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Re: Involving auto insurers in harm reduction

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  • dubluth <dubluth@yahoo.com>
    I m don t know Andrew Tobias or how he is related to the Pay as You Drive initiative. There is some financial motivation for people who drive less than average
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 7, 2003
      I'm don't know Andrew Tobias or how he is related to the Pay as You Drive initiative.

      There is some financial motivation for people who drive less than average to support this initiative. However, as Turpin suggests, this will not be enough justification for some people to take the trouble of signing the pledge. There is another motivation for those who want to add to the financial incentive of others to not drive as much. Doubling the price at the pump for gasoline would be one way to do that. Another way is milage based insurance, which would have roughly the same impact.

      Paying a minimum mandated auto insurance at the pump isn't the same as charging per distance driven since the distance a vehicle can travel on a given quantity of fuel varies. Two ways of determining what distances are traveled are discussed at <http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm>.

      One involves odometer audits. If your odometer doesn't work, fixing it may be your responsibility. I'll pass on researching that question.

      Another uses the global positioning system, GPS. Some insurers are experimenting with this. Insurance companies doing trials on this technique are installing the units at their own expense. As I understand it, the devices calculate the fees based on distance and location and only those charges are stored. GPS to calculate tolls is also being experimented with in one state -- Minnesota, I believe. The GPS allows more information to be used in calculating insurance charges and tolls - namely location and time of travel. (That additional information is necessary for the calculation of tolls (however tolls aren't yet the subject of my harm reduction posts)).

      I would appreciate guidance on where to learn about the "trail lawyers" case against pay-at-the-pump insurance and more history. If you also have an opinion about adjusting rates by model of vehicle, I would like to hear that also.

      The reason I favor these changes in insurance is because they decrease the disconnect between personal choices and consequenses. If drivers were directly charged the costs of motoring, it would pay to locate activities closer together. Not until many more people find it worth-while not to motor will pedestrian politics find its legs.

      Bill Carr

      > Andrew Tobias has been a long-time
      > supporter of paying for minimum
      > mandated auto insurance at the
      > pump, as a fee tacked onto gasoline.
      > There was an effort to implement
      > this once-upon-a-state. The trail
      > lawyers, led by Ralph Nader, shot
      > it down.
      >
      > Unless it were tacked onto the
      > price of gasoline, it's not clear
      > to me how pay-as-you-drive would be
      > done. How does the insurer know how
      > much a car was driven? Ask the
      > driver for odometer readings? Send
      > an adjuster to verify them? I think
      > I'll pass. It's not worth repairing
      > the speedometer on my '81 car.
      > Besides, I just paid next year's
      > insurance, and I don't think I can
      > get anything for much less than
      > $400/yr. (Next to not having it,
      > the way to keep your auto insurance
      > low is to have a squeaky clean
      > record, and drive an old car not
      > worth covering with comprehensive.)
    • turpin <turpin@yahoo.com>
      ... This book should be on the shelf of everyone who was not born into a seven-digit trust fund:
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 9, 2003
        "dubluth <dubluth@y...>" wrote:
        > I'm don't know Andrew Tobias ..

        This book should be on the shelf
        of everyone who was not born into
        a seven-digit trust fund:

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0156011077/qid=1042120565/sr=2-
        1/ref=sr_2_1/102-7050259-8411352

        He's Treasurer for the Democratic
        National Committee, and on his
        webpage, he splits his writing
        between keeping people solvent
        and explaining the evils of the
        Republicans:

        http://www.andrewtobias.com/

        > Two ways of determining what
        > distances are traveled .. One
        > involves odometer audits. ..
        > Another uses GPS.

        As long as I live in a city
        where driving sometimes is
        necessary, I want it to be cheap.
        So I balk at the notion of fixing
        my speedometer or installing a
        GPS system into my car, which is
        now in its third decade. And no,
        I don't plan on buying a new one,
        thank-you-very-much.
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