The owner of a red 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle was recently reminded how important it is to stay up-to-date on all vehicle information, regardless vehicle status. In a rare situation, a lady removed her late-husband's name from an insurance policy after his death, but never switched his name from the '67 Chevelle's title. When an electrical short in the spare refrigerator caused a fire, the garage and all 4 cars inside were completely destroyed. After receiving a $25,000 check from Hagerty Insurance for the loss of the Chevelle, the wife was unable to cash the check due to proof she owned the car. Now, with the emotional devastation of the fire still on the family's mind, they're knee-deep in attorney fees and court costs attempting to obtain executor status of the title for the late-husband's son.

The lesson learned: Always have your license, title, registration and proof of insurance up-to-date. Regardless what condition your vehicle is in, it's good to have your paperwork in order just in case. When attempting to sell a car, purchase a car or get new plates - expired or neglected paperwork can cause a major hassle down the road.

From personal experience, my family received a randomized letter from the government asking for proof of insurance for a car registered in the state of Ohio. Even though the car was a project - in pieces in the garage - it was still registered and needed proof that it was insured. It caught our family off guard and taught us a lesson to never leave a car registered without insurance.

At all times:

  • Keep registered cars insured.
  • Be sure to have titles in the proper owner's name.
  • Check your car's registration status and be sure it's valid.