Right, the scenario: You’re young, you’re angry, you’re funded by family, what can you do but buy a car that screams “penis” when you floor the accelerator? Then you soup it up with some widgets and gizmos so it flashes, grunts and winks like a dirty old man in the park and let it loose on the populace. In this car you are capable of going somewhere near light-speed in second gear, and though “The Man” is trying to keep you down, you yell obscenities at the law and go nought to Plaid in four seconds flat.
By the fourth second you’re over the curb of your North Shore suburb, ploughing a red furrow through a few schoolkids staggering home under the weight of their many cellphones, laptops, Hello Kitty lunch pails and pneumatic face-wrenching teeth braces, skidding on your alloy rims along the pavement to the detriment of a few lampposts before finally running out of puff halfway through the fence of the nearby church. Blood on the windscreen, powerlines arcing about killing timid kittens on their first day out in the big wide world, the neighbourhood awash with leaking petrol and the corpses of the uneducated and young in your wake…
…and yes folks, that’ll get you arrested by large men in black gloves. And charged with reckless this, speeding that, criminal the other. It’s pound-in-the-arse prison and debt for eternity, miladdo. Your car is a write-off and there’s a quarter-million-dollar swathe of destruction ending at it’s deflating back tyres. Justice does its worst.
Thankfully, you have that most magical of things, insurance. Which will pay for a new car, new lampposts, new kittens, new clothes for the newly-twisted cripples, the works. No matter what horrors you inflict with your land-speed-record attempt, if you’ve got the money to get decent insurance, the cost of the crime won’t catch you.
And even better, to mollify the courts wanting to drop the book on your flat head you can buy off the victims with a bit o’ restitution, which looks spiffy in court when you shed a tear and tell of how you’ve already given the distraught families thousands of dollars that won’t bring Timmy back but will ensure his tombstone is a shiny marble edifice rather than a stick with “Tim” carved in it with a Stanley knife jammed in the unforgiving dirt. And yes, if the numbers are right and your canny insurer thinks it’ll lessen other fines and reparations the court might hand down, they’ll stump up the folding stuff for that, too.
You can insure yourself against the cost of committing antisocial acts. Bars can be covered for the fines and stand-down periods enforced when they’re nabbed for selling hooch to minors. Businesses who kill employees through anything from malfunctioning cranes to people-eating grinders can have their fines covered, too. The only lesson these fines now teach are that it’s better to spend a few bucks a month on broadform cover than actually face up to your varying sins.
My question is: Is this a bad thing?