at gunpoint, just like car insurance.

        Total control. That’s what they’re after.

        And the Clovers welcome it. They really do believe they’ll be “safer” and being “safer” trumps everything.

        A kennel would suit them. It’s very “safe” there, too.

        • mithrandir
          December 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

          That is a scary thought. 8) Some pets get treated better than some people. :(

        • Boothe
          December 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

          Eric, let me argue from the cloverian (i.e. cranio-rectal inversion) perspective: Car insurance is optional because you don’t have to drive. Driving is a privilege not a right. No one forces you to buy a car, so doing so is voluntary and therefore so is buying auto insurance. Does that just about sum up cloverian logic?

          What about Liberty? What about our rights (putting aside their umlimited nature for the moment and just looking at the big ten enumerated in the Bill of Rights)? What about allowing a corporation to force us all to purchase their product merely to exercise our right to travel in our private conveyances? Based on what I’ve read from clover, she won’t be happy until we’re all under house arrest with a chip implanted in us and Amerika is a wholely owned subsidiary of Federal Prison Industries. Somewhere in hell Marx and Engels are smiling at you clover.

          • clover
            December 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

            Boothe, the insurance devices are all optional. If you decide not to have them that is your right. You will just be charged the higher rate while the person that installs them and shows that they are not a higher risk driver then they will get a lower rate. That is the facts boys. I will not install them because I drive above average number of miles so there would be no discount for me to have them installed.

          • December 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

            They’re optional for now, Clover.

            But people like you want them to become mandatory.

            Because it will provide another means of controlling others and making them conform to your worldview.

          • clover
            December 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

            Boothe, I do not believe that mandatory insurance is necessary to have as long as you can prove that you have a few hundred thousand dollars available to pay for any damages you may cause. With costs of things today I believe you should have at least a million dollars but a few hundred thousand is a start. I hear the guys that say they are incapable of causing an accident. I am a far above average driver in ability and I would never say I am incapable of causing an accident. We make thousands of decisions each year when we drive and one bad one is all it takes. Like passing in a no passing zone when someone out of your view is coming the other way.

          • December 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

            Clover, I’ll try logic even though I know it’s pearls before swine:

            How many people ever cause an accident that results in damages over six figures? It’s never happened to me. It’s never happened to anyone I know. And I know a lot of people.

            Is it reasonable to buy a policy based on such an extreme, and unlikely (assuming you’re a competent driver) possibility?

            I could, conceivably, go out and hack someone to death with my machete, or the axes I have in the shed. Should I be required by law to carry six or seven figure insurance coverage for that unlikely eventuality, too?

            The fact is if you’re a good driver – and here I don’t mean a law-abiding Clover but rather someone who has the skills and judgment to avoid losing control of a vehicle as a result of driver error – “accidents” are extremely unlikely. A competent driver can go decades, perhaps his entire life, without ever being the cause of an “accident” – even though he may routinely ignore various stupid laws, such as arbitrary speed limit laws, or laws that say you may not turn right on red, even when it’s clear and safe (for a competent driver) to do so.

            Hence, it is reasonable for a competent driver to keep a slush fund for “just in case” – enough to cover fender benders, say. Or perhaps a high deductible but very low premium liability-only policy.

            That’s it.

            Only Clovers really need insurance.

          • clover
            December 30, 2011 at 12:02 am

            Even you said you were in an accident a couple times. It does not matter if a person only has an accident every few decades. An accident can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is not handled by a fender bender fund. Yes accidents that cause hundreds of thousands of dollars are rare but what would you do if you caused one? Say tough luck guy, I can not pay for my damages? It does not take much to cause 100s of thousands of dollars in damages. If you would disable someone or cause them a lot of medical costs then a fender bender fund would not even get them in the door of a hospital. What if you kill the guy and he has a family that he supports. You say tough luck lady. Since you believe in driving fast and do things like pass where ever you feel like you are far more likely than the average person to cause 100s of thousands of dollars in costs.

            I just wonder what Ron Paul believes in such a case. I will have to look that one up if it is printed anywhere.

          • December 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

            “…Even you said you were in an accident a couple times”

            Once, Clover. In 1987. I wrecked my own car. Other than damaging a fence, which I fixed for the owner, I caused no damage to anyone. I just lost my own car – my problem; no one else’s.

            Yes, an accident “can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.” And you can be struck by lightning or be eaten by a shark, too.

            None of these things are likely. (Not if you’re a good driver.)

            When it comes car crashes, remember: “accidents” aren’t. A true accident is when a deer suddenly darts in front of your car – or a wheel falls off your car. Things over which you, as a driver, have little if any control. Running off the road because you were carrying too much speed in a corner is not an “accident.” Piling into the car ahead of you because you were following too closely is not an “accident.” Such things are the result of driver error. And to a very great extent, such “accidents’ are therefore avoidable.

            I prefer to base my choices on rational cost-benefit analysis, not hyperventilating emotional worst-case scenarios.

            I’m a proven good driver. Clover. I’ve got a quarter-century of accident-free driving and qualified for an SCCA road racing license. The car companies trust me with band-new cars every week – including six-figure exotic cars capable of 200 MPH. Amazingly, I’ve never so much as scuffed one.

            I haven’t cost the insurance companies a cent – but they cost me plenty. Because even though I am (like you) a “low risk” driver who qualifies for the “cheapest” rates, I still pay a couple hundred bucks annually per vehicle. And I own eight vehicles. Five motorcycles, one muscle car and two trucks. The annual total I must pay the insurance mafia is quite large.

            And I resent having to pay it – especially since most of my vehicles sit in the garage most of the time and I can only operate one of them at any given time.

            But I know. Such things don’t concern a Clover. Only “safety.”

          • clover
            January 5, 2012 at 3:30 am

            Eric every other article you comment about is about something that is not happening today or is not even proposed but you say that might happen sometime in the future. You know I could care less. I am not going to worry or argue about something someone might propose to do 30 or 50 years from now. It does not do you any good to worry about something that someone might do in the far distant future. I say that it is an option today but you say well sooome daaay it will not be optional. There are hundreds of very bad things going on around the world today. It is not worth worrying about something that may never happen in a lifetime.

          • January 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

            Well, Clovers, let’s see:

            Air bags were once optional. They very shortly became not-optional.

            It used to be no one’s business but yours whether you wore a seat belt. Now it is an offense for which you can be arrested.

            There used to be something called probable cause. Cops once had to have a specific reason to pull you over and question you. They no longer have any such obligation.

            Insurance used to be a service you were free to buy – or not. Now we are forced at gunpoint to purchase it. Soon, we will be forced at gunpoint to buy other forms of insurance, too – precisely because the principle was accepted and so has become practice.

            What argument, pray, will you use (not that you would, of course) to counter a demand by the insurance mafia that all cars must be fitted with monitors? There is none, because you’ve already conceded the essential point.

    • methylamine
      December 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      I’m going to puke on your shoes now.

      • methylamine
        December 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Fucking clover.

        Your emotional generalizations, collectivist meanderings, and self-righteous arrogance make me ill.

