20 September 2022

Evil Canceling Out Evil

Insurance companies are starting to demand that cops behave better, or they will cancel the policies of the underlying governments.

That's a good idea.  A better idea, as I have noted before, is to require police officers to self-insure, because while senior police officers will cover up for bad cops, and politicians will cravenly capitulate to them, insurance companies are not going to cut malefactor law enforcement any slack.

They make their money thorough not cutting bad actors any slack:

A patrol officer spotted a white minivan with an expired license plate, flipped on his lights and siren, and when the driver failed to stop, gave chase. The driver fled in rush-hour traffic at speeds of up to 90 mph, as other officers joined in the pursuit. Ten miles later, the van slammed into a green Toyota Camry, leaving its 55-year-old driver, Brent Cox, permanently disabled.

That 2017 police chase was at the time the latest in a long line of questionable vehicle pursuits by officers of the St. Ann Police Department. Eleven people had been injured in 19 crashes during high-speed pursuits over the two prior years. Social justice activists and reporters were scrutinizing the department, and Cox and others were suing.

Undeterred, St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez stood behind the high-octane pursuits and doubled down on the department’s decades-old motto: “St. Ann will chase you until the wheels fall off.”

Then, an otherwise silent stakeholder stepped in. The St. Louis Area Insurance Trust risk pool — which provided liability coverage to the city of St. Ann and the police department — threatened to cancel coverage if the department didn’t impose restrictions on its use of police chases. City officials shopped around for alternative coverage but soon learned that costs would nearly double if they did not agree to their insurer’s demands.

Jimenez’s attitude swiftly shifted: In 2019, 18 months after the chase that left Cox permanently disabled, the chief and his 48-member department agreed to ban high-speed pursuits for traffic infractions and minor, nonviolent crimes.

“I didn’t really have a choice,” Jimenez said in an interview. “If I didn’t do it, the insurance rates were going to go way up. I was going to have to lose 10 officers to pay for it.”

This is good, but as I noted, it's better to require the cops to self insure, with a stipend for that purpose.

There are a number of benefits:

  1. Insurance companies won't forget about the past record if they move to a new police department.
  2. Insurance companies will demand personnel and disciplinary files or they will jack up the rate.
  3. When they see indicators that someone is a bad cop, Jason Van Dyke had a long history of red flags before he murdered Laquan McDonald, for example, they will jack up the rates.
  4. It saves t


Anonymous said...

Umm, insurance companies make their money by not cutting bad or good actors any slack. Like literally, the way you make money in that business is by not paying legitimate claims.

Quasit said...

I have a feeling that the insurance industry is going to be playing an interesting role in a lot of aspects of society in the decades to come. People, corporations, and politicians can deny the reality of climate change, for example - but insurance companies can't.

We are headed for interesting times.

Matthew Saroff said...

The insurance industry will play an interesting, and negative, role in the future unless we break them today.

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