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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-28-05, 02:31 PM   #1
gst552
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"per use" car insurance?

I seem to remember seeing a magazine article or TV news item about a "per use" car insurance option. If I recall correctly, you register with the insurer but pay no premium until you want to drive your car, at which time you log on to their website, pay $10 or $20 or something like that, and print out a proof of insurance which is good for the day. Is anyone aware of such a product? It seems like it could be a good option for someone that typically rides his bike to work but occasionally needs to drive. Sorry if this has already been covered but I searched to forums and found no references to it.
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Old 08-28-05, 04:02 PM   #2
jeff-o
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That would be cool. I'm having trouble convincing my insurance company to take my car off insurance for the summer, when I can ride a bike or scooter instead. They won't do it, because they think I might take the car out without insurance for a short trip during inclement weather. I don't see why they worry, it's not like they'd have to pay if I got in an accident!
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Old 08-28-05, 05:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
That would be cool. I'm having trouble convincing my insurance company to take my car off insurance for the summer, when I can ride a bike or scooter instead. They won't do it, because they think I might take the car out without insurance for a short trip during inclement weather. I don't see why they worry, it's not like they'd have to pay if I got in an accident!

tell them you're working overseas and just storing the car. i did that a while back with geico i think, put it back on six months later with no fees are re-signing up.

it's stupid that one has to lie, it's no business of theirs, but sometimes whatever is easiest to say just gets the job done
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Old 08-30-05, 12:07 PM   #4
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i don't know of any pay-per-use insurance, but insurers generally ask you for approximate usage per-week/year/whatever and price somewhat accordingly.

it won't hurt to explain to your insurance company that you'll only be driving a very short distance per-week and wish to pay less because of that.
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Old 09-01-05, 11:06 AM   #5
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There has been some push for distance based insurance for a number of years but only a very few areas use it.

I think it's a fair sytem, but the detractors seem to always point to those who "have to" use their car, for business or personal reasons. I think even based on that, it's a fairer system than a flat rate system. It seems to me, those who use their car a lot like it when those that don't use their car as much subsidize them. The more you drive your car, the more you should you pay. The technology for this is already available, and one insurance company in the States is using it.

Also, a key component of traffic are working commuters, many of whom have cheap or free parking at workplaces. California has pioneered a program called parking cash-out. Subsidized or free parking spaces are "retired" by employers who must compensate employees whose parking privileges are retired. They can then choose to re-purchase parking at market rates or use the money on transit or other options like cycling.

Parking cash-out is shifting behaviours - more people are choosing alternatives when parking cash-out is available.
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Old 09-01-05, 12:05 PM   #6
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The insurance companies do vary your premiums based on miles used. The problem is that the ranges are so large that there is no benefit to the minimal use driver. For most insurance companies 5000 miles per year is the bottom range. If I were to drive instead of ride I'd only put about 1200 miles on a car, but there is no further deduction for driving that little.
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Old 09-01-05, 12:22 PM   #7
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I pay a rate based on "pleasure use only" that restricts a driver from commuting to work at more than 6 kilometers from home, to 3 (- ? - I'm not really sure because I've always commuted by bike to work) times a month. For that restriction I save about $100 a year on a $1000 policy.

We also have "per day" insurance, where for $20 a day you can have coverage for 24 hours.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
tell them you're working overseas and just storing the car. i did that a while back with geico i think, put it back on six months later with no fees are re-signing up.

it's stupid that one has to lie, it's no business of theirs, but sometimes whatever is easiest to say just gets the job done
I'm not aware of any insurance company that does a per use policy (at least in the US). I did a search on google, and found a couple companies that do pay per mile, but that's in Canada.

I worked for GEICO for about a year, and the minimum time you could put a vehicle in storage is 30 days, which would work great if you know you won't be using a vehicle, but probably not the best solution for intermittent use. Also, if you do decide to put the vehicle in storage, all of your coverages are suspended except for comprehensive, so if you drive the vehicle and get into an accident, you're pretty much screwed. Not suggested.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orikal
I'm not aware of any insurance company that does a per use policy (at least in the US). I did a search on google, and found a couple companies that do pay per mile, but that's in Canada.
ICBC (the Insurance Company of British Columbia) is the mandatory provincial insurer for automobiles here and the per day insurance is normally used for when someone wants to buy or sell a car that is not insured (as in, it's not being used and sitting idle) so it can be test driven or delivered before the new owner can get proper coverage.

It's not an efficient way to use a car though. My insurance costs me about $100 a month so if I wanted to cancell my insurance and let my car sit idle to save money, but still wanted to use the car on occasion, the costs (including the hassel of going into an insurance office every time I wanted to use my car) are pretty high. 5 days a month use to 30 for the same price.
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