        Go check yourself into the nearest FEMA camp; you’ll be happiest in a prison society where your saaafeeety is assured; until you’re classified as a “useless eater” and humanely disposed. May the nearby townsheeple choke on your sooty ashes.

        • Don
          December 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

          LOL!

    • BrentP
      December 30, 2011 at 3:52 am

      Clover, can you make any more unsupported assertions? Want to know something… your description of a “aggressive driver” is how I ride a bicycle. I accelerate hard, I sometimes brake hard. Once I locked up the rear wheel and skidded the rubber off the tire. Nearly brand new tire. Irritating… but I digress. Being on a bicycle speed is kinda limited but that’s one of the conditions where I find out the true nature of people like you and your story is very telling.

      What you don’t like is anyone who drives faster than you, anyone you can’t impede, block, or otherwise control. I understand the feelings. I have been selectively enforced upon most of my life so I get the resentment when other people aren’t punished for driving faster. I’m not happy when I see someone idiot driving a ratty minivan doing 90mph and nearly immune to being pulled over but if I did it in either of my Brembo brake equipped mustangs and a cop (who typically drives 90-100mph under the same conditions) saw I’d very likely end up in jail. But I’ve learned that’s just the way the society is. Funny thing is my second least capable car for speed, my little sedan, is the one I can drive without worry. It’s a sick society because of petty people with petty judgments.

      But here’s what happens when you go out with your underskilled self in your underequipped vehicles… people who aren’t so limited get annoyed. Sometimes they take risks they wouldn’t ordinarily take. Why? Because they are annoyed at being limited, being confined. I know this feeling well too. I’ve been stuck behind people in vehicles ill equipped for the snow… it’s irritating. If you have a lot of people taking risks to get around you, well you need to start looking at your own driving.

      • December 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

        in re “aggressive” driving:

        There’s a merge ramp I have to deal with almost every day. You’re entering a highway spur, so the traffic you’re merging with is moving 60-ish, typically.

        I frequently find myself behind Cloveris Americanus, who slows as he/she approaches the end of the merge ramp. Rather than have my pace – and yes, Clover, my safety – determined by an idiot driver, I will usually deal with this by looking to my left to see whether there’s a break in the traffic on the spur we’re merging onto and if there is, I’ll punch it, and make my left merge before the Clover even starts to attempt to merge. Because unlike the Clover – who will literally just gimp along with his signal on, waiting for the traffic to allow him in – I understand the concept of merging and will do so, Clover or no Clover!

        • Enjoy Every Sandwich
          December 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

          Aargh I hate when the clovers do that! And they do it all the time in Northern VA. They seem to have no idea what an acceleration lane is or how to merge onto a highway. They think it’s safer to expect everyone already on the highway to slam on their brakes so that clover can mosey onto the highway at 20 mph.

          • December 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

            I cut my teeth in Northern Va. Clover Clusterfucks! It was a valuable learning experience….

    • Dave
      January 3, 2012 at 1:33 am

      There is a major difference between an “aggressive driver” and a reckless driver. An aggressive driver is one who drives crisply and with confidence. A reckless driver, on the other hand, is the guy who is driving faster than he can safely, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and in general is a hazard to those around him. You need to learn the difference.

      • clover
        January 6, 2012 at 3:32 am

        Sounds good Dave. Even I could drive 250 mph on a smooth road with a very good car and no traffic. Aggressive drivers are the ones that drive like idiots in traffic on any kind of road or road conditions. Aggressive drivers are the ones that need to pass on hills or curves with no visibility because they are incapable of slowing down 5 mph even though passing will save them only seconds. Aggressive drivers are the ones that still drive the speed limit or faster even on snow packed roads. Aggressive drivers have a far higher accident rate and accident severity than a normal person. That is what an aggressive driver is.

        • January 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

          Well, Clovers, I’d qualify as an “aggressive” driver by your standard. So how do you account for the fact that I have not had a wreck since 1987 and zero “points” on my license? (I actually have five “plus” points – the most points you can get.)

          Am I just lucky? For a quarter-century straight?

  3. mithrandir
    December 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Eric,

    IMO anyone who accepts this willingly is crazy. Insurance is a racket that one must pay under penalty of law. If you cost the insurance company too much in repairs, then they raise your premiums or drop you.

    One insurance company is somewhat reasonable. You pay your premium. If the premiums met the costs paid out (+ some profit I am sure) then they give a rebate of premium paid to policy holders. One caveat is that it is very difficult to get into this company and you can be dropped relatively easily.

    • clover
      December 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      mithrandi there are a few mutual insurance companies across the country. Yes I am sure they will drop you if you prove to be a poor risk. That is why they can give you cheaper insurance rates. I have proven to be a low risk and I pay $244 every 6 months for full coverage. You may say that is a rip off but I say it is fair. If I would cause an accident I am sure the person would be happy to know that I could pay for the damages and not leave them with nothing to replace their losses.

      • December 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

        Clover likes to waste money on a service he says himself he doesn’t need. After all, Clover has “proven to be a low risk.” Yet he is happy to spend almost $500 a year for insurance – which comes to $10,000 over 20 years (not adjusted for inflation). Clover must be a rich government pensioner to so glibly piss away such a sum.

        You know what’d be smarter, Clover? Imagine if instead of paying that money to the insurance mafia, you had simply put aside that money for “just in case.” Since “just in case” is very unlikely to happen – by your assertion – then at the end of 20 years, instead of having pissed away $10k, you’d still have $10k. No, you’d have more than $10k. Because you’d have earned interest on the principal. And now you could invest the $10k – perhaps doubling your initial amount.

        It’s bad enough that you and your kind are so dumb with money. Worse, though, is that you insist on eroding the financial security of others by demanding that they, too, be forced to pay into your various “good causes” – from mandatory insurance to socialist security to government-enforced “health care.”

      • BrentP
        December 30, 2011 at 4:10 am

        Well clover.. first $244 isn’t impressive. I’ve been paying less than that for a V8 mustang for the last 10 years or so.

        But you know car insurance is so dependent upon many different factors that your driving may have little to do with it in the long run. It’s more or less a zip code lottery. A town I am familiar with, an older Chicago suburb had a 606 zip code. Well when insurance companies see 606 their computers go “CHICAGO RATES!” and it got so bad that the town fought for years to get a new suburban prefixed zip code.

        Eric remember, in the clover world the basis of social security, mandatory insurance is because irresponsible people exist. so long as irresponsible people exist we need government to take care of us all like children. So government makes more irresponsible people.

        • clover
          January 5, 2012 at 3:43 am

          BrentP, so does government increase the number of drunk drivers on the road because it promotes irresponsible people? You Know I am all for social security. Without it you would have hundreds of people either asking you for help along the road or robbing you. There are not very many people in their 70s to 90s that are capable of roofing a house yet to help support themselves. I know that people are not responsible. Who else would say it is fine to go without car insurance because they will likely not cause thousands of dollars in damages? They know they could never pay for a huge loss by themselves but still want to go without insurance. Do you call that responsible?

          • January 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

            So, Clovers, rather than the possibility one might be robbed, you prefer the actuality of being robbed by the government.

            And more: One can legally (for now) still resist a robber. But one cannot legally resist the government.

