Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not Such Good Neighbors

I live in the middle of the city of Rehoboth Beach, better known as “The Nation’s Summer Capital” due to the close proximity to Washington DC. I love living in town. Until I contracted this cancer I walked everywhere. Work was 3 blocks away, the boardwalk and beach, 5. (Image at left is the parking permit residents receive in order to park on the streets without charge during the summer months. Click to embiggen.)

The city boasts Browseabout Books, one of the best family owned Book Stores in the country. I’ve shopped there for years for gifts, cards, and books unavailable for Kindle. The owners are ready to cater to locals and tourists alike (if you want a NY Times or Washington Post, best get there early, or have one held for you) and as a result, their return business is booming, unlike many other such stores these days.

We also have our very own LGBT book store around the corner, called Proud Books. It's got just about everything rainbow-related one would ever want.

The city has some of the finest restaurants to be found anywhere (we’re not talking Cracker Barrel, IHOP, or Bob Evans - those are on the highway), and the most helpful, friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with in all my years on this planet.

There’s a small market around the corner from my place, and in the spring and summer months there is a farmers market once weekly a few blocks away. When I was working, I always made sure that my 1 day off weekly was Tuesdays, so I could visit the farmers market for my fix of home-grown fruits and vegetables.

All this is to say that I wish I could do without the car. Yes, that’s what this is about.  The added expense of owning a vehicle. Not so much the maintenance (I drive so little anymore) but the insurance is a killer. Now over $400. semi-annually. Ouch!!!

So, here’s the thing: I own a 2005 Toyota Corolla that has less than 27K miles
on it.  Not that I drove great distances before, but now I need only drive to the Cancer Center, grocery shop, and run errands a few times a month.  I’m trying to think of ways to cut insurance costs (it costs more, I drive less, and I’ve an excellent record) That I drive less than 100 miles monthly, doesn’t matter to the insurance company one bit. No help there. I don’t get a discount because I have only one vehicle. In essence, I am subsidizing drivers that do qualify.

I’m wondering if it would help if I cancelled collision coverage; it is a 9 year-old car, after all. I have to think this through. With my luck, as soon as I change coverage, there’ll be an accident and that will be the end.

Still, there’s a part of me that’s afraid to give up the freedom that a car provides, as well as the luxury of being self-sufficient. I can’t ride a bike anymore, and though I’ve thought of a scooter (very popular here these days), I’m not sure I’d want to challenge a drive on Coastal Highway in mid-summer traffic, or in a heavy downpour.

And, as long as I am ambulatory, I can't imagine using the shuttle transport to and from the Center. They drive to the center and back to your home.  No extra stops along the way.  That’s not acceptable to me. At least not now. 

So, the shuttle isn't an option. If, and when I can no longer fend for myself, I’ll decide if it’s time to make it all go away.

First things, first. Right now I have to figure out how to cut my auto insurance costs, or plan on eating a lot more PB & J.

And so it goes.



  1. talk with your agent and see what s/he has to say about the collision part. I would keep the car as long as you can, given that other modes of transportation are not convenient.

  2. check out GEICO. Since I'm not sure about uninsurance laws there I would think all you would need is uninsured motorist and liability with a good driving record!

    Worth a shot give them a call and explain your situation.

  3. good luck on all these decisions.

  4. Yes,as someone disabled.I am on 24 oxygen and am not allowed to drive.I am not complaining but your remark about losing your freedom really hit home to me.I still have my truck and I refuse to give it up .i dont want a negative feel that I wont drive again.Beside I had the truck for years and have been all over the southwest with him.My truck is my buddy


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