Saturday, February 27, 2010

Video: Obama doesn't know what car insurance covers

One of the options people get regarding car insurance is collision coverage; that is, if you do get collision coverage (and comprehensive), you get your car fixed up in case of accident minus a deductible. If you choose not to have collision coverage and go with liability only, then you are responsible for your car in case of accident. Obama appears to not understand the simple concept of collision coverage that he didn't choose to have in his youth:

When I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car. And I won’t name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company — let’s call it Acme Insurance in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended and I called up Acme and said, I’d like to see if I can get my car repaired, and they laughed at me over the phone because really this was set up not to actually provide insurance; what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn’t serious insurance.
Now, it’s one thing if you’ve got an old beat-up car that you can’t get fixed. It’s another thing if your kid is sick, or you’ve got breast cancer.
Good grief. This guy was a law professor? He says that he had a beat-up car and he 'had' to get auto insurance. Ergo he most likely bought the minimum - liability only. No collision. No comprehensive. Thus, why is he surprised that he got laughed at (assuming that actually happened) when he wanted his insurance company to pay up on a claim that he chose not to be covered for? Obama tried picking another winner at the summit. And failed.

HT: moonbattery.

UPDATE: Linked by Instapundit! Thank you!

UPDATE #2: As far as I know, the MSM hasn't touched this with a 10-foot boom microphone. I wonder if they would have if say Sarah Palin had said this? My guess is she would have been made out to be a dumb bimbo.

UPDATE #3:  From Just One Minute via Instapundit:
As of today the State of Illinois requires drivers to have third party liability in order to register their car; as a believer in regulatory creep, I doubt they had a broader requirement including collision back in the 80's, when a young man drove a beater from New York to take his job as a community organizer in Chi-town.
So what does this anecdote from the Great Communicator tells us?  Well, it might tell us he is as dumb as a bag of rocks for not understanding the difference between liability and collision insurance.
But let's give him the benefit if the doubt!  I am trying to think like a Lib here, so bear with me - the moral of the story seems to be that even Barack Obama, future editor of the Harvard Law Review and President of the United States, found simple insurance decisions utterly mystifying and had no idea what he had actually purchased. 
Now, that flies in the face of the Illinois injunction to "Understand what you are buying.  Ask for a detailed explanation in layman’s terms".  Furthermore, despite his utter confusion Obama apparently blundered to the common (and thriftier) conclusion, since no one buys collision on a junker. 
However, months later he realized that paying more for collision would have been a great idea, so history is re-written.  It is now due to ACME's rapaciousness that they are unwilling to right this wrong and write him a check.  And they laughed!  Surely Chait can hear the racial overtones there!  After the laughter died they should have explained to the college grad that he could file a third-party claim against the other driver, assuming Obama was not at fault, but that also may have been too confusing.
Well.  If even Obama can be duped by greedy insurers into saving his money and taking a sensible risk, what hope do the rest of us have?  Surely we need these new health insurance mandates to make sure both that we buy policies and that the policies we buy have everything we need, not just everything we (stupidly think we) want.
This is classic, generic Democratic paternalism - people can't be trusted to make their own decisions and they certainly should not be expected to endure the consequences of those decisions. 
Young Barack should never have been allowed to buy liability-only insurance that didn't cover damage to his junker.  Barack, Nancy and Harry will protect us from our own deplorable decision making on the health care front.

59 comments:

Skipper50 said...

This is the Constitutional scholar" who didn't understand the Supreme's decision on corporate campaign spending.

Siwa said...

He got rear-ended! The other guy was going to have to pay. Isn't this everyone's nightmare - rear-ending a lawyer?

He not only doesn't know insurance, he doesn't understand liability under the law. Some law school prof.

happyfeet said...

this is what happens when entitlement meets ignorance

Anonymous said...

Obama's story does not ring true.
If he was rear ended, the other guy would have been at fault and would have paid for Obama's repairs regardless of Obama's insurance. (IL does not seem to be a no-fault state.) Now if he was hit buy an uninsured motorist and didn't have uninsured/under-insured coverage then he would be out of luck - though it is hardly his insurance company's fault if the other driver was driving without insurance.
Kevin

NewHam said...

"Good grief. This guy was a law professor?"

Look, every law school needs some minority professors, whether they understand basic auto insurance or not.