            As always, you use a problem caused by someone to argue that everyone should be treated as an actual problem, in an ever-increasing spiral of dumbing-down and coercion.

            Some people drive impaired (your hobby horse being impaired by alcohol) therefore, everyone must be treated as a presumptively impaired driver until they demonstrate otherwise.

            Some people are too stupid or irresponsible with money to provide for their own retirement, therefore everyone must be treated (at gunpoint) as too stupid and irresponsible to provide for their retirement.

            And so on, endlessly.

            You’re a fearful wretch, Clover – and worse, a thug. Actually, worse than a thug because you are a physical coward. I doubt very much you’d try to take other people’s money – or liberty – yourself. You prefer to have cops and so on do the wet work for you.

            What a pitiful creature you are.

          • BrentP
            January 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

            Clover, Eric already covered your other nonsense. However, yes government encouraged drunk driving. For decades drunk driving was just an “accident” like many things still are today. They aren’t accidents but the results of a decision making process. The problem is that people are only held accountable for specific causes of collisions due to their decisions but not others.

            Government promotes irresponsibility in driving through insurance as well. Because everyone is supposed to have it there are these idiots who are careless because they think insurance will handle it… people take risks when they younger because someone else has their backside thanks to government taking it from them. Why should a 35 year old roofer not buy a brand new top of the line corvette? He’s got social security for later!

            We see it through the society because of monetary policy too. Spend and enjoy now for tomorrow your savings buys less.

            How much better would people’s retirement planning be if your money could buy more tomorrow than today?

            You know how you resent people who drive faster than the speed limit and faster than you? I have the same resentment that I have to work so much more to carry the burdens of irresponsible people via the state. I’d like to enjoy myself sometime too… but no… your fing society demands more. more and more and more. One day I am going to say ‘f it’ turn off the alarm and stay in bed.

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 4:09 am

            You know Brent for the most part I could care less if someone drives faster than I do except the extra gas that it takes.

            What I do despise is the poor driving that you and others do that increases the danger to others. I have seen you have multiple close accidents in your videos. Yes a persons dangerous driving does not cause accidents for them on a daily basis but they do cause a lot of them nationwide and many deaths and long term injuries and huge costs for everyone.

          • February 26, 2012 at 11:07 am

            Clover, you can’t even keep your “facts” straight!

            You’ve posted numerous times that you care very much indeed about how fast others drive. In fact, it drives you up the wall that people “speed” – and advocate “speeding” or show contempt for enforcement of speed limits. How fast is “too fast”?

            Why, it’s whatever speed is faster than “the law” says! (According to Clover.) Because that would be speeding! And speeding is unsafe!

            I sometimes feel bad about picking you apart – in the same way that I’d feel bad about pulling legs off a spider. But then, the spider doesn’t deserve it.

            You beg for it.

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 4:15 am

            The way that the government could make things safer for everyone is to get more cops on the highway stopping Brent from his reckless driving and everyone like him.

          • February 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

            Yes, Clover – More cops! More Laws! Then we’d all be saaaaaafe!

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

            Eric, this is to comment on you stating that I am against speeding. Yes I am against speeding for one because it sucks a lot of gas. That extra gallon of gas that you paid 3 bucks and change a couple of weeks ago I will have to spend 4 to 5 bucks to replace it this summer.

            The other thing about speeding is that if you are on an open road where you have a half a mile visibility and no cars around I could really care less if you drive 150 mph. What I believe you should be in jail for is if you drive 100 mph, weave through traffic, tailgate, pass with limited visibility ahead and all the other aggressive types of driving endangering other motorists.

          • February 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

            Well, this is excellent, Clover! My sport bike gets great gas mileage – 45 MPG, even at 90 MPH. I therefore assume you must agree that I ought to be free to ride my fuel-efficient bike at 90 MPH since after all, I am burning much less gas than just about any car on the road running 60… right?

            And: There are numerous roads around here where I have a half-mile visibility. Therefore, I and anyone else who so wishes ought to be free to operate at 150 MPH… right?

            You’re simply luminous, Clover. A beacon of radiating smarts… and fax and troofs, too.

          • February 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

            Clover, has it ever occurred to you that “speeding” just means driving faster than a number? Hence, it would be “speeding” (as a matter of law) to drive 10 MPH if the “speed limit” was 5.

            Absurd?

            Surely – and that’s just the point. Or rather, at what point, my scrumptious little authoritarian morsel, is it (the speed limit) absurd? Who shall decide? The government? So, whatever number the government tosses out, that’s not absurd – by dint of the fact that the government tossed it out?

            For nearly 20 years, the highway speed limit was 55 MPH. It had previously been 70-75. Then, the 55 MPH limit was repealed and once again, speed limits on those exact same roads were suddenly 70-75 again. Which speed limit is absurd?

            If the current 70-75 is “safe” (because it’s the “speed limit”) then why, pray, was it “unsafe” and “speeding” to drive exactly the same speed just a few years prior – or literally, the day prior to the law being changed?

            Poor ol’ Clover.

            Shall I pull off a few more of your legs?

          • BrentP
            February 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

            Like I’ve explained to you before Clover, I’ve treated cops the same way. So far even they know they are in the wrong to drive the way they do, like you.

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

            First of all Eric, to break off your legs, the 55 mph limit was to save gas and that was the primary reason and we may end up going back to that some day. The 55 mph limit around major cities today is to save lives and property damage.

            The more crowded the roads the more dangerous it is to drive fast.

            Eric I have seen videos of people deciding for themselves how fast they should drive and they should be in jail for their reckless driving.

            If you want to drive as fast as you want on your motorcycle with clear visibility for a very long distance of no drivers on the road and entering it, then I say go for it. I am sure you do it anyway.

            My major complaint with you is that you feel you can break safety laws around other drivers that endangers others.

            I still have not heard your comments about how Brent drives. That is how I will get a good idea of what you are all about.

          • February 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

            Except, Clover, people were issued tickets for speeding – not “consuming too much fuel” – and these speeding tickets became the basis for characterizing the drivers so ticketed as unsafe. This is still routinely done today, too, on secondary roads – where the “speed limit” is deliberately set below the 85th percentile speed, thus turning virtually every driver on the road into a “speeder” subject to ticketing. It’s pure bullshit – just like you!

            Poor ol’ Clover… he tries so hard. But always comes up short!

            PS: We’re still waiting to hear about your authoritative background/training/expertise… I expect we’ll be waiting a long time, too.

          • February 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm

            “My major complaint with you is that you feel you can break safety laws around other drivers that endangers others.”

            Hey balloon knot… do you really expect anyone to try to parse this latest colon cough of yours?

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

            Eric the only reason that the 85 percentile speed may be higher than the speed limit is because there are so many drivers that feel it is their responsibility to drive a few miles per hour over the limit. I would not ever go over the speed limit any more except for the fact that if you go the speed limit there are a group of drivers like you and Dom and Brent that will pass in blind areas and dangerous passing areas on the roadway if you go the speed limit. There are videos that show this of Dom.

            I am still waiting for your comments of the videos that Brent took and his driving.

