Friday, December 17, 2010

Rant: Insurance Industry

Main Lady and Mopsy are headed East to visit Cottontail and Que Bee One for a day or so. They left this morning amid a flurry of packing which was expedited by the organizational skills of a kindergarten class amped up on Jolt Power Cola and turned loose at a Disney petting zoo. The dog and I stayed out of the way.

I have been assigned as caretaker of the house and content, which consists of Excellent Rachmaninoff the dog and Emma the half-grown fierce jungle cat. I'm also to care for Centenarian, which means taking her to lunch sometime or another with the caveat that I am not to drive Centenarian's car under any circumstances. Well, given that I never intended driving it, I think this is an odd comment. I idly asked if the car was broken down or something.

"No, it's fine. I just don't have any insurance on it." Main Lady told me.

"Okay, I'll bite." I said, extracting my fingers from Emma's mouth. "Why don't you have insurance?"

"Because of that damned insurance company!" Main Lady looks like she'd like to string someone up by their thumbs in the village square and horsewhip them at high noon.

"I called those stupid people and asked if I could cancel Mother's insurance and put Mother's car on my insurance because she doesn't drive it anymore. I told them I was the only one driving it, and it seemed stupid to pay for both Mother and I when Mother doesn't drive."

"And?" I prompted.

"And the stupid woman told me I couldn't, so I said alright and that was the end of it. Well, I got my car insurance invoice the other day and it has a picture of a car on it, and I remembered that I haven't seen an envelop like that over at Mother's house, so I called the insurance company to see why they hadn't sent Mother an invoice." Main Lady paused for breath. "They told me that the car wasn't insured."

"Holy shit." I let that sink in for a minute. Main Lady drives Centenarian's car about half the time, and unlike most of us Centenarian has a few bucks in the bank. Visions of a civil suit pass before my eyes. "How long have you been driving without insurance?"

"Three years." Main Lady replied.

I digested this for a minute. Now, given that Centenarian really is self-sufficient, lives alone and gets along pretty well, I can see how this might happen. Centenarian writes her own checks, her only real problem being that she doesn't balance the checking account very well. However all that may be, it seems to me that the insurance company would have sent her a notice about her auto insurance being canceled. Both Centenarian and Main Lady have been dealing with the same insurance company for fifteen years or more, so it isn't like the staff doesn't know her. Is it?

There are certain industries in the United States that it is impossible to over-regulate. While the insurance industry is not at the top of the list, it is certainly in the top five.

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