Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Lapsed car insurance fine strikes nerve with flood victim

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BATON ROUGE - The Office of Motor Vehicles fines drivers for expired or lapsed car insurance.

Dr. Daniel Burch is facing a $125 fine for not renewing his insurance on time, but says he never missed an insurance payment before and this bill struck a nerve.

"It just hit me wrong," said Burch.

He recently moved back into his home after it took on about 20 inches of water in August. Most of his belongings were tossed away or packed in boxes.

"I put it into storage, plus I still ran the sign language business," he said.

Burch can often be seen on WBRZ standing next to public officials as a sign language interpreter.

While he rebuilds, his calendar remains full. As a result, he missed his payment to renew his liability insurance on Sept. 23.

Burch says as soon as he found the insurance bill he paid it, but shortly after got a bill in the mail from the OMV for $125.

An action authorized by Governor John Bel Edwards provided a one-month grace period for policy holders living in declared disaster areas. The period was from Aug. 12 to Sept. 12.

"You would think that just because of the flood, and I'm in a flood area and it's well documented, that they would have said, 'It's ok, we'll just waive it for now,'" he said.

Those fines from the OMV can range from $125 to $650 for each offense.


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