          • February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

            “… there are so many drivers that feel it is their responsibility to drive a few miles per hour over the limit.”

            Let’s try an exercise in logic, Clover.

            Does it not suggest something about a lack of fundamental rightness when a given law is routinely ignored by most people?

            Most people don’t kill, or steal or beat people up. Yet these same people – virtually every driver on the road, even you – routinely “speeds.” What do you infer from this? C’mon now. Try to think a little …

          • That One Guy
            February 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

            Clover-

            Speed limit on the Alaskan Way Viaduct used to be 50. Now that half of it has been torn down as act one of our own Big Dig boondoggle (another story for another day), the speed limit is 40. The curious part is this new speed limit continues after the construction zone.

            Nobody who commutes on this thing daily goes less than 60, but some of your cousins can always be counted on to band together and make sure nobody goes faster than 38.

            So my question is, what’s changed? Why is a road where 50 was considered “safe” now not “safe” at a speed over 40? Or is it more likely, in a city that’s spent years now flushing money down the public transportation toilet and taking away driving lanes and giving them to cyclists, that this is just another in a long line of social engineering schemes designed to make driving unbearable and push people off the road and onto public trans?

          • February 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

            They do the same/similar here…. examples:

            They eliminated what used to be a passing zone just after US 221 goes down from two wide lanes to one narrow one (each way). You used to be able to (legally) zip right past the Clovers; now you have to make an illegal pass around them. Nothing has changed – except “the law,” which arbitrarily decided that what had been “safe” is now “unsafe.”

            Same on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Last year, they repaved it and – guess what? When they repainted the lines, they “double yellowed” three former lawful passing zones. So now when you get stuck behind an RV plodding up the hill at 26 MPH, you have to risk a ticket or enjoy driving at a Cloveronian pace for the next 15 miles….

          • clover
            February 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm

            Yes Eric probably all that has changed is that they did some road surveys and found that accidents happened on that stretch of roadway. That is usually when changes of speed limits or waring sighs or yellow line changes are done. I know, facts should not matter.

          • February 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

            Sorry, Clover – that dog won’t hunt either.

            Do you know the stretch of road I referred to? Do you know how much traffic there is there? Do you know anything at all about it? No. Yet you smugly talk about “facts”! Hilarious.

            Here’s the facts, Clover – based on my direct personal knowledge (I live here and I happen to know the local VDOT guy, who confirmed it):

            No uptick in accidents on this section of the Blue Ridge Parkway; in fact, no accidents at all (excluding deer strikes, which don’t have any relevance vis-a-vis passing zones).

            This is a very rural area; very light traffic.

            All that happened was that after they repaved the road, they painted solid double yellow where previously it had been a passing zone. One of these former passing zones is an uphill stretch that runs for half-a-mile. Because of the grade, RVs often struggle to maintain even 25 MPH – hence the (former) passing zone. Now, thanks to some fulminating balloon knot like you, it’s gone.

            And for absolutely no legitimate reason.

          • BrentP
            February 27, 2012 at 4:20 am

            What Clover means is that we should all drive slow so that he and his brethren don’t have to put effort into their driving. So they don’t have to use their mirrors or signals or find gaps in traffic. Easier for them that way.

            As to rebuilt roads they do the same thing here. Road gets redone and passing zones vanish and the speed limit drops. Often the new road is vastly improved and suitable for higher speeds but the speed limit is dropped 5-15mph.

  4. Doug
    December 29, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    What you all seems to be missing is the unbelievable fact that Insurance Companies have been allowed by their butt-buddies in Washington to access Government Files – something unheard of in Countries more free than the United States of America. Also, forget about Government regulations, there is nothing to prevent all Insurance Companies to require their Customers to have monitors in their cars – or be cancelled.
    In Germany, it doesn’t matter how I drive or how many Citations I have had. If I have not had any claims, that is all my Insurance Company is allowed to care about. If I switch Insurance Companies, that Company is only permitted to check with my present Insurance. It is illegal for the Government and Insurance Companies to share information. Germany is also much better regarding how rates are determined but that’s another story.
    Here in Mexico, it is also illegal for the Government to share a Driver’s Records however, there is no Point System for Driving Licenses and Insurance Rates are not determined by claims.

    • December 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Excellent points, Doug.

      It is rather shocking, isn’t it, how complacent the average American is? He’s aware his insurance company can access government/court records (without a warrant or even the individual’s consent) but – as with TSA Gate Rape and various probable cause-free “checkpoints,” he just doesn’t care.

      Because he’s a Clover – a human-shaped thing who values “safety” over everything.

      • Don
        January 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        He values the gov’t being given the responsiblity for his safety by penalizing others rather than taking the responsibility himself; he advocates violence via proxy. He’s actually an irresponsible, selfish, cowardly thing.

    • clover
      December 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      Doug, you miss the point. If that is the case I would pay more for my insurance. The only person to benefit from such a case is the driver with poor driving habits or aggressive drivers that on average cause a lot more costs. I would prefer the person to pay more if they are the ones that are going to eventually cause more costs. Poor driving is like driving fast on snow packed roads. Your chances of crashing and causing more costs are far far greater.

      • mithrandir
        December 30, 2011 at 12:24 am

        I would think that if the person’s driving is that poor the person will lose their driver’s license (if a point system is used). If they cause claims against their insurance than the insurance company can justifiably raise insurance rates or drop the bad driver.

        Insurance rates may be higher (I do not know 100%), but I would think that bad drivers that actually cause claims will be weeded out of the insurance market (either through higher rates or not offered coverage)
        The government may remove them through too many points on license.

        It would be better if insurance was not mandatory. This would encourage insurance companies to be more reasonable with their rates, since people would have the option of not buying an overpriced product.

        • dom
          December 30, 2011 at 2:15 am

          That sounds exactly right to me as well. Sorry for opening the faucet with clover. Sometimes it’s interesting to glance at the endlessness of ignorance. His writing style and mannerisms change often. Very odd. How many people are writing for you? What is it you do for a living?

          • mithrandir
            December 30, 2011 at 3:16 am

            The Three Faces of Eve comes to mind when dealing with clover. Remember this about clover: She’s always a woman to me.

            She never gives in
            She just changes her mind

            Billy Joel must have known clover back in the 70s. Fortunately for him he was able to make some money from the experience. ;)

        • clover
          December 30, 2011 at 5:04 am

          It is nice to be able to say that mandatory insurance causes rates to be higher. Only in the USA can you make things up like that and treat them as facts.

          • December 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

            Clover, as a matter of simple logic, if you’re forced to buy something, you’re paying for something you’d otherwise skip. Which means, you’re spending money you’d otherwise not spend.

            If I could do so without fear of black clad ninjas coming to my house eventually, I’d skip insurance for at least three of my motorcycles, which are garage queens that rarely get ridden and when ridden get ridden “around the block” in my very rural county where it’s usually just me on the road.

            I’d skip insurance on my older truck, which gets used to haul the trash up to the green boxes and back and every once in awhile gets used to make a run into town.

            That would save me several hundred dollars a year – thousands over time – that I’d rather put to other purposes. But I can’t, because of small-minded control-freak thugs such as you.