He was Constitutional Law ... you know, theoretical law.

Not real-world law.

Barack Obama doesn't live in the real world.

tim maguire said...

(assuming that actually happened)

I'm sure you realize that's assuming quite a lot.

People make fun of Joe Biden, during the campaign people made fun of Palin, but the hands down winner in dumb remarks has to be Mr. Smooth himself.

Florida said...

After about six months I got rear-ended ...

Didn't our law professor realize he had a claim to be made on the other driver's liability policy?

What a marroon.

He could easily have gotten his car fixed, except that he's a moron.

Anonymous said...

I saw this, too, and was screaming at the screen so loud I scared the dog sleeping under my desk. Firstly, hard-working small-business-owning insurance agents don't laugh at people to whom we deliver bad news. We wouldn't be in business very long, now would we? We sell people what they want to buy, and we advise them when we think they're not thinking things through, offering them what we think they should have. When they don't take our advice, we don't laugh at them when the inevitable happens. I spend a great deal of my professional day trying to talk people out of making bad decisions such as this. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't.

With all DUE respect, MR. President, I require an apology from you over this stupid, ignorant, offensive remark, both personally, and on behalf of my profession. I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

The fact that he compares health insurance to "compulsory" auto insurance is another joke. Every state I have lived in requires proof of financial responsibility, not insurance. You are not REQUIRED to buy insurance, you could instead post a bond. Why? It's probably not legal to require the purchase of a product or service, even for a privilege. Here is what the California DMV says:

Types of financial responsibility

A motor vehicle liability insurance policy
A cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV
A DMV issued self-insurance certificate
A surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California.

Choey said...

If you get rear ended, 99% of the time it's the other guy's fault and his insurance will pay to fix your car....

Anonymous said...

when I heard him say this, I was stunned at his ignorance. I have no doubt he's making up the story-- in the case of a real insurance policy and a real wreck, he'd have gone through all the proper determination of fault and would have the experience to state these events in a more coherent way...

He was winging it yakking about a subject he knows nothing about, trying to seem intelligent, and failing.

AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Rear ended? Shouldn't the other guy pay? Unless Obama backed into him, the other guy was at fault.

Don said...

Good catch. And another issue I think is that if he was rear-ended the other party was at fault and therefore THAT party was responsible for Obamas car and its repair. So THAT partys liability insurance should have covered him. At least it used to work that way, yes?

Anonymous said...

he also doesn't apparently see the irony that those requirements were created by the state, and he had abdicated any thought or responsibility for what he actually wanted or needed because he assumed they'd done it for him.

nobody_special said...

Worse yet, in the opening remarks of the "summit" he talked about health insurance and demonstrated his complete lack of understanding what "insurance" is as applied to health -- coverage against catastrophic health events which are low-probability, like cancer, accidents, "major medical" procedures. He spoke of health insurance as if he was speaking of a membership at a health club -- you pay a monthly fee, you get access to services/privileges of the club. This man has lived in a bubble and on someone else's dime all of his life!
I am self-employed and I have spent the last two years in terror of this monstrosity passing and raising my health insurance premium by 100% -- which OMB has stated it will -- because I can't afford anything more than "catastrophic" health insurance. I refer to it as "hit by a bus" insurance to my friends, and jokingly say I should try to find some "thrown under the bus" insurance to go with it! I pay for my health MAINTENANCE out of my own pocket, and needless to say, I avoid going to the doctor unless it's absolutely unavoidable, I try to eat right, take supplements to help my immune system, and do DIY exams and research on WebMD, The Daily Dose, and other places. I don't have children, so my premiums are low, because I've always been very healthy, even though I'm in my 50s now. Should this travesty pass, I will not even have "hit by a bus" insurance anymore, because in spite of what the government does, I will not be able to afford the premiums, because I "make too much". I live in high-tax, high-cost, idiot-government California. But I have hope! -- many of my heretofore liberal friends are getting ever more angry with the way things are and are starting to "get" that even they are not immune to the depravations of too much taxation and wasteful, idiot politicians. They are "mad as h3ll and they're not going to take it any more!" God bless 'em -- they are FINALLY getting it.

Henry Bowman said...

A good semi-sticky B+

Anonymous said...

