A few posts ago I hinted I had a few 'issues' with car insurance and promised to tell you about it. Today is the day!!! Grab a 'cuppa', sit back, and read on...
Last night I had nice dinner with my daughter, her husband, and my sister-in-law. All was right with the world. I wasn't in a hurry, I wasn't tired, I wasn't driving recklessly. Actually after the hour long drive home I was sitting at a traffic light just a few miles from my street. When the light turned green I slowly pressed the gas pedal... red and blue flashing lights began flashing in the rearview mirror . I pulled over to let the police vehicle pass... and instead it pulled up behind me!!! What???? Really??? Me??? What the heck did I do???
Because I was on a major highway I decided to S-L-O-W-L-Y pull in to the nearest parking lot... the police car followed. CRAP!!! It was the local Sheriff department... the officer was young and not too hard on the eyes (if you know what I mean). I handed over my license as requested, and since it wasn't my car I had to scrabble around the glove compartment HOPING that the insurance card and registration was there. I felt like I was intruding on the car's owner... hunting through his private papers. EEK! I handed everything I found to the officer and asked for an explanation. I was told that after he checked me out he would explain.
Apparently the car I was driving had a lapsed registration. Okay... not my car, not my problem... right? Wrong! I got the ticket... for driving an unregistered vehicle. UGH!!! That just didn't seem fair. To add insult to injury... he handed me another ticket for driving on a suspended license. What??? Not me!!! I paid restitution before the holidays... my license is NOT suspended!!! Here's how that all happened...
My son was on my car insurance policy since he began driving at 17. Last year he moved to California and got his own coverage. I called the insurance company and asked to have him removed from my policy... and sent his coverage information. A few months later, my daughter received her car insurance bill... it was double what it should have been!!! Our agent took my son off my policy, but added him to hers. She called and complained, our agent took him off her policy... then for some unexplained reason cancelled MY policy!!!
So here I am driving around without a care in the world not knowing I don't have coverage. One afternoon I went shopping at a local mall. I parked legally in a regular parking spot... well within the lines. Nothing wrong here. When I come out of the store, there's a bright red ticket on my windshield. At first I thought it was some kind of advertisement, but as I got closer I realized it was a parking ticket... for parking a car with a suspended registration. Huh??? THAT'S when I found out I had no coverage!! I also found out that my driver's license was suspended!!!
Technology is a wonderful thing. It took just a few minutes to pay the fines to restore my license. I received a confirmation through my e-mail. Ahhh... at least I got my license restored. Next on my 'hit list' was to get the insurance back up. Not so easy.
The insurance company I have used for the last 27 years would not write me a policy!!! Can you believe that??? Their underwriters insisted that I had to have 12 consecutive months of coverage before they could write one. THEY are the ones that cancelled me!!! UGH!!!
A friend of mine actually had a spare car and offered the use of it until I could straighten out the insurance issue. How nice. I eagerly accepted the kindness, especially since it was the holiday season and I was closing down my bookstore at the same time. The loaner allowed me the peace of mind to get through this stressful time. I would concentrate on getting things straightened out after the first of the year.
Then last night happened!! The officer was nice, and believed me that I paid restitution... but since the computers still showed I was suspended he had to give me the ticket. After a few phone calls today I was told that I had to take off my license plates and turn them in to Motor Vehicles... get a receipt and THEN my license would be re-stored. Now... why didn't someone tell me that earlier???
Last night I went to bed feeling sorry for myself. Here I was, no license... sleeping on an air mattress that deflates in the night... no money in the bank, except for the upcoming mortgage payment... no job... a lawsuit pending... a broken heart... no car insurance and apparently no way to get some. I couldn't just get in the car and drive to the beach to contemplate the world. I had a toothache... and couldn't drive to the store to purchase floss and Listerine. My wings were clipped. My freedom as I knew it stripped out from under me. Life sucks at times.
The morning shined brightly. I made the fateful call that changed my point of view. There was a process to follow to straighten everything out. I now have a properly restored drivers license... and car insurance. Another crisis solved.