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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Post# 265 - AAA: Insure My Stunt Jumping Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile! - 4/13/1998

Another contribution by Herman Letters Staffer, Larry Barnowski, sent via mail 4/13/1998.

Hey-Hey-Hey-Triple A,

I have a special situation for which I need some insurance information.

As a stunt driver, I have worked with the best.  My stunts have been used in movies and also television shows like the Dukes of Hazzard.  I laugh in the face of death, and have many perilous “jumps” in my past.   

Last summer, I bought an old (1976) Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.  I intend to drive this vehicle around as my primary mode of transportation for a little while.  Because I haven’t driven in a few years, I have no insurance, and thus, am searching for a good company with a good policy.  I need the best possible coverage with the lowest deductible.

I am looking for a ballpark estimate on a six-month (do you have a three-month?) insurance policy for a ’76 Oscar Meyer Weinermobile with no body rust, brand new tires, which I intend to drive approximately 10 miles per day.  I will be the only driver, and I have no previous points.  I am 40 years old, and have 20/20 vision.  If you need any other information, let me know.

I need this policy quickly, as I am planning a week-long trip to Death Valley, and must be there by 10 AM on July 4th.  Worry not, the Weiner Mobile will be transported on a trailer, along with my crew of six, and also the television people.  Once I arrive in Death Valley, I intend to drive the vehicle around—perhaps run a few errands.

One other question—how much would you cover if the vehicle were “totaled” in a bizarre “Act-of-God-Type”” collision?  Just wondering.

Shopping for Insurance in Case of an Occurrence,

AAA Response, dated 4/17/1998:

Dear Larry,

I am sorry but AAA Michigan does not insure vehivles of this type.  Thank you for considering us for your insurance needs.  Please feel free to contact us when you purchase a more standard type of automobile for a possible quote.

Thanks again for your interest in AAA Michigan.


Reid Larson
Sales and Service Manager
Member Service Center - Insurance
Larry's response, sent 4/19/1998

Dear Mr. Larson,

I appreciate your prompt response to my inquiry.  I can understand your reasoning for not covering my vehicle.  I have found an insurance provider who handles special cases such as Weinermobiles, Good Humor Trucks, etc.

I believe I have found a “more standard type” automobile in the form of a 1984 Black Dodge Charger.  It has two doors, no visible rust, and 63,000 miles.  I intend to drive this vehicle about ten miles per day, while out visiting a 100 yard wide stretch of the Rio Grande in Diablo Canyon.  My associates will cart the Charger out to Arizona for me via trailer, so that I may enjoy it over Labor Day Weekend.

I am looking for three ballpark estimates (best case, worst case and middle of the road) on collision coverage from the month of August forward.  What is the minimum term of coverage (three months would be perfect)? 

Also, I intend to paint flames on the front quarter panels and doors “Dare Devil Larry” on the rear quarter panels.  Will this affect my rates?  Will it lower my rates if I wear a helmet (I intend to)?

In any case, I would appreciate any information that you could provide regarding my situation. 

I Wish to Insure My Charger For Sure,

Larry Barnowski
AAA Response, dated 4/22/1998:

Dear Mr. Barnowski,

To get a quote and possible insurance you will need to visit any AAA office and see an agent.  The agent will review with you the remaining information needed to give you a quote and make sure you are eligible for AAA insurance.

Thanks again for your interest in AAA Michigan.

Reid Larson
Sales and Service Manager
Larry's response, sent 4/27/98:

Dear Mr. Larson,

I appreciate all the assistance that you have provided.  I will contact my local agent soon.
However, I have another question.  This time, I am interested in taking out a life insurance policy through AAA. 

 My question is this: would driving while wearing a crash helmet, in a vehicle equipped with roll-bars and safety nets lower my premium? 

Also, who, at AAA handles sponsorships?  If I had knowledge of an upcoming, nationally televised event at Death Valley on July 4th at 10 AM (Pacific time), who would I contact?  I can’t give out the specifics, but it involves a Weinermobile, a ramp, and a 100 yard long “lake of mustard.”   Let me know.

Seeking Coverage,

Larry Barnowski

P.S. Did you used to play hockey for the Detroit Red Wings?

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