Last Wednesday, I was having a good day. Bourke Accounting gets into the holiday season in a big way – we’ve been receiving little presents, an hour is reserved daily for holiday-themed games and the lunches are catered. Driving home, jacked up on candy canes and tacos, I felt good. Yes, traffic was light, the sun was shining and all was momentarily right in my corner of existence.
I was in in the left lane. Earlier, I had noticed a car in the right lane swerving gently, but besides thinking “texting idiot,” I didn’t give it much thought. That is, until I felt the impact and heard the crunch. Bursting out of my vehicle, I was met with the formerly swerving car, now straddling both lanes. I’d like to say that I calmly inquired after the driver’s health. I did not. I’d like to say that I said, “Accidents happen, let’s exchange information.” No, I didn’t do that, either. Instead, I cast aspersions on the driver’s sobriety and intelligence – at a very high decibel. I threw my arms around like a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man outside of a pawn shop. It was only after observing another motorist filming that I acquiesced to the driver’s request that we move our cars to a safer location.
Exchanging insurance information was the first obstacle, as my assailant didn’t have any. She then offered me $30 if I didn’t call the police. While waiting for the police to answer, she questioned why I was so angry (“It’s just a car”) and emptily observed that “at least no one was hurt” (I could have happily remedied that). Well, the cops advised that they weren’t sending an officer since no one was injured and recommended that I get her information. I copied her license number, etc. and offered some very specific wishes for her future.
I am not alone. About 13 percent of drivers on the road are careening into each other without insurance (NatLawReview.com). This is a problem because, for those of us who follow the law, we end up paying “for a portion of the costs for others who choose to disobey the law” (Content.NAIC.org). For example, in 2013, the average insurance claim for “bodily injury was $15,506” (PolicyGenius.com). If you, as an uninsured person, damaged someone’s car and spine, how would you go about paying that? If you had no assets, you could sadly shake your head, mutter something about not getting blood out of a stone and go on your way, right? No. If the courts decide that you’re to blame and can’t afford the medical bills, you could go to jail or have your paychecks garnished (PolicyGenius.com). So, you know, insurance is kind of a big deal.
Since I’m still paying on my car and, therefore, don’t really own it, I called my insurance company. The rep told me that they’d fix my car and then try to get reimbursement from the other driver. However, Kentucky is one of a handful of states that is considered a no-fault state. Basically, this means that, in order to avoid lengthy “she said/she said” arguments, it doesn’t really matter who caused the accident (Nolo.com). One of the big drawbacks of no fault is that, even though I didn’t cause the accident, the claim money is still coming from my insurance company (NoFaultInsuranceQuotes.org). However, if I had been seriously injured, I’d still have the right to go after more damages from the other driver’s insurance company (Nolo.com). It’s nice no one was hurt, but my premium will probably be going up.
It’s illegal to drive without insurance. Moreover, it’s unethical. If you can’t afford insurance then, guess what? You can’t afford to drive. Even if you’re the safest driver in the world, you can’t predict when you’ll hit a slick spot in the road or swerve to avoid a woodland creature. Protect yourself and others: get insurance.
A Bourke Accounting bookkeeper or tax preparer is a lot like having car insurance. Although you’re not planning on being audited by the IRS, if you have a Bourke expert on your side, you’re protected if it happens. Moments after advising your Bourke pro that you’ve been notified, your documents are looked at and a plan of action in is place. Sure, you can have an audit without Bourke at the table, but do you really want to roll them bones?
Written by Sue H.