Who Owns Your Blog?
Sensitivity Training to Counter Ageism

Auto Insurance Torment

Crabby Old Lady thought spending three days in customer service hell sorting out her various communications needs was the worst it could get - but oh, no. There is another kind of excruciating torment: auto insurance.

If there is a way to insure a car when it is purchased in one state, the new owner is resident in another and moving to a third within four or five weeks, Crabby can’t find it. Well, it is possible, but not without turning cartwheels for which, in the middle of move, one has no time.

  • The car cannot be insured in Pennsylvania unless Crabby obtains a Pennsylvania drivers license and, possibly (Crabby can’t remember now after so many telephone calls) a permanent address in the state.
  • She can insure it in New York, but registering a car is so time-consuming and complex there is a company that does nothing else but run the gauntlet of obstacles New York requires. It is unlikely the process would be finished by the time Crabby leaves New York.
  • The car cannot be insured in Maine until it is registered there, but a permanent address is required which Crabby won’t have for several more weeks.

This list oversimplifies the torture Crabby endured for two full days while speaking with insurance agents, departments of motor vehicles and insurance commission offices in all three states. It has been a nightmare.

Unlike customer service representatives, each of the 15 or 20 people Crabby spoke with about insurance knows their business and the regulations in their state. It is just that the regulations don’t allow leeway for the three states involved. It appears that the concern with Pennsylvania and Maine motor vehicle officials is that Crabby is trying fool them by registering a car there to avoid the astronomical insurance rates in New York City.

It left Crabby to ponder the difficulty people with weekend homes in other states face if they keep a car there as a friend did many years ago. He took a train each Friday evening to Rhode Island where his car was parked in a garage near the train station and made the return trip to New York City by train on Sunday evening.

Crabby told you the many reasons she doesn't like automobiles. This insurance mess is another.

But that fine, little PT Cruiser is at last insured, although the convoluted machinations it has taken to accomplish it are grotesque. It shouldn’t be this hard, and with a society as mobile as ours, Crabby Old Lady sees a large need for uniform and reciprocal auto insurance regulations throughout the 50 states.

ADDENDUM: It is important, when complaining as much as Crabby Old Lady does, to give credit when it is due. Lenovo (formerly IBM), from whom Crabby purchased her new laptop, has provided excellent customer service during her initial questions, through placing her order and in followup calls after Crabby lost all the email confirmations and receipts after her computer crash.

If the machine is delivered in ten or 12 days from now as promised, it will be a singular accomplishment in the world of customer service. If there are Oscars for customer service, Crabby's vote goes to Lenovo.

But don't ask Crabby about the difficulties she is having trying to enroll in a Medicare Part D program. Those folks have invented yet another form of excrutiating torment.


Good grief, Gertrude. Whoever heard of its being difficult to insure a vehicle? I've probably never spent more than 30 minutes in an insurance office taking care of any transaction in the process of insuring about 15 cars and 10 houses (plus umbrella insurance and bonding). One of my cars was titled in NY when I bought it from an estate, and I had zero problem getting the title transferred and insurance set up. One of my cars was purchased in Florida, where I was working, but my driver's license and insurance were in Kansas. Again, zero problems in getting the car titled in Kansas (I sent a limited power of attorney to a friend so that she could go in to pay the taxes and buy the tag for me) or getting the insurance on it. I even renewed my driver's license by mail. I didn't realize what a charmed life I lead. Thanks for showing me!

P.S. And bummer that you've had to jump through so many hoops!

Crabby, With all you are going through now related to the move
"there must be a blessing in there somewhere."

That is the favorite line of a character in the novel "Gilead" that I am presently reading. When things would get unbearable that is what he would say.


Ronald Reagan, when confronted with adversity, would chuckle and tell the story of the farm boy who desperately wanted a pony for Christmas. On Christmas morning, the boy rushed to the barn, but there was no pony in sight. Undaunted, he began digging furiously through a big pile of manure in the stalls. When his father asked what he was doing, the boy answered cheerily, “Well, there’s got to be a pony in there someplace

Let us know when the pony shows up...:)

As I recall, you once wrote that your life might be maddening, frustrating, sad, and exhausting but that you were never bored. That is obviously true now. You'll persevere as you always have and enjoy the good times sure to come.
Thinking of you,

You made me laugh, Chancy. As frustrating and irritating as all this has been, I've already got the pony:

In all these months of waiting for my New York apartment to sell, I've had time to make peace with myself about leaving this city I love so much and am now eager with anticipation for beginning a new adventure in a new city.

And you're right goldenlucy - it's never boring. :-)

But yes, Cop Car, it's also a bummer. (I've always loved that word.)

I love the PT Cruiser, Crabby, and I bet you will love it too. Sorry about all the hassles getting it registered, insured and etc.

Ronni, I think of that old saying...
"What doesn't kill you...makes you stronger." Hell, you should be like Atlas by now. Me too!

I'm looking forward to the day when all of Crabby Old Lady's complaints about customer service, ins. cos., etc. are resolved for her sake, but probably not any more than she is.

On the other hand, they are giving new credence to the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction," or maybe the accounts belong in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

In any event, I have been having a rollicking good time filled with laughter at the incredulous nature of these happenings, the comments they have elicited -- oh, that pony! I feel so guilty (not really) laughing at what is so obviously a miserable, maddening, frustrating, painful series of events and situations.

TV Exec. Producers would probably reject such events if some writer tried to include some of these scenes in a modern day sitcom. But, this is real life stuff, with which too many of us have to live.

I couldn't help noticing that Crabby Old Lady one ups most of the complainers, 'cause she usually offers some solutions to the problems she encounters. They are practical, doable, and, generally, not even costly.

Heaven forbid that any of these businesses, govt. entities should ever try to adopt any of the solutions, 'cause I'd sure miss Crabby Old Lady.

Re the Cruiser: A hot car for a hot old broad. Enjoy.

I was going to respond with a nightmarish car-insurance-related experience of my own. But who wants to hear that? So I'll come back with something totally irrelevant, although related to blogging in general. Written in January (how irrelevant is that?).

This Blogged World

So my one blog entry
is going to hang out there
Appealing to no one.
Not even me.
I read it and read it and read it
and if I were a stranger
I would not know me.

A one paragraph blog
wishing the whole blog world
a better new year than the last.
As if someone were going to stumble
over that paragraph,
say oops,
and feel compelled to respond.

So why in the world
did I devise an identity
give myself a secret password
and confront the world
with nothing.
I wanted to be the only one
the admired one
the oldest one
to have a blog.

Did I think I'd be alone?
Was I?
Of course.

Had my Thinkpad T42 since last July and it is a solid workhorse, and not a single hiccup. It won't win any beauty contests, but you'll be happy with the machine, and hopefully, with Lenovo.

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