21 gun salute

Okay, I know it has been awhile since I have been here, and my dashboard proves it.  So without further ado lets talk about one of my favorite subjects: insurance.

You know, insurance is a good thing when you need it and everything goes as planned… under your insurance plan, that is.  But lately I’ve been feeling a bit blue about the whole idea behind insurance coverage, the company pay-outs, the stock holders and the federal government. 

We are required by law to carry certain insurances when we drive, do business or employ individuals.  Usually a good idea because you are not always in control of the situation and need the assurance that if something goes wrong… you’re covered.  And if something happens (through no fault of your own) either to you or the person/company at fault or not at fault, you are covered.  Of course coverages vary, for complete details, visit your lawyer. 

Say for instance (through no fault of your own) a hurricane blasts through and causes damage to your home.  Though the experience is not a pleasant one you think to yourself,  “Thank God I renewed that policy!”  But whoa! wait a minute.  You find out that (through no fault of your own) your insurance company cannot cover you either for the full sum of your damages or not at all.  They claim to the government (your servant) that they were not prepared to cover “catastrophic” conditions such as these and want to be let off the hook.  The sympathetic government agrees.  Where does that leave you?  Holding the blue tarp.

Of course you wonder, “Where did all those payments and all those millions (accumulated by thousands of policy holders like yourself) that were supposed to be for my protection go?”  Aren’t they supposed to be set up for things like interest payments to the company issuing the coverage while the lions share of funds are set aside for my protection?”  Well guess what?  Insurance is big business reaping profits for stock holders and investors so when the well runs dry… you lose.  And as costs go up (75% increase in Florida) coverages go down, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to collect.

So you are no doubt wondering… why a 21 gun salute?  Isn’t that saved for presidents, dignitaries and the like?  Well, for years there have been repeated attempts to provide government subsidized insurance programs and yet we are no closer to fixing the problem.  Meanwhile there are people allowed to drive that have no license, insurance, jobs or skills and cause millions of dollars worth of damage annually that the average consumer must pay for.  There has to be a better way because no matter what we do, how much money is put into it or how many times the government allows it, the current insurance industry is rife with dissatisfied consumers who don’t sleep better at night because they have insurance.  Which is a shame, peace of mind shouldn’t just be a slogan.

Case in point.  A few years ago a person I know was driving a car, stopped at a stop sign and was hit by a teenage driver who careened out of control and side swiped the car.  He was attempting to turn onto the street she had travelled down before reaching the intersection.  The other driver had no insurance.  Hey, no problem… the car’s owner had “un-insured motorist” coverage, right?  Only partially.  The insurance paid for damages (the car she was driving wasn’t hers but a friend’s who was in the passenger seat.  Both people in the car were fully sober and not at fault ) but HER (the driver’s) insurance carrier increased the payments of HER policy (though no claim was made on that policy) deeming her a risk because of the accident that was not her fault.  Great system, huh?

So in my mind private insurance carriers do not have their customers best interests at heart.  It is all about the profit and the government allows it.  A nationwide carrier funded by the federal government would not be subject to the individual profit and loss columns of the private sector.  We spend billions on other things that are not directly related to the public’s interest.  But not insurance.

Three cheers for the red, white and blue cross. 


2 Responses to “21 gun salute”

  1. januarys Says:

    I worked in insurance for almost 3 years and you need to know that if an insurance company says they care, it is because they want something. I didn’t last because they promised they cared about integrity, fairness, and, well, me. But they didn’t, didn’t and didn’t. 2 companies and about a hundred co-workers later, it hit me.

    And uninsured mtorist coverage is not anything like it sounds – you gotta have a good agent to tell tell you that stuff. I’ve found one or two but if it says anything, I refuse to date insurance men.

  2. chrisfiore5 Says:

    hey januarys… It would be tough dating an insurance salesman because I’d always be wondering if they were calculating the odds of our success/failure ratio. Besides, I’d be worried they wanted to sell me somethin’…

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