Your car insurance rates are affected by how far you commute to work. I know, that’s not funny. And if you have to commute any distance to work, you probably don’t want to be reminded of it. Well, this should make you feel better: I’ve read that there are people in California who commute FOUR HOURS to work. No wonder they put on makeup and read books while they drive on the freeway – when else are they gonna do it? Although Denver isn’t California (obviously, otherwise it would be spelled different), folks up there can have some harrowing commuter experiences – stuff falling off trailers, trucks tipping over on exit ramps, stray pigs, those sorts of things. That’s in a city, where everyone basically lives near everything, and there’s risk written all over city commuting. So I think the insurance companies have something a little messed up when it comes to rural commuting. For instance, I was surprised recently to discover that any commute to work over three miles results in a higher insurance rate. Three miles? There are those among us who have to drive three miles just to get to their mailbox. There are folks who have to drive 16 miles to
get to a paved road. But our standard commute is usually not a very risky ride. Well, ok, except for when there’s three feet of snow, or grasshopper swarms, or ice, or a tarantula migration, or when you swerve to miss a bull snake that’s sunning itself on the road. Those things are rare, right? Some of you have lived in the city and remember real danger: morning rush hour, when you have about 10,000 cars either sitting still OR traveling at 80 miles per hour, zigging and zagging through traffic and trying to run you off the freeway. How many of you recall pulling into your driveway at the end of your evening commute, getting out of your car and kissing the ground? Yeah, that’s why some of us moved here – to escape the commute. Out here in the country, except for an occasional cow on the road, the most common thing that tries to run into you might be a wayward prairie dog that can’t find its hole or a kamikaze mouse. (And without attaching a teeny-weeny mouse-cam, we’ll never know for sure if those mice have been running full speed for five hours because they’re late for a very important date and just happen to cross the road when you drive past – or if they have been standing around with a group of teenage friends who are daring them to run out and touch a car tire so they can become a member of the Phi Beta Rodenta mouse fraternity.) In the country, hardly anyone lives near anything. Still, the biggest risk we really face is finding the restaurant closed when we get there. For this reason, I think we should get a “disappointment deductible” and a “low-risk commute discount” on our car insurance. It’s only fair.