            Your argument mandatory insurance would be a little (though not much) stronger if the whole thing weren’t massively profitable for the insurance mafia. If, for instance, we were forced to pay into a common risk pool administered at cost, where there was no profit motive to dunning people, then… well, at least it’d be less egregious.

            But what you support is using the government to force people to hand over their money to a privately owned, massively profitable “business” in order that said “business” may pay out huge salaries to its executives and spend lavishly on advertising and lobbying to press the government to impose more onerous laws that help it to “earn” even more profit.

          • clover
            December 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm

            Name one business where the margin is lower than car insurance companies? There is none.

          • December 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm

            Clover, your understanding of business is right on par with your understanding of physics, engineering, philosophy and grammar.

            Margin can be small provided volume is high. That’s point one. Point two is you’re simply full of beans. Take the “margin” on myself as a case in point. Over the past 20 years I’ve paid at least $10,000 in premiums. But I have not cost the insurance company a cent. That’s a pretty damn good margin (in their favor) isn’t it?

            And there are millions just like me. You too, even. They’ve made a fortune on you, Clover – if your statements have been honest.

            The fact that some policyholders cost the insurance company a lot of money means nothing in the grand scheme of things because most people don’t cost the insurance company much – if anything.

            Poor ol’ Clover… must be tough going through life on an empty tank.

          • BrentP
            December 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

            Clover, the whole point of making a product regulated and mandatory is to create a cartel. The reason to create a cartel is bring about high prices.

            I’ve seen the Allstate campus. I’ve been on the former campus of Kemper. These things were not built with low margins.

            I know low margin business and that is not what low margin business looks like.

            Furthermore, if it wasn’t to rip us off auto insurance would be driver based not vehicle based. But why charge one person once when they can charge one person several times as if he could drive multiple vehicles all at the same time.

          • clover
            December 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

            Eric you need to do a lot more reading on insurance. Yes there are some that will never file a claim. Yes there are others that file multiple claims. Yes the rates go up for those that file claims because they are thought to be a higher risk. I have filed an insurance claim before. I had a boat burn up. The claim was for many thousands of dollars. Without insurance it would have been tough luck for me. I could care less if I never file another claim and spend a few more thousand on insurance. If I did not have it and caused an accident it could cost me everything I have. I guess you are willing to lose everything you have and then some that you do not even have yet but I am not willing to lose everything. I also do not believe that if I cause more losses than what I have in equity to make the person with a large loss to lose their equity also.

          • mithrandir
            January 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

            @clover on December 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm

            The claim was for many thousands of dollars. Without insurance it would have been tough luck for me.

            That is the general point of insurance. People pooling their money together to take care of a loss that one person individually could not deal with financially. (IIRC, it started in the 16th or 17th century) People were free to get insurance or not get insurance. Some people do not get insurance through choice or they can not afford to pay for insurance.

            Unfortunately today insurance is mandatory in many parts of the US. If you can not afford it, then it is too bad for you. You need to find the money or risk the ire (consequences) from the state. It does not matter if you have a better use for that money or if you do not have the money.

            All types of insurance should be voluntary. I am sure that insurance companies can determine a way to remain profitable in such a system. A voluntary insurance system may encourage people to be more responsible drivers. It may encourage insurance companies to be more responsible to the people they claim to serve. People can decide for themselves if the cost of insurance is worth the benefit of insurance.

          • Don
            January 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

            Ok, so you’re saying that if nobody wants to by a widget and the price of widgets is x, then if the gov’t forces everyone to buy widgets that the increase in demand for widgets will not cause the price to go up? It will remain at x?

            That defies all economic logic, empirical evidence and reason. Risk is but one factor in determining the price of one’s insurance premiums.

          • clover
            January 6, 2012 at 2:54 am

            BrentP, if you would do some research you will find that Allstate is at the point where it could go under. You know, close the doors for good. Insurance has high competition right now. The rates have never been lower. If you decrease the margins by a couple of percent most all companies will go broke. The ones that are making money the margins are less than what you pay for sales tax in most states. You give me your definition of a Cartel. It is kind of hard to have a Cartel with a hundred or two companies competing in a state. I hear some that say they want the facts. I am all for that. You show me the facts that back up your Cartel statement.

    • BrentP
      December 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

      It’s a corporatist/fascist racket. In Illinois if you bribe (sorry, pay for “traffic school” and/or “court costs”) the government with a little money on top of the fine they won’t let the insurance companies know you got a ticket if you don’t get another one within some time period. A typical cop question around here is: “when did you last get a ticket”. See they don’t want to over harvest. It’s bad for the human farming.

  5. teaque
    December 30, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I hate progressive. They charged me over two grand a year. And no I have never caused an accident. Was recently in a near fatal one and the at fault driver had progressive. You think those satanic f***s will compensate me for my pain, suffering, and property damage? Hahahaha. I’m tempted to just not bother with getting insurance. I’d have a lot more money.

    • December 30, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Lots of stories like that!

      But, even if you have a “perfect” record – no tickets in years, never had a DWI, never an a-fault accident, etc. – you will still usually pay at least a couple hundred bucks a year for a liability policy. Even if you don’t have another vehicle (and many people do) over time, that several hundred bucks a year will add up to a lot of money. I pointed out to Clover – who I suspect is actually Clovers, incidentally – that his/their quote of appx. $244 every six months works out to almost $10,000 over 20 years.

      That is a lot of money to pay for …nothing.

      Now, consider all the other fucking insurance we’re either forced to buy or conditioned to believe we must have: Life, health, home.

      Over a 20 year period, a “fully insured” person can easily spend $50,000 on “coverage”!

      Is it any wonder why people are broke?

      Imagine if you’d simply put that money in the bank, in a “just in case” fund. If nothing happened, you’d have a nice nest egg in 20 years… instead of … nothing.

      • Boothe
        December 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm

        How about if I could have put all that money aside along with the federal and state income taxes, socialist security and medicare I’ve paid in “voluntarily” for the last 36 years? I’d be living the life of a “gentleman” now! The PTB can’t have that….

        • December 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

          Amen.

          One of the main reasons I was able to save up enough money for the down payment on my first place was because I did not have to buy “health care” insurance. I was in my 20s, in excellent health and reasoned it was very unlikely I’d need more than perhaps a routine check – which I could (and did) pay for out of pocket. I put the money that today’s young people will be forced to pay for “health care” into savings and after a few years I had a few thousands extra dollars I would not otherwise have had.

          I despise insurance. It is one of the greatest cons going.

          • clover
            January 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

            If you had major health problems when you were young then you would have been broke your entire life and still not have enough to pay your bill. Insurance with a 5,000 deductible is very little little but can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have major health problems like hitting a tree with a car in your dumb driving period.

          • January 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

            But Clover, most young people do not have major health problems. It is therefore reasonable to go without health insurance when you are young and put the money toward things that make more sense, like savings (which can be used for any health problems that may crop out) or to put a down payment on your first house.

            That is the point, which you can’t seem to grasp.

            No one objects to you doing what you think prudent with your money. What’s enraging is that little thugs-at-a-distance like you want to deny everyone else their right to choose for themselves.

