A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
The entire insurance industry is based on the simple premise that there are any number of ways to rob somebody without sticking a gun in their face. Over centuries of thievery, insurance people have mastered every one of them. To call insurance companies shysters is an insult to shysters everywhere. Here are a few things everyone should know about insurance.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve had insurance in one form or another for most of my life, so I am well-versed in the wiles of these swindlers.
Insurance Agents — These are magical people who are literally everywhere when they’re trying to sell you insurance but suddenly vanish off the face of the earth after you buy it.
The Policy — This a mind-baffling 60 page document written by a cabal of blood-sucking lawyers. (No, not all lawyers are bloodsuckers, but the 99% who are give the others a bad name.) Its express purpose is to legally deny everything the salespeople (agent) ever said to you — including “Good morning.”
Deductible — This is a sneaky way of saying “We’re always going to keep some of the money we owe you, because — uh — we can.” Nobody has ever given me a satisfactory reason why the “deductible” even exists. What is its actual purpose? Or how do I, the customer, benefit from having a “deductible?” Want some serious John Oliver grins? Phone up your insurance company and ask them to explain the “deductible” to you.
Claim Form — This a mind-baffling 60 page questionnaire written by a cabal of blood-sucking lawyers. (No, not all lawyers are bloodsuckers but the 99% who are give the others a bad name.) Its express purpose is a) to prove you’re a lying, cheating criminal or b) to frustrate you to the point of gut-splattering suicide.
The Payout — Should catastrophe actually befall you, get ready for a trial by fire. This ordeal will include (but will not be limited to) a mountain of paperwork, months of argument, 19 emails, 27 telephone calls, 8 hours on hold, a letter to your political representative, a formal complaint to the Board of Trade, and thousands of dollars to your own blood-sucking lawyer. Then, at the precise moment you’re seriously contemplating homicide, suicide — or both — the insurance company will offer you a minuscule amount of money (minus the “deductible”) for your trouble. This will be an insulting fraction of what they promised you when you bought the damn policy, but a word of advice. Take it — or they’ll start the whole process all over again.
So what’s it all about:
What is Insurance? — Insurance is a bet you make with a nameless, faceless, soulless corporation that something terrible is going to happen to you. Every month, you ante up a sum of money (called the premium.) This “premium” is held by the insurance company, and if you happen to avoid disaster for 30 days, you lose the bet and the nameless, faceless, soulless corporation gets to keep your money. This little exercise is repeated — month after month, year after year — until you either go broke, get sick, die or your house burns down. Thus, weird as it sounds, every month that life is good, you lose the bet and lose your money. But if your life does go to hell and you finally win the bet — you still lose!
DISCLAIMER: This is satire, and I am sure that there are plenty of insurance companies out there who are honest and trustworthy — but like unicorns, leprechauns and howling banshees, I’ve never seen one.