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Insurance Law/Insurance Lapse on a Senior Citizen's Disabled Vehicle

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Question
Good afternoon,
My 78yr old Mother who lives in Maryland has an old 1989 Mercedes whose insurance lapsed unknowingly in July 2015.

The car has not been driven in over 2 years and is currently undriveable (i.e. dead battery, flat tire, Engine needs repair). The registration is also expired (but she still has the tags)

What are her options in regards to any fees regarding Insurance COmpliance as I know Maryland will probably come after her even though the car has not been driven at all.

Should I purchase a policy today? or should I just turn the tags in? Donate the vehicle? I checked the MD MVA site and there is currently no flags or alerts on the vehicle. Obviously any fees for insurance violation this long would easily be more than the value of the car itself.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Erik

Answer
Erik,

The purpose of financial responsibility laws (requirement to have car insurance) is to protect the general public and not necessarily the owner of the vehicle. If the owner (your mother) cannot drive and the vehicle has not been on the roadways, there hasn't been a condition met that fits the requirements of the basis for the statute. I would prepare an affidavit about these facts and, if you haven't power of attorney over your Mother's affairs, file that with the title whatever you decide to do - donate or sell. If no one in the family wants the vehicle, a private sale may be the best return because in a donation, you would only be able to deduct the "blue book value". That wouldn't be a lot.

Hope this helps.

Kevin Hromas

Insurance Law

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Kevin Hromas

Expertise

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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