Home Commentary Editorial PAY A LITTLE NOW OR A LOT LATER

PAY A LITTLE NOW OR A LOT LATER

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We wonder how opponents of the Compulsory Insurance Law view the losses sustained by innocent victims of automobile accidents with uninsured drivers.
What happens to people who lose their cars, are seriously injured or have family members injured, or lose their livelihoods as a result of automobile accidents involving uninsured drivers? Why are their plights less compelling, less important, than the predicament of poor people who drive cars but can't afford insurance?
We had compulsory liability insurance in the territory for many years. It never should have been repealed in the first place.
If an automobile owner cannot afford $300 a year for insurance, how can that person afford to repair a seriously damaged vehicle — theirs or someone’s they damage — or pay medical bills or make up for lost wages from injuries suffered in an accident?
In fact, we don't think the Compulsory Insurance Law goes far enough. We think it should, along with liability coverage for injury to others, include mandatory no-fault insurance that would pay medical bills and lost wages for the insured person and the passengers in his or her vehicle. No-fault has worked very well where it has been properly implemented.
We are sorry for people who can afford to keep cars on the road but not to pay insurance on them. However, we feel much sorrier for people who are innocent victims of those uninsured drivers. And, unfortunately, those victims’ tales of woe in recent years, when liability insurance has not been required, are heart-rending and plentiful.
Even the offending parties have been hurt by not having insurance. In some cases they face huge bills for repairs and medical treatment. In others they face court judgments, though often the judgments are uncollectible.
We say $300 a year is not too much to pay to avoid paying the heavy price for an accident for the rest of one's life.

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