Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline December 2008

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

The off season is upon us, and by now you have probably followed all the guidelines about putting your car away for the winter. You have, no doubt, changed the oil and tested the anti freeze; topped off fluids and filled tires. Disconnected the battery. Covered it up, but carefully in a fashion where it can breathe. You may have put chemicals in your fuel tank to combat that nasty EPA winter gas that might be in there. Maybe even put some stuff here and there inside the car to discourage “mousy” from moving in and raising a family. All done – right? Well, maybe not - how about one more thing: check your insurance policy.
Yes, that’s what I said: get out your auto insurance policy and review the coverage on your car. I don’t mean just switching the coverage down to “comprehensive only” to save a few bucks, I mean review the whole policy. Consider this something worth doing as part of the put-it-away ritual. After all, you probably won’t want to bother next spring when you’re more interested in driving than analyzing. And you may forget about it altogether until you have a problem.
Take a look at the insured value of your car. The true value of most of our cars has increased quite a bit in the last few years. If your policy was written some time ago, your car may be covered for less than you think. Especially if you have a standard “replacement value” policy: for example, you can find an MGB on Craig’s List today for about $500 – would you want an adjuster to use that figure as the “fair market” replacement value for your car? Club members know that the $500 car isn’t likely to be a very good one, but would the adjuster know? Or care? Or feel obligated to look further?
In theory, insurance is supposed to “make you whole” in the sense that an insurance payment will allow you to readily replace the item lost and continue your life activities with no serious disruption. That won’t happen if you are underinsured.
Is your car stored away from your property, in a neighbor’s garage or a commercial site? If damage occurs, does your policy cover the circumstance? Does your neighbor’s? Is there any exclusion for the source of damage (i.e. wind, flood, fire) if it’s not on your property? Are other cars stored there? And if one causes damage to others (like yours, for instance), ditto for all the same


questions. I once saw a restored ’57 T-Bird and ’57 Fairlane, both documented as rare factory supercharged cars, burned badly due to an electrical short in another guy’s ’47 Plymouth – so yes, it can happen in ways you would never predict. And yes, there were several people involved who are probably still pointing fingers at each other about it: good luck to them all.
And while we are on the topic, you might also look at your liability coverage, too. In my area, there are a lot of expensive cars on the road (mostly driving to Walmart to save a nickel); any idea what it would cost you to trash a couple Mercedes, BMW’s or the like in a chain collision? If you don’t know, check a few dealer websites for prices and compare to your policy. Paid for any medical treatments lately? Typical sore throat tab is about $200 nowadays; how’s your medical coverage for accident related treatment?
So it’s a good idea to review your insurance policy on your MG from time-to-time, and maybe the winter sequestering of your car is as good a time as any to do it. Make it a part of your end-of-season activities, if you can.
After all, we’d hate to loose you to a legal loophole: we like having you here and want to keep you with us.
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans

Election Ballot and
Dues Payment

This month’s Driveline contains both an election ballot and a dues payment envelope. Long time members will notice two changes here to prior club procedures; both of these are dictated by the new format for the Driveline and the anticipated joint newsletter issue with the vintage MG Club in January. The first change is that the dues payment envelope is in the December issue instead of the January issue. Makes sense, when you think about it, especially with dues due on January 1. Also, notice that – as previously reported – the Directors voted last autumn to raise the annual dues to $25 effective January 1, 2009. Secondly, this year’s election ballot is now a post card instead of the previous “wedding invitation” format. With an uncontested election, this seemed to make sense as a cost saving approach. Note that each item goes to a different destination, so please don’t combine the two into one envelope. We have sent ballots to an “election teller” for many years to avoid any conflict of interest issues, and continue with that practice this year.

The Club welcomes all MG enthusiasts to call on its gatherings. Please call any person listed above for more information.

The Driveline is published by the Chicagoland MG Club. It is the sole property of the Chicagoland MG Club. Reprinting of its contents is allowed by members and other car clubs with credit for original source. Please keep in mind that the technical advice and opinions offered are those of their authors and do not necessarily represent those of the club as a whole. Modifications and procedures presented may violate state or federal laws. They might not even work. The Driveline and the Chicagoland MG Club will not be liable for any consequences. Send all Driveline Newsletter contributions to:
Deadline for submissions is Saturday after the monthly membership meeting

On the cover: Mg’s and their owners gathered at Dave Bralich’s for a Fall Tune Down and Chili Party.

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©2008 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.