Thursday, June 07, 2007
Insurance or Extortion
Insurance policies often read like the pompous legal jargon drafted by Supreme Court clerks. "Whereat thou art hither informed whereas lessor fore gos subsequent liability for actions unintended by insurer's payee. Hallelujah" You can certainly catch my drift. You can hire an expensive attorney to interpret the worthless ambiguities or simply accept the policy's terms as stated regardless of the hidden surprises contained within. The major insurance companies in this country exist for one reason and one reason only. They make billions ripping us off and our government protects them and encourages that behavior.
What happens when you buy a vehicle and are forced to insure it for the amount stated in the retail installment contract? Unless you buy an ADDITIONAL gap policy to cover any deficiencies, the insurance company pays you according to their interpretations of fair market value if you sustain a total loss. Your pickup may be a 2007 but the insurance company is basing their numbers on a comparable model produced in 1946. You may owe $20,000.00 on your vehicle but guess what Jack, you're getting a check for half that much.
On your home owner's policy you better damn well insure your contents above and beyond the basic parameters listed in the meat of your policy. An act of God can cost you thousands. Let's say a rogue swarm of locusts invades the interior of your home and soils all the contents in your home. Your policy won't cover it unless you pay more for a separate contents insurance policy. Even then the company probably won't pay for the damages unless they get through to God on the first ring.
Don't you love getting quotes from insurance agents? They quote you $120.00 per month over the phone and when your bill arrives it usually adds up to much more. They conveniently left out items like "other" charges, "other" premiums, and servicing fees. How about the roof on your house? You faithfully pay home owner's premiums for 20 years and two hail storms in the last 10 years forced you to replace your roof twice. Your premiums and deductibles are going through the roof mister man. Insurance companies believe YOU are responsible for not only the storm destroying your property but also your failure to design some sort of invisible shield around your home protecting it from harm. Insurance companies are there to help you as long as you pay your premiums on time, accept outrageous deductibles, and ask no pertinent questions. When it comes time for them to pay a claim and put their money where their mouth is, expect well written denials capable of interpretation from only Perry Mason or Chief Justice John Roberts. Most insurance companies will continue to deny legitimate claims because they know you do not possess the financial means to take them on. They simply wait you out until you limp away with tail tucked firmly between your legs.
I for one enjoy paying increased premiums so that people living in high risk hurricane areas and flood ravaged lowlands can get plenty of practice building their homes over and over and over again. Insurance companies keep insuring them because it's their ancestral land and they WANT to live there. They pay exorbinant premiums and you pay increased premiums because it's just so cool for them to live on the Gulf Coast. It seems quite a smart view of reality doesn't it?
Now the government wants to socialize healthcare even more than it is already. That's good news. Let Washington D.C. get involved in the cesspool of modern health coverages because Congress and government in general is such an efficient and wise old sage at spending taxpayer money. I can't wait to see those results.
Look at what trucking companies pay to be ripped off by insurance providers and government regulators. One tractor-trailer combination costs an operator around $650.00 per month and this is justified because "government" studies determine them to be a high risk venture. A few crappy studies based on junk science force these operators to pay criminal premiums so that highway and vehicle inspectors have a concrete rationalization for maintaining their smug arrogance in inspecting and fining the operators for even more greenbacks. Meanwhile, an 80 year old man in a 40 foot motorhome passes the weigh scale at 75 miles per hour pulling a boat and second trailer full of Geritol. Not only does he not possess a commercial driver's license but he gets insurance breaks because he'll be dead soon and insurance companies are happy to bilk him too until the bitter end. Are you really worried about "large vehicle" safety? Why don't you ask regulators in your state how many school busses are equipped with safety belts for the children riding on them? At last check the number was about 20%. Insurance is about money and so is a government's view on protecting you by harrassing and criminally regulating commercial operators that drive our economy. Meanwhile, a government venture like an unsafe school bus gets a free pass. The next time you see a safety inspector "protecting you" from unsafe equipment remember the government and insurance companies are happy to jump into bed together. Safety in America is spelled MONEY.