So, I was in an auto accident back in mid-June; very minor stuff. I was stopped at a red light, and a guy rear-ended my car, some healthy damage to the back corner of my car, but nothing else really. It was a hassle, but everyone in the chain has performed admirably; with one notable exception.
The guy who hit me, apologized, was very nice, and was insured. The Lafayette Police Department officer was on the scene promptly, and took care of business efficiently. I called and reported to my insurer but indicated that I was going to get my car repaired under the other guy’s insurer, State Farm. The State Farm claim rep didn’t give me any hassles, just asked where I wanted to get my car fixed and hooked me up with a rental vehicle. It was a Saturn, so I took it to Bob Rohrman Collision, and they took a look, wrote up an estimate, and got it fixed within a couple of days.
The LPD officer had advised me that I’d be getting a notice from the Indiana BMV asking for proof of financial responsibility – apparently they are requiring that of everyone who gets in an accident under IC 9-25-5-2, regardless of fault or lack thereof. Eventually, on July 30, I got the notice from the BMV with the form for providing proof of insurance. It instructed me to give it to my insurer who was to complete the form and provide it to the BMV prior to September 7, 2010 to show that I was, in fact, insured at the time of the accident. On August 16, I called my insurance adjuster on the claim and faxed the form to her. On August 17, she faxed and mailed the verification.
So, imagine my surprise this weekend to receive a Notice of License Suspension dated September 7, indicating that they had suspended my license because they had not received proof of financial responsibility. First thing this morning, I called my adjuster with some concern. Her response, “Oh, they do this all the time.” She provided me with a copy of the fax confirmation sheet, showing that she had, in fact, faxed the copy to the BMV. They got it 3 weeks early, couldn’t process their paperwork, but could spit out a license suspension notice.
So I have absolutely followed every rule in this situation – I had insurance, I was not at fault for the accident, I turned in proof of insurance well advance, and the Indiana BMV is still screwing with me.
Any legislators who happen to read this thing – here is a nice hanging curve ball to knock out of the park politically. Nobody likes the BMV, they have a system that appears to be very broken (from my adjuster’s reaction, I am far from the first person in this situation), and an angry electorate would presumably enjoy seeing an unresponsive bureaucracy raked over the coals a bit. As for a good legislative fix – perhaps mandate that the BMV is not permitted to suspend any licenses under this provision until they have processed all certificates of compliance received by the bureau on or before the particular due date.