          • BrentP
            January 6, 2012 at 4:34 am

            If health care had been free and open competition it would be VERY cheap by now. But it was sucked into a government enforced cartel system about a century ago… so forget about the low cost advancements.

          • January 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

            The big turning point was the rise of HMOs in the ’70s. Prior to this, most “health care” was fee for service. You saw the doctor – not a legion of sour-faced fraus first. Very little paperwork relative to today.

          • BrentP
            January 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

            It’s really gotten bad in recent decades however it all started when the sick-care concept got more or less monopoly power (through licensing, etc) in USA. The money sucking drug based system. This started somewhere in between 1900 and 1920s. Then came insurance…

            In WW2 wage controls meant companies could not increase wages beyond a point to compete for labor. So they got around it with benefits.

            Now they are attacking vitamins, doctors who use other concepts are viciously attacked as are ones who do any research that even slightly calls the present system into question.

        • Don
          January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm

          I’ve done a rough calculation and I came up with around $40,000 I’ve paid over the course of my lifetime in mandatory insurance premiums and yet I’ve never filed a claim. I could have paid for my entire college education, undergrad and grad school, with that money.

          I figure the gov’t owes me that money back. I’ve got half a mind to go total my car just to use my insurance once in my life. How absurd is it to pay for something and never use it? :)

          • January 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

            Oh, don’t get me started…!

            If I could have back the money I’ve been forced to pay for insurance – and for Social Security (rather, to pay for someone else’s Social Security benefits) I’d be able to retire right now, in my mid 40s. I could use the capital to finance a few conservative investments that would generate enough, or nearly enough, income for us to live on probably for the rest of our lives.

            As bad as things like “free trade” have been in terms of the negative effect on the balance sheet of the average American, it is mandatory insurance and “contributions” to Social Security that have impoverished him more than anything else.

          • clover
            January 6, 2012 at 3:00 am

            I have to laugh at that one Eric. You say you could retire now with all the social security and car insurance you have paid for! I guess you are the only one I know that can live on a hundred bucks a month or less. You figure it out yourself and report back. I guess you are right if you only live until 50.

          • January 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

            Clovers: I have a paid-for house and thus a very low cost of living. If I had the appx. $250,000 that has been taken from me over the course of the past 25 years by insurance mafias and government, I could live quite comfortably on the investment income. In this part of the country, for example, that sum could purchase 50-75 acres of productive farmland, which could generate a very nice income from hay, or beef cattle. Or I could buy a very nice “income property” house – in cash – that I could then rent to someone, earning me a substantial sum each month without my having to really do anything.

            This is all incidental, though. The relevant point is – you are a thug.

            You’re not content to manage your money (including planning for your retirement) as you see fit and extend the same courtesy to others – people who are doing you no harm and merely wish to be left in peace to live their lives as you probably wish to be left in peace to live yours. No, that’s enough for Clovers. They have to force their views on others. They refuse to live – and let live.

            And they’re especially despicable because they’re cowards. They don’t have the balls to come to my house and threaten me with violence themselves. They get the government to do it for them.

            I hope, Clovers, that one day you will be in the position of having to face the people you and your kind try to control via the force of others on your own, without the force of government there to do your bullying for you.

            I suspect that without government behind you – rather, in front of you – you’d shut up real quick and go about your business and leave others free to go about theirs.

            Right, sweetcheeks?

          • BrentP
            January 6, 2012 at 4:30 am

            Clover, I am younger than Eric. Social security and the other entitlement taxes have cost me a very large sum of money on a stuff into the mattress basis. (that is no interest/investment losses or loss of purchasing power) With the way the government is further monopolizing the AMA’s way of doctoring it’s going to get progressively more and more difficult to live long enough to get it all back on a numerical dollar basis alone, forget about the lost purchasing power.

            Then there’s what I could do with a sum that would buy a house in many areas of the country right now to secure my future financially.

            If I could get my car insurance back it’s just icing on the cake.

            Eric is very much correct. By the time anyone that’s half-way productive has been working 10-20 years it’s a considerable sum of money.

            Instead of being able to provide for ourselves in the future we end up dependent upon the government. It’s another nasty side effect of inflation. Considering when SS started I can’t help but think it was part of the inflationary plan.

    • babydriver
      January 6, 2012 at 5:03 am

      So get a lawyer and sue.

  6. Tor Munkov
    December 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    What Clover doesn’t like creepy-smiley Flo, and want to put a ring on her finger. Who wouldn’t want a lifetime of sober nights watching sitcoms together on our fire retardant couch.
    Clover and Flo are safety activists and have just introduced Prop 86 which make booster seats and helmets mandatory for all drivers of all ages, no exceptions. Studies have proven it’ll increase safety by 60%.
    This proposition is going to pass overwhelmingly.
    Aren’t you glad, you’re not against safety or something are you?

    • December 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Good stuff, Tor – post o’ the day!

    • Enjoy Every Sandwich
      December 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Flo is creepy.

  7. Scott
    December 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Eric -

    I love your columns and I also enjoy your commentary on politics and society but I’ve never been able to participate in any of your “post-game” shows (your comments section) except once. Virtually all the time, your website rejects my comments, claiming my email address is bogus.

    I have a special email address I use for sites that require one. Since I own my own domain (like you) I can do this. The reason I have a special address is that I don’t enjoy spam. Now, I’m not saying you sell eMail addresses, somehow I think that’s one of the LAST things you’d do, but I’m also sure you know other sites do and so it’s just a policy of mine to always use the same address when I send a comment, that way it’s really easy to write a spam filter that ignores anything sent to that address. In fact, I set up my pop3 reader to ignore it completely; I never even check it.

    Is it possible that’s the reason my comments never get through? I’ve used a live address for this question BTW. Please be gentle with it :)

    • QuietFox
      January 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Scott, I also control my own domain (actually 12 of them) and use the capabilities of separate email addresses for the same reason. But I take things a few steps further. I use an alias for every single site/vendor/whatever I deal with. This makes it really easy to identify which sites are either lying about protecting privacy or are using hosting companies with lax security.

      Perhaps the reason your email address is rejected is due to how your domain has been configured to handle incoming email. Is it configured to bounce back, or does it go into a “blackhole” giving no indication of it being a valid email address or not. The blackhole option is my preferred choice due to the annoying fact that the smarter spammers use bounceback responses to clean their harvested email address list so as to be able to get a higher price when sold/traded to other spammers or silly marketers that think unsolicited email campaigns work. Just my opinion.

  8. Doug
    December 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    OK. Germany requires insurance (which I support) and Mexico does not. In both Countries, I pay less Insurance Premiums than I did in the States because Insurance Companies are not allowed to access my Driving Record and raise my Rates accordingly. They do not donate Radar Guns, support “Safety Campaigns”, or lobby for certain Traffic Laws because they don’t profit from any of this.
    In Germany, Insurance Companies are required to lower a Driver’s Rates if he has no claims during scheduled time. If he continues to have no Claims, they must continue lowering his rates. The lowest Rate a driver can achieve is 30% of the Base Rate of his particular category. If he has a claim, depending upon the type of claim, his Rate can remain the same or go up by a set percentage. He will not find his Rate doubled if he has a minor fender-bender. Any damage a driver is the cause of is considered an Accident. This includes Door Dings.
    In Mexico, if someone Uninsured injures another in an accident, he goes to jail. He must then make arrangements to repay the injured and compensate him for expenses. Since a most of the lowlife here can afford 5 or 6 kids but not Car Insurance, they are the most likely to be involved in Hit-and Runs.
    In both Mexico and Germany, Insurance Companies are profitable.

