Questions & Answers About Auto Insurance Laws

Hey Dave…

…talking about the auto insurance laws…

My son was pulled over on prom night for suspicion of drinking.

He and his best friend were double-dating.

I’ve always told him that if he was pulled over and asked to take a breath-o-lyzer from the police that he should refuse.

The officer immediately arrested him and suspended his license.

What do the auto insurance laws say about that?

Well…I’m sorry this happened.

I understand how you feel.

I’ve always felt exactly the same way and was counseled to do just as you were.

But you know what?

…I was wrong!

The California auto insurance code under the new California DUI law gives the officers the right to on-the-spot- driver’s license suspensions if the BAC is over the legal limit OR the driver refuses to take the BAC test.

Questions & Answers About Auto Insurance Laws

File your misinformation under the “Bad Advice” folder.

Now remember I am not an attorney and have no right to give legal advice. I’m just pointing out the law.

How do I qualify as a “Good Driver” as far as California is concerned?

It’s important to be regarded as a “Good Driver” in California because by law (Proposition 103, 1988) you qualify for at least a 20% discount from your insurance carrier.

What does it take?

* You’ve been a licensed driver for at least three years

* You’ve had only one violation point or less in three years

* Have not been in an accident that resulted in death

* No accidents that cost more than $500

California law also requires your insurance company to allow you a policy that lets you have a “named driver exclusion”. This allows you to name the person with the worst record in your family on the exclusion.

…and mom, that way you can get off the hook from one of your loved one’s costly driving record that you’ve been carrying.

Hi! I know you’re not an attorney, but let me ask you something real quick—I was pulled over for a “slop.”

You know—a rolling stop.

The officer noticed a couple of empty beer bottles on the passenger side and then asked me to get out of the car and wanted me to take a breath test for drinking alcohol.

I swear I wasn’t drinking and was ticked off that the officer held me under suspicion.

So I refused.

He took me in and suspended my license.

What do the auto insurance laws say about that?

Listen… from now on, do yourself a favor and cooperate when the law pulls you over and asks you to do something like take a breath test.

• In the California auto insurance regulations, there is a mandatory penalty for violation of the implied consent law. What that means to you is that if you get stopped for drunk driving and refuse to take a breath test, you will, in all likelihood, have your license suspended

• Also FYI, California car insurance laws prohibit unsealed alcohol containers in the passenger compartments for ALL occupants. The arresting officer is not required to witness your drinking either. So the officer was correct in carrying out his assignment. But again, don’t take my word for it –SYA (see your attorney)

Questions & Answers About Auto Insurance Laws

I’m about as mad as I can get. I’ve been driving for over 50 years. I haven’t had a ticket in 23 years, but once I turned 70, my insurance rates skyrocketed. What do the auto insurance laws say about that?

Well sir, I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but the auto insurance laws are proof of the fact that senior drivers over 70 have more fatal crashes than any group other than those under 21 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (“Traffic Safety Facts 1996”, Department of Transportation).

Gosh darn it; being elderly you are less likely to survive an accident.

In some states, senior citizens have been placed on restrictions with their licenses such as driving only during the day.

But you know what? According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 14 states that require seniors to take vision and road tests once they reach ages ranging from 60-85 (California does not). You might be pleased to know that Maine and Maryland require special vision tests for the “aged” starting at 40.

Sorry. We’re getting nailed on both ends of the age spectrum by higher insurance rates. It’s something we all have to go through.

My son’s insurance costs are killing me! What auto insurance laws are there those can give me a break?

You know what? The kids that are in the 16-21 year age group have the highest amount of fatalities. Their driving, whether it’s by themselves or with their friends, is literally killing them. You can’t escape the statistics; they’re frightening. I can help make it less painful by showing you how to save money, but it’s still going to be painful.

I’m taking classes at night and one of my favorite teachers lost her teenage daughter in a crash last year and is she ever suffering.

If I suspect my child is having emotional, drug, or alcohol problems, she is not getting the car. The cost of insurance is a minor issue compared with my child’s life. I want my child to outlive me and have a happy and prosperous life. If that involves denying her the car because she’s not being responsible for herself—so be it.

Having said that, my work is all about saving you money. I bet you qualify for the California “Good Driver” designation.

Look above where we discuss the qualifications.

Put your son on the “named driver exclusion” and advise your insurance carrier that you are invoking Proposition 103 and want your 20% discount and you should be good. If not: SYA (see your attorney)