The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 September 2002

Don't drive, he said

Mostly reasonable points regarding auto insurance, from Colby Cosh:

"I've heard arguments from time to time, even from people otherwise well-disposed to the free market, in favour of 'no-fault' auto insurance systems like those existing on either side of Alberta (in B.C. and Saskatchewan). As a worse-than-average driver, however, I am convinced that market pricing of auto insurance is a good thing. At my most haphazard, my insurance rates were over $3,800 (Canadian) a year. This was more than I was paying in rent at the time, but it was more or less fair — just as it's more or less fair now that, as an older and wiser man with a clean recent abstract, I should pay closer to $800/yr. There's no right to insurance at any particular price. However strongly we may all wish to drive, there are some people who just shouldn't be on the road, and we cannot, in principle, do a better job of identifying them and discouraging them than by means of a competitive actuarial market."

This is absolutely true, but at least on this side of the 49th — I admit to being unaware of how the Canadians may handle this — states with mandatory-insurance laws also have assigned-risk pools, so that people to whom no rational company would sell insurance can pay a stiff premium and stay on the road, when what is really needed is to keep them as far away from the roads as possible.

Posted at 12:19 PM to Driver's Seat