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HB 540 – Who’s Afraid of Big Brother?

I hate to sound big-brotherish but we’re quite close to the Orwellian future in which governments can check to see if you are “compliant” with certain laws that cross over the boundary between personal freedom of choice and fiscal obligation.  Of course the most impending change is coming in 2014 with the implementation of the national healthcare program.  Under this plan you will be required to obtain one of the government mandated programs or will have a penalty for not doing so.  Since when does the government get to tell us what to buy?  Well before we go off on a tangent about freedom and socialism let’s consider the impact on a developed society of having mandated compliance with certain fiscal responsibilities.   Are you irritated that you are required to pay taxes for things you actually benefit from like public schools, the fire department, or the police?  If you are a good patriot you should have a distaste for an inordinate amount of taxation of ANY kind.  However an intelligent person recognizes that certain municipal services are a healthy part of a well-designed society.  Nobody likes taxes, but even less people like getting stabbed in a home-invasion robbery.  Thus there is a place and time where, in order to stave off anarchy, we have to agree that certain organizations exist for the betterment of our society.

I will also concede that I believe that Roosevelt clearly had the right idea and created the welfare system for some very specific and necessary reasons.  However as often is the case, when bureaucrats and government get ahold of the purse strings of any program, it eventually gets bloated and inefficient.  So where’s this all going?  At this point, we can see that from a financial standpoint the concept of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” often comes with a caveat: Sometimes we have to buy in to programs to be “indemnified” (look it up) against the pitfalls of life.  This is the case with Insurance.  I have clients who, in all seriousness, would tell me with a straight face that they would pay their satellite TV bill BEFORE their Auto Insurance bill with their last $50.  I get it…TV is fun, it’s relaxing and you get to choose what kind of “escape” to have just by switching the channel.  Then without missing a beat those same folks will tell you that insurance is just a racket and should not be required by law.

Okay now we’re getting somewhere.  So you are telling me you’d rather not be required to have insurance on your car and would be just fine with fending for yourself if some moron slams into your vehicle and injures you severely.  You’d be okay with trying to force that other party to make you whole completely unaided by anyone  to help pay your medical bills or fix your car while you lay in a hospital bed on life-support?  That’s akin to saying you’d like to negotiate the cost of services with a firefighter while the flames are leaping into the air from your house.  Some services you’d be just plan stupid to refuse to have. And for other programs it just makes sense that a rational modern society has some financial responsibility expectations for it’s members.  Auto insurance is one of those programs.

Here’s where we finally step into the Orwellian 21st century: In the state of Idaho it will be possible for an officer of the peace to check the status of your Automobile Insurance online, and on their computer instantly.  As it stands today, if you buy a car you are expected to obtain auto insurance, (see above reference to a rational modern society) and it’s designed to protect everyone on the road from YOU.  You don’t even have to pay more to protect your own car, just to make sure if you do something stupid that everyone else on the road is safe because your insurance will take care of your mistakes.  Thanks to the introduction of  Idaho’s HB 540 it will now be possible for the officer pulling you over to see if your insurance is currently in-force.  For all of society this may seem intrusive, but let me advise you of a common practice.  It’s not unusual for some people who have tight finances to come into my office and purchase a policy for their Auto. When they leave they have an Identification Card they can put in their glove box that shows the coverage dates of their current policy period. (typically six months)  The problem is, they often wish to pay monthly for the policy, and almost immediately stop paying for the policy by the 2nd month.  When that happens, an officer that pulls them over has no way to positively verify that their policy is fully paid and in-force at the time they cause an accident.  I’m sure you don’t want to be the one hit by someone with no insurance and have no wait to pay your bills because the very law-making authority that mandates this protection has no way of verifying compliance.  A secondary and lesser problem is that often a bank is financing a new car purchase and requires you to keep FULL coverage on the car they technically own to protect their investment in the car.  It won’t be long before the online database will be available to private banks so they can know that you don’t have full coverage on their car, or that the policy cancelled and you had no intention of paying the bill in the first place.

Again, I have heard very intelligent people refer to the concept of insurance as a “racket.”  Besides, whenever has mankind created a product that you can’t see, taste, touch, feel, and you hope to God you never have to use it…but it’s required by state law!?  Sure sounds like a racket.  However, if even once you are at the receiving end of a horrendous catastrophe and have lost your home in a fire, had cancer, or been in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, just take a look at the amounts on the bills being paid by the insurance company and tell me you would prefer never to have to carry insurance again.  Some things just make sense….this is one of them.

Mark Nielebeck is an insurance agent in Idaho and California.  He is a champion of smaller government, but a realist as well.  A father of three and husband of 18 years he has been a radio host, stock broker, and rock star in his 42 years.  Now he’s content to just provide low-cost but complete insurance solutions to the masses.  He runs the Facebook page, the Treasure Valley Referral Network, and is cultivating the Idaho Cash Mob as we speak.  If you want to contact Mark you can email him by clicking here, or if you want to visit his web site click here.  Or you can just sit here and stare at this page…whatever.  Okay…go now…tell someone about this article.  Shoo!

Mark Nielebeck – President/CEO, LLC.
(208) 340-2200


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