Obama is pathetic ... I am starting to feel sorry for the man ... he can't help but show himself as a pompus idiot

Steve said...

It points to another problem as well: Insurance is required, and the person who hit him from behind (clear liability) has no insurance. And yet, with Obamacare, this normal human need to avoid these costs is going to disappear? What do you want to bet that there are going to be a whole bunch of people "going bare" when it comes to health insurance?
Truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

Translation: they don't teach you to read the fine print at Ivy League schools...

Anonymous said...

He did say legal min. requirement for ins.

Reliapundit said...

obama is an idiot who can read a teleprompter well.

he should be the host of a game show, not potus.

orbicularioculi said...

Obama is the most overrated, overeducated individual we've ever had in the White House. He simply is NOT KNOWLEDGABLE about the most basic common sense matters.

He may have graduated from Columbia and Harvard but I'd bet he was not a stellar student and if not for affirmative action would never had been enrolled in either nor graduated. He's a street hustler with a reasonably good vocabulary and "credentials".

His background is not American, his education is Marxist oriented; he was a member of the Socialist New Party.

It is a tragedy that so many American voters are so STUPID to have voted for a person who could NEVER have gotten a security clearance to even enter the White House. Apparently few bothered to read his book/s.

Well, Obama is a one term President and a lame duck after one year. The remainder of his first term is going to be running for his second term. Americans are not going to vote twice for a Marxist Socialist Liar.

Anonymous said...

The country is in the very best of hands.

mistercalm said...

It's disappointing having a President that is so &$%*ing stupid.

BLBeamer said...

Let me see if I understand this: Obama had insurance coverage set up to meet the minimum legal requirements - and he's complaining that it did not cover more?

Got it. His proposed mandate that everyone must buy health insurance will work out just fine.

Good grief.

Anonymous said...

worst president ever. Shameful

MagicalPat said...

What kind of a lawyer gets rear ended and doesn't sue?

Any decent lawyer keeps a foam collar in the glove box just in case this happens.

amr said...

United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know. President Obama is one who does not know what he doesn't know (but thinks he knows).

The man and his speech writers, who are young, don't seem to check anything they place on the TelePrompTer or that comes out of Mr. Obama's mouth.

Anonymous said...

The irony here is that because OBAMA was too stupid to understand basic issues about insurance, he assumes that the rest of us are also too stupid to understand them. And by this dubious reasoning, we need the assistance of dopes (i.e. him) that don't understand these things to do them for us!!! In other words, if Obama is a klutz who went to replace a light bulb and ended up causing a short circuit that blacked out half of Chicago, he has decided that no one can be allowed to replace light bulbs but instead must hire him to do it. This is the type of BS that passes for logic in Washington. And the fact that the media can report his silliness with a straight face makes me wonder not why the old media are dying but how the hell they managed to survive this long.

KeesKennis said...

Moron and booger comes to mind

helltoupee said...

New York Rep. Louise Slaughtertold her tale:

“I even have one constituent — you will not believe this, and I know you won’t, but it’s true — her sister died. This poor woman had no denture. She wore her dead sister’s teeth, which of course were uncomfortable and did not fit. Do you ever believe that in America that that’s where we would be?”

Well, no, I can't believe that we would get to this point in America.

But, more importantly, I can't believe that a congressman would waste our time with a story that has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the issue at hand. Or does the secret Democrat bill also provide dental coverage?

Mick said...

Clueless . . . as usual. That is all.

Anonymous said...

He was probably rear ended by one of those no good doctors who remove people's feet just to make money.

Anonymous said...

Was he actually a professor? I think he was some kind of adjunct faculty, but there is no doubt that U Chicago would have made him a professor. It's called affirmative action. If Comrade Obama were not half black he would never have been considered for such a position with his total lack of published legal scholarship. (Unless of course he was 100% African American.)

Face it voting public, you were lied to when they told you he was a moderate AND when they told you he was a genius. He is an economic (and apparently legal) illiterate who knows nothing but "spreading the wealth around."

Jum said...

Look, let's not laugh at our President. He just didn't know any better, okay? I mean, he picks his nose his public, so how could he be expected to know about insurance? Besides, they didn't teach things like car insurance at Muslim School in Indonesia.

