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Taylor Swift at VMA Awards

Alongside other news stories such as the San Bruno Fire, entertainment stories continue to make headlines.  At the 2010 MTV VMA Awards show, Taylor Swift introduced a new song entitled "Innocent" in which she referenced the incident from last year's show where Kanye West sabotaged her acceptance speech by declaring that another performer should have won instead of her. This Taylor Swift song directly references the incident, and in the background while Swift performed, video of the run in was played.

At another point in the show, West performed a song of his own, also seemingly referencing his behavior and mocking himself. It was interesting to see this from both performers. This new song by Taylor includes a line that says, "32 is still growing up now...you're still an innocent" [1]. The song by Taylor Swift was clearly intended as a goodwill offering for West, who caused such uproar with his behavior at the last VMA show.

Taylor Swift and Celebrity Behavior

It is entertaining to examine the behavior of performers, who are in the spotlight all the time, and are constantly being called out when they make mistakes. Taylor Swift's song may have been a genuine olive branch or it might have been just another publicity stunt by a famous celebrity trying to draw more attention upon her. Either way, the Taylor Swift VMA situation reminds viewers of one important point: celebrities are normal people who make mistakes and sometimes do things wrong. And in one way or another, they do have to pay the price. In West's case with his treatment of Swift, he has paid the price through negative public reaction over the past year.

As drivers and ordinary folks, we have certain responsibilities that we have to uphold. One of those responsibilities is to keep our cars insured. In almost every part of the country including the state of California, car insurance is mandatory. Auto owners have to have insurance in order to get their vehicles registered and get license plates. And these rules apply to celebrities like Swift as well.

Someone like Taylor Swift who drives fancy luxury cars all around town might not sweat the insurance payment that has to go out every month like we do, but she does have to pay auto insurance premiums to keep her car protected. And the same applies for Kanye West and all of the other Hollywood types.

Auto Insurance in California

For anyone who has ever dreamed of making it big like Taylor and going to Hollywood, there are certain things we need to know. For example, for every Taylor singing at an award show, there are countless others who didn't make it. For the rest of us who are not as lucky as Swift, there is the real world. And in the real world, car insurance is required for all drivers in the state of California according to state law.

Under California law, all drivers must have liability protection to help them meet their financial responsibilities in the event of a car accident. The minimum acceptable liability policy is 15/30/5 [2], with the numbers representing in thousands of dollars the minimums for bodily injury single victim, bodily injury multiple victims, and property damage protection. There are several ways drivers in California can meet these requirements.

The first and most obvious is to simply buy an auto insurance liability policy from a company licensed to sell car insurance and with good insurance company ratings in the state of CA. For most of us, this is the only realistic option. But there are some others that certain people might consider in lieu of a liability insurance plan. Drivers can put down a cash deposit in the amount of $35,000 with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); get a DMV issued self insurance certificate (certain qualification restrictions apply); or, obtain a surety bond in the amount of $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in the state of California [2]. Aside from these alternatives, there are no other ways for motorists to come into compliance with state laws. Even Taylor Swift needs to be insured. If Taylor got into an accident and had no insurance, officers would be swift to act and the consequences might be severe.

We might not have the money or fame of Taylor Swift, but we are just as culpable as Taylor is for car insurance. Swift is a major celebrity; yet she is also still a driver, an auto owner, and a consumer. As such, she and other celebrities are not above the rules when it comes to car insurance.

Taylor Swift may never ride in a car with any of us, but her performance at the VMAs reminds us that she and her old friend Kanye West are not really all that different from the rest of us.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20016175-10391698.html Retrieved 2010-09-13.
[2] http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr18.htm Retrieved 2010-09-13.

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