Parents Don’t Provide Insurance Assurance

, , , , , | Related | June 21, 2018

(My father is doing the mandatory driving practice with me when I’m 16 when I only have my learner’s permit. He isn’t the most attentive or patient. We’re at an intersection on a low-traffic street, turning left with no dedicated arrow. I’m looking around first to make sure the road is free to turn.)

Dad: *insistently* “Oh, come on, [My Name]! Go! Go already!”

(I obey. He’s my supervising “experienced” driver; that’s what I’m supposed to do. Immediately, a car shows up from the opposite direction, going straight at high speed. It crashes head on into us. Luckily, no one is actually hurt, but both cars are nearly totaled. At least no one is in legal trouble over it. Nevertheless, both my parents seem extremely unhappy and troubled over the accident, speaking alternatively in very subdued and alarmed tones on the topic of the insurance coverage. They also keep giving me accusing looks for days on end and being extremely curt with me, almost as if I’ve deliberately killed someone. Finally, I plainly ask them what is going on.)

Mom: “Oh, well, you’re not covered on our car insurance.”

Me: “What?!”

Mom: “Yes, well… When we moved to the states two years ago, we had no US credit score or any other records, so when your dad bought the car no one wanted to give him an insurance policy. Finally, the car dealership called up some agent who came over and took a bribe of $300 cash to write up a policy for Dad. He asked him if he had a wife, but never bothered to ask if he had any children, so you were never recorded with the insurance as existing. We thought we might need to notify them when you turned 16 and got your learner’s permit, but we just weren’t sure.”

(I’ve been driving around with both of them, on my learner’s permit, for five months at this point.)

Mom: “Yes, you see, we just weren’t completely and totally sure. So, we just never called them at all. Now they’re giving us trouble over you having been driving the car, and may very well completely refuse to cover the accident.”

Me: *speechless doesn’t quite seem to cover it*

(The kicker is she still somehow managed to make this explanation sound like the entire business was largely my fault, despite having been told the exact circumstances of the accident. I just tuned out of the entire business after that. I was traumatized enough by the accident and couldn’t deal with any more details about my parents’ stupidity. The insurance eventually paid, I think, but it took us a full six weeks to get our car back from the shop, which is three times the typical timeframe for these repairs, so I’m sure my parents had to deal with a lot of trouble over it. I made it a point to keep out of their financial affairs as much as I could after that, so I’m not sure if they ever learned their lesson. There are a LOT of lessons I’ve learned from them throughout my childhood about all the things an adult shouldn’t EVER do.)

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