And even into his 20's, when Barry O was at the "Weatherman School for Future Heroes of the Revolution" run by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, they didn't teach things like getting insurance and paying bills. That square stuff was for all the fatcat bourgeoisie and running dog lackeys that Barry and the other Ayers' proteges dreamed of one day making drown in their own blood.

Barry O was learning more important things at school - like how to set up a perfect kill zone for a Claymore Mine; and how to MauMau liberals into making huge contributions to obvious fronts with names like "Black Power Reading Initiative" and "Uhuru Breakfast Program".

So don't be racist! Barry never had a chance to learn about insurance.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, even though I think it's fiction. Let's say for what ever reason Obama had coverage and made a claim to his own carrier (because the other driver was uninsured, hit and run, they both had the same insurance company, whatever).

Obama never said they denied his claim -- he says they laughed when he wanted them to repair the junker. If the car was a total loss, they would write him a check for the fair market value less his deductible and tell him to go buy another junker. The same result if the cost of repairs exceeded the value of the car.

Think about it -- if the car got hit by a train or burned up, should the insurer be required to rebuild the car from the ground up? Of course not, and that is what the insurance policy would provide.

Think of it as a death panel for elderly automobiles, the repairs are the very expensive operation, and the insurance company's check is the pain killer.

They were laughing because Obama didn't read his policy... but then it was a legal document.

Milwaukee said...

This is like the doctors who need more money and decide to take out some tonsils. President Obama makes up stories to suit the occasion. I'm willing to bet that there is absolutely no documentation to substantiate his story. Liars tell lies. Where is Joe Wilson when we need him?

Where is the evidence that requiring everybody to have insurance is going to improve life expectancy or quality of living?

Where are the proposals to double or triple the number of medical and nursing schools, and to double and triple the number of medical personnel?

SH said...

I think you pegged it. From the way he described it he just had liability.

So, let’s get it straight. The guy was too dumb to buy the right insurance so now he wants to help us all out by telling us what kind of insurance we need to buy (via his stupid insurance exchange and regulations).

Sorry O, I can pick my own plan without you... for now at least...

Vader said...

"Thus, why is he surprised that he got laughed at (assuming that actually happened)..."

*I* would have laughed at him.

John said...

How come everyone keeps calling him a professor?

His title was "Adjunct Instructor"

The fact that he taught in a law school does not make him a "professor"

John Henry

Anonymous said...

Obama what a dumbass.

Anonymous said...

If the person who rear ended him was at fault and had no insurance, several things could have happened: 1. the investigating police officer would have issued the non-insured driver a ticket; 2. our super-intelligent President could have sent the non-insured driver a lawyer "demand" letter for payment for the damages, or 3. our super-intelligent President could have sued the non-insured driver, using the no-insurance ticket as evidence, and gotten a judgment (that in most states are valid for 10 years & can be renewed for another 10) which should have been paid in the event the non-insured driver ever sold real property and money was due him/her. He's either super-dumb, lying, or a lawyer not worth his salt.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the story rings false. Claims reps do not laugh at insureds nowadays, bad faith claims against insurers are very expensive. Maybe in the 70s and 80s this could have happened. The person handling the claim should certainly have told him to seek recovery from the other drivers insurer, but how could he possibly not know to do this?

The purpose of these policies that are not "real insurance", but are required by the state, is first to compensate people who might be injured by the insured in an auto accident, and second to compensate people like Barack Obama for damage to their property. Insurers lose money on these policies, but it's one of the many costs of being in a highly regulated industry.

Anonymous said...

The only discernible difference in B. Hussein and a 200 pound bucket of fecal matter is the bucket. We will get what we deserve for electing this fraud. Bet your burka on it!

Anonymous said...

I saw this bastard coming several miles away. Now it seems that some of the fools that fell for his "hope and change" con are beginning to wake up. Good. If the four years of this damned Marxist is enough to cause another generation to snap out of their socialist indoctrination, the same way that Carter woke up an earlier generation, maybe there will be some good out of this horrible mistake yet.

JAH said...

John,

Very true. I only have an M.S. in aerospace engineering and have taught several courses at a local university as an adjunct. I tell my students up front not to call me professor as I do not have a Ph.D. I tell them just to refer to me as Mr.

Anonymous said...

So glad he's not a lawyer. His clients are screwed. He doesn't know the different between libility, collision and comprehension or uninsured motorist. What do you expect from a birthier?