  9. Dust
    December 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Progressive sucks. Period.
    A speeding Progressive covered driver killed my prize Boxer dog, a lovely kind animal that happened to break his chain and race out towards the road in front of my house. I was away working then, and her Progressive company calls me and threatened to sue me for the damages her car recieved from hitting my dog!! wtf? I called them back and the clover on the phone asked me what happened. I told her the simple truth. I was working. My dog broke his chain and escaped. The twit said i was a lawbreaker. A lawbreaker due to my dog escaping. wow. This country can really rape you with it’s laws and bullshit.
    After being told that I needed to be sued, this clover kept repeating mechanically that “i broke leash laws.”
    I explained it again. After five! go arounds, i told her i would sue her if she called me again, and sue Progressive as well.
    They didn’t follow thru on it…thankfully. Sometimes, defeating these types of Control can be as simple as shouting it down and simply not giving them what they want.

  10. Bilejones
    December 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I think It was Matt Taibbi who said that the only reason Flo was still alive was because he hadn’t figured out what to do with the body.

  11. December 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I notice, first of all, that you just skip over the points made – that margins are irrelevant when volume is high – and that most people never file a major claim or have a major claim filed against them, therefore, it’s a reasonable risk, if you’re competent and careful, to not have insurance that assumes you’re going to incur a six-figure loss. But you can’t rebut these facts, so, per usual, you go off on yet another Cloveronian tangent.

    Poor ol’ Clover(s).

    They just can’t handle the facts. Worse, they insist on forcing others to live according to their own fact-free (and fearful) standards.

    But the wheel is turning Clover. Your time – and the time of those who think as you do – is drawing to a close.

  12. December 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    The good news here is the stupid “snapshot” will likely only work on OBD2 cars. Guess I will continue to drive nice older cars and avoid the problem entirely. And if they get real ambitious (including the Feral Governments tax orgasm), I will drive an OLD British car with positive ground. RESIST!! Every where you can, every way you can. Bite me Clover, enjoy your trip off to the FEMA camps you usless eater…

  13. BrentP
    December 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    The clovers have attempted their solution to your plans many times already. They will simply ban from use on the roads (or just forcibly crush) all cars manufactured prior to some date that aren’t rendered into static displays. Typically this has been model year 1980 or 82. However there is no reason now they couldn’t pick 1996.

    The usual reasons of environment and economic stimulus would be used as always.

    • December 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm

      The old Rush song, Red Barchetta, comes to mind….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epr144KsKGI

      • methylamine
        January 4, 2012 at 3:49 am

        Yes! When the time comes, I will personally MIG-weld my own tubular steel frame Cobra replica. I’ll collect the parts of a V8 from scrapyards, and I’ll distill my own ethanol fuel. And I will not submit.

  14. RG
    January 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Insurance in and of itself is a great service that would be demanded by many cosumers regardless of state mandate. But the state has taken its greatest competitor and turned it into its most staunch and formidable ally.

    Both Rothbard and Hoppe envision the private society utilizing insurance agencies as the primary means of safety service.

    • January 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      I’ve got no issue with insurance as such. My issue is with mandatory insurance, which means – being forced by the government to pay money to a privately owned, for-profit company.

      Insurance ought to be voluntary. It’d also be cheaper if we had the right to say no.

  15. John Illinois
    January 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

    If you are IDIOT ENOUGH TO BUY PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE, you deserve to be raped. To start with, the prime mover of Progressive, who’s name escapes my senior citizen brain at the moment, ( I retired after 40 years in the insurance business 5 years ago, at age much above 65, and I admit to working for companies that were not PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE), gives extensively to far,far,far left causes. Insurance is a business that is not helped by left wing ideas, other than the requirement to buy the stuff. That is fine, except that the communists who pass these kind of laws also limit the premiums insurance companies can charge for these high risk people. That is why there are state insurance pools for high risk drivers who can’t get regular car insuarnce. They make the rest of us pay to subsidize people who probably should not be driving because they can’t do the job anyway.
    Even states like New York that require you show proof of insurance before you can get plates for your car, jerk your driver’s license if you move to another state and fail to return your New York license plates to them before they learn that you canceled your New York insurance coverage, they have problems with uninsured drivers. That does wonders for your insurance premiums, and even causes problems when you try to get a license in a different state. That problem lasts for years and years.

    • BrentP
      January 3, 2012 at 1:57 am

      A former cow-orker of mine had progressive insurance when he was rear ended by some deadbeat guy who was driving his girl friend’s car. I got to hear the insurance saga for months on end as he argued with his own and the woman’s insurance. Neither were willing to pay for different nonsense reasons. Eventually his car got fixed but it took forever. Not to mention complexities due to the car and the dealership body shop.

      • January 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

        Yup. Just like “health care” insurance, in most cases, you are better off just saving your money for just in case (which if you’re a good driver is not likely to ever manifest) and paying out of your own funds.

        Insurance is a con. Only it’s worse than a standard con because the insurance mafia forces you to play.

    • Gail
      January 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

      I live somewhat distant from a population center, and have only a local mom ‘n pop store for things like gas and milk and whatnot. When I acquired my current car, I decided to keep my old beater for emergency backup. It felt secure, knowing I had means to get essentials if my main car was out of commission. I transferred the insurance to my new car, leaving the beater uninsured, which was okay by me, since I’d be driving it rarely, if ever.

      Some little time later, I got a notice from my DMV: As the beater was no longer insured, I was to either submit its plates or provide proof of sale to the DMV by X date, or my driver’s license would be revoked.

      After the usual storming around and kicking the walls that we do when the !#&#%! State ratchets up its control another notch, I sold the car and put the proceeds to paying off a credit card. I did it for the poetry: Since the crony-capitalistas monkey-wrenched my plans, I would use the effects to deprive a bankster of a (minuscule) infusion of interest money.

      So there!

      I still wonder though if the threat of revocation of one’s driver’s license would hold up if challenged in court.

      In fact, I wonder if any number of these kinds of state-issued threats in all areas of life would hold up in court. I wonder how often they are challenged.

      • January 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

        They do that here in Virginia, too.

        Even if the car is sitting in your garage/back yard and hasn’t been on a public road in years, even if the registration has lapsed, so long as it has plates you are required to maintain insurance coverage on it. When you cancel the policy, you’re supposed to turn in the plates. Fail to do so and they find out – and they do “random checks” – and they hit you with a huge fine and render you “SR-22″ uninsurable, which means, you’ll be paying the most exorbitant premiums to get “coverage.”

        • Gail
          January 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

          Holy mackerel. I’m in Virginia too … obviously I now know about the required-insurance thing, but I didn’t know all that other stuff.

