My own car iszues

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Tdarcos
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Arlington, Virginia
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My own car iszues

Post by Tdarcos » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:27 am

I thought I'd discuss my own car issues issues after Aardvark mentioned they bought a 2007 Saturn and still has it, 11 years later.

I was driving my brother-in-law's Geo Prism, manual transmission which we didn't even want but had to pay for it. My brother-in-law, my sister's husband Luther, had co-signed a note for purchase of a car by a co-worker. With two payments left, she stopped paying. The lender repossessed it, then we were informed as co-maker on the loan that Luther was liable for the reposession and towing, plus the last two payments, and we could pay the towing company. I got dragged into this because Luther can't drive and Joan has to drive the car to take us to the tow yard. Since Joan had taught me years earlier how to drive a stick - and I had made my mistakes on an earlier car - I was drafted to drive it.

Since Luther, then, was living at my sister's place in Virginia, and he'd paid for it, the car was titled in his name, and registered in Virginia. They never asked for the old tags, so we kept them. Interestingly enough, the woman who owned the car lived in Maryland but the car had Tennessee tags. Probably some scam to keep the insurance company from charging more.

Later on Luther moved in with us in Silver Spring, Maryland, (and at the time I was between jobs) so instead of him having to take the bus to work, I drove him to work at Walter Reed Medical Center in DC. I did not charge him anything, he just paid for gas, (and was paying for insurance) and I could use the car to look for work the rest of the time. Luther didn't even want me to come get him from work, he was OK with taking buses home.

At some point later I did get a job and Luther had no problem resuming taking the bus to work, and I drove the car (and now I paid the insurance). Later our family broke up, my mother, brother and Luther went to my sister's place in Virginia, and I moved in with an associate of hers who lived in Ft. Washington, MD.

Since the car was no longer in Silver Spring, I decided to find out what it would now cost to insure it. I got a price and charged it to my credit card. A few weeks later, I get a letter and a check in the mail from GEICO. Seems since I wasn't the owner of the vehicle they should not have sold me insurance since I "have no insurable interest" in the vehicle (how about my interest in not being put into bankruptcy if I had an accident?) They also said their estimates were that it would cost more to insure me than they would receive in premiums. So GEICO had refunded my payment, minus two months as they would continue the policy for 60 days to allow me time to find another carrier. I called GEICO and discovered that because of State Law, they could not sell me insurance.

The interesting thing was, when I called some other insurers, including Progressive, they had no problem insuring a non-owner of a vehicle. But they were all more expensive than GEICO. So, committing identity theft, I pretended to be Luther and had GEICO insure the vehicle in my name as the owner, with Paul Robinson as an authorized driver. Explaining to them how my brother in law Paul, who drives my car because I have no use for it, tried to buy insurance and it was refunded. Given the circumstances they even had no problem with "Luther" using my credit card to pay for it. And the six month price was the same as the quote when I had bought the insurance directly.

By the way, I continued to drive and operate the car with Virginia tags even though it was being garaged - parked on the street, or on a driveway - in Maryland. This was correct procedure, since I was not the owner and the owner did reside in Virginia, despite the fact the vehicle was regularly kept in Maryland, the registration - and tags - are where the owner resides. Both Virginia DMV and Maryland MVA confirmed this.

Since then I have discovered that GEICO would sell me "operator's insurance" which is coverage if you drive a car belonging to someone else, and it's not insured. The most obvious user of such is a mechanic fixing people's cars, some of which might not be insured. If the owner is judgement proof, as the typical uninsured motorist is, the other party's lawyer - or his insurance company, if he files a claim - will look at the mechanic who has a business which can be seized and sold, unless he has automobile operators insurance, as his personal insurance on his own vehicle will not cover commercial transactions (which is why people who deliver pizzas in their personal vehicles are risking the insurer refusing to cover an accident occurring while carrying that stupid lighted pizza sign on their car).
"Like a small boat, on the ocean / Sending big waves into motion."
- Rachel Platten, Fight Song

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