T J Sawyer said...

John said: "How come everyone keeps calling him a professor?"

Because he claimed it and FactCheck.Org backed him up on it!
http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/was_barack_obama_really_a_constitutional_law.html

With some "nuance," of course.

Jim O said...

Yet another Obama-ism that would be laughable if Bush or Palin had said it. It's getting beyond funny. This guy is the PRESIDENT, for cryin' out loud.

Anonymous said...

Dear BlogProf,

Anyway, As I said I don't like Obama because of policies, I didn't like McCain because he is a lacky, and I don't like Palin because she IS a moron.

But what I hate even more is fucktards on the internet that don't understand anything about what they are talking about, or go after a politiacal figure because of there own agenda, instead of focusing on what the issue at hand WHICH WAS HEALTH CARE.

Now, it’s one thing if you’ve got an old beat-up car that you can’t get fixed. It’s another thing if your kid is sick, or you’ve got breast cancer.

Did you not get the point? Because healthcare and auto-insurance being on the same level is disgusting. I hope you get cancer, get 100k in dept because of your Kemo therapy/ Why? because maybe then you might start paying attention to an issue, your just like all the librals that bash bush and Palin, and you like all the right wing nut jobs that try to pick apart the left. People like you are hurting America. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Anonymous said...

When I read the constitution I didn't see anything in it regarding insurance. That like making fun of Physics professor for not knowing Ancient Chinese history.

By the way. You guys are all thinking of an ATTORNEY not a fucking lawyer. They are not the same thing. And a constitutional lawyer? SHOULD BE PRESIDENT.

For fucks sake, that one guy was right. You are all the reason america is going down the shiter.

The blogprof said...

I posted the 10:16 'anonymous' post so you all know the kind of ignorant liberal garbage that I have to sift through. The best they can do is tell me to shut the f- up. Nice. Note that the anonymous ignorant commenter didn't get the fact that Obama's personal anecdote was a total non-seuitur that had nothing to do with healthcare.

fit2post said...

Autobiographically, he was young, just out of college, and 'got' rear-ended. Auto-erotica?

Anonymous said...

You people are all idiots. Most kids - when they first get out of college and have their first insurance policies - don't know what they cover or how they work. It's good to see that the anti-Obama team has their heads firmly up their asses. Good work at "common sense" guys.

Anonymous said...

adjunct instructor = substitute teacher.
can we please put an end to this 'he was a law professor' BS ?! .. and speaking of BS: this whole rear-ended insurance story is a big, heaping serving of same. barry, YOU LIE !

Anonymous said...

I think we should cut the President some slack. While most of the posters are correct about the nature of liability vs. comp/collision insurance, in one of the 57 states in the union, what Obama said may be true.

Anonymous said...

"Most kids - when they first get out of college and have their first insurance policies - don't know what they cover or how they work. "

1) I'm pretty sure the story was "made up", in the event it isn't.

2) You don't have to be a college graduate or even have normal intelligence to understand collision insurance vis a vis state-mandated liability. For one thing your insurance provider will always explain it to you. Contrary to some belief, auto insurers aren't out there to "get" people, there's too much competition (GEICO, eSurance, Progressive as well as the brick and mortar shops like State Farm, etc.) to afford developing a poor reputation. We inherited a beat up clunker from my wife's grandmother who passed a couple years ago. When we called up our insurer they asked how much the car was worth, KBB generously put it between $2,000 and $2,500 and they asked if we were sure we wanted to pay higher premiums for collision for such an older car. Of course we didn't, it made no sense. Again you don't have to be a super-genius to understand you don't pay more in insurance premiums over a few years than the asset is worth.

Anonymous said...

For being the most intelligent president ever, he certainly didn't demonstrate much intelligence here. This sounds more like a statement "mission accomplished". Even better for a lawyer not understanding the law. Wow, how much more does he not understand.

Anonymous said...

Much as I disrespect Obama, and hope that Obamacare never becomes law, if he was rear-ended it should be the driver of the car that caused the accident should be responsible.

Even in automobile insurance claims we often use our insurance companies to settle claims against other, at fault, drivers.

Nevertheless, as a law professor ('cause he's certainly no leader of the free world) Obama should be aware of the relative rights, responsibilities and obligations of the insured and the insurer.

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