          A little Draconian, isn’t it?

          Nice setup though for the insurance companies, that SR-22 business. Of course you should pay the highest insurance, since keeping a car off the road — that is, NOT DRIVING IT — proves beyond question that you’re a societal menace who deserves to have the book thrown at you.

          Ah well, who needs logic when you’ve got a big fist?

          • January 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm

            Our state is really bad – one of the worst – when it comes to “DMV issues.” Remember the “abuser” fees they tried a few years ago? You could be fined $1,000 or more for simple speeding. A shyster traffic lawyer who also happens to be a state lawmaker (Albo) pushed – and passed – that one. It was repealed, but only because it went too far, too fast. Incrementally, they’ll achieve the same thing, eventually.

            I’m sure you know, for example, that in Va. it is statutory “reckless driving” to exceed any posted speed limit by more than 20 MPH, or to drive faster than 80 MPH, period.

            Thus, on the Interstate highway spur near Roanoke – which is still posted 55! – you’re a statutory “reckless driver” if you drive 76 MPH.

            And on the highway, with traffic averaging 70-ish (and a speed limit of 70) you’re “reckless” if you do 80.

        • dom
          January 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

          This applies to antique tags too! I paid a lot of money for my antique tags and if I don’t keep the car insured they’ll suspend my license. I have six street vehicles and it costs! Completely impossible for me to drive them all at once! Just craziness.

    • January 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Hey John,

      It’s even worse than that – at least in Virginia. We also have the “uninsured motorists” fee, for those who can’t or won’t buy insurance. But surprise, surprise – it’s not coverage at all. It’s just a fee these people pay to be allowed to legally operate a car without insurance.

      In other words, the state is full of shit about its “safety” hymns… they don’t give a shit that people might (and do) drive without insurance. But they do care very much if anyone’s not paying – either to them, or the insurance companies, which amounts to the same thing.

    • clover
      January 4, 2012 at 2:25 am

      Yes uninsured motorists cause all states problems. That is why there is mandatory insurance. I have uninsured/under insured motorists coverage on my policies. Just think what would happen to that rate if millions of more motorists would be uninsured in my state. I am sure that my premium would almost double for my total insurance premium and my uninsured coverage would go up about 10 to 20 times the current rate. No one ever tells you that when they say mandatory insurance is a bad thing.

      • January 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

        Clover, you never let facts get in the way, do you?

        Like the fact that in states such as Virginia, there is a mandatory insurance law – but if you pay a few hundred bucks annually to the state, you can legally operate a motor vehicle without any coverage whatsoever. It is called the Uninsured Motorist Fee.

        The state (like insurance companies) wants your money. Period.

        There is also the fact that irresponsible people – the very people you fear – tend to be, well, irresponsible. They do things like ignore mandatory insurance laws. And being irresponsible, they typically have no (or very little) int he way of assets or income, so there’s not much you can do (other than arrest and jail them) when they cause an accident. This is common.

        Mandatory insurance laws are like gun control laws, Clover: They create hassle and expense for the people who are not the problem.

        This has been explained to you literally a dozen times at least. I’m not doing it again. We locked you out for a few days because of your tedious inability to deal with facts, to respond to specific points and concede when you are shown to be in error. All you (and your team – we’re wise to you, Clovers) do is repeat the same old talking points… over and over. Your sole aim appears to be to disrupt and annoy.

  16. babydriver
    January 4, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Some states confiscate the car w/o insurance.

  17. Gail
    February 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Clover sez: “The way that the government could make things safer for everyone is to get more cops on the highway stopping Brent from his reckless driving and everyone like him.”

    Eric replies: “Yes, Clover – More cops! More Laws! Then we’d all be saaaaaafe.”

    Eric, give it up. If, after all the time Clover’s been posting on this website, he can write something like the above, there can be only one explanation: His learning curve is flatline.

    You’re shouting in the wilderness that occupies the space in his head where other peoples’ brains are.

    • February 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Hey Gail,

      I’m not doing it for his benefit; I know that’s hopeless! I do it (allow his posts through/dissect his posts) for purposes of public education. He does a service, as Brent and Boothe have noted, in revealing the nature of the enemy. I’d despair if we were facing intelligent sociopaths. But luckily, most are of this variety. The only advantage they’ve got is numbers. And those numbers depend for their existence on being able to leech off others. Once the parasite is removed from its host, it dies.

      As they say in Germany: Der tag kommt.

      • Gail
        February 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        Ah, now I understand.

        I don’t envy you the task you have undertaken, and I thank you for doing it so I don’t have to.

        • February 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          Someone’s gotta take out the trash… clean the litter box….

      • Boothe
        February 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        @Eric “I’d despair if we were facing intelligent sociopaths. But luckily, most are of this variety.” One of the advantages we have over Clover and his archetype is intelligence. Having studied the work others have done on sociopathic / narcissistic / psychopathic personalities to some small extent, I’ve found that a common thread seems to run through the research on these people; they’re typically slightly below average intelligence. But just as the body seems to compensate when one sense or ability is lost or missing, the same holds true with Clovers. They are not burdened with concerns about anyone but themselves (i.e. devoid of conscience). And perhaps their immediate family / circle of friends. But that’s only because of what they can get out of them by appearing to care. They also tend to be better manipulators as well (which is really easy if you don’t give a hoot about “the mark”).

        But since there is essentially nothing to be gained for Clover by cultivating or sucking up to us, he/she (it?) lets it all hang out for the world to see. If Clover was in the position of having to work for a Liberty minded supervisor that tended to ignore B.S. traffic and substance laws, between the slurping and sucking noises it would be making, Clover would be “in commplete agreement with you, sir!” Until such time that Clover saw the opportunity to rat him out and take his job. This is a meager sampling of the myriad reasons why we can’t allow these people into positions of authority.

        I once saw a tee-shirt about “Dubya” that said “Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot”. This discussion brought that to mind and made we wonder where our Clover is actually from.

  18. Bob Robertson
    April 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I signed up for the “Snapshot” before understanding what it was. And even though my rates of travel are consistently “safely with traffic”, that is, “well above the speed limit” when on a highway, my rates went down because of little or no “hard braking”.

    My momma taught me to “look ahead”.

    They say speed isn’t a factor in their calculation, but it’s recorded anyway. I ought to call and say, “Well, you’ve gotten my records for a year, can I send it back yet?”

  19. Kman
    June 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Two points,
    1. Progressive insurance is owned by that Marxist prick George Soros. If that doesn’t scare you off,,well you were warned.
    2. “Progerssive” as a political word words owes it’s origins to the Progressive party of which Teddy Roosevelt was the titualr head, But which owes it’s philoshophy to such statist luminaries as Georges Sorel and Herbert Croly. Both of whom were insprations to Benito Mussolini as he he formed his Fascist party platform. In short, the progressive party was the American Fascist party and much admired from across the water by Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
    Why do they get a pass on using that name? The Tiltles Nazi and Fascist have been named and shamed, but somehow in our benighted nation and state run media “progessive” politics marches on, and under it’s original title no less!
    K

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