Insurance/Organized Crime (more thoughts)

Is there really that much of a difference?

Insurance began as a wonderful idea. A truly generous, magnanimous and world-changing concept. Someone once told me that the original idea for insurance came from a group of Chinese fishermen, who would each put aside one fish from their day’s haul to give to the fisherman who didn’t catch any that day. Beautiful idea, right? How we got from that to a tiny British cartoon lizard convincing us that we should pay for a service which is going to do everything humanly possible to get out of doing their fucking job is beyond me.

Insurance doesn’t insure shit anymore. When there is an entire department in each of these multinational monsters dedicated entirely to doing whatever it can to get out of paying claims, then how can they even continue to call it “insurance” anymore with a straight face? They try to get out of doing THE VERY THING THEY EXIST TO DO. Think about that for a minute. No Exxon employees try to siphon your gas while you’re pumping. When you go to Red Lobster the waiter doesn’t reach down your throat to keep you from eating popcorn shrimp? Sure, it might liven up the place if they did, but you’d soon get tired of having to fight him off with a tiny lobster fork just to get what you paid for.

If insurance companies weren’t so damn politically well-connected this whole mess might be easier to fix. Like developers, insurance companies spend a lot of time (time they could devote to just doing their fucking jobs), to convincing politicians to mandate more and more types of insurance. Boat insurance. Earthquake insurance. Now that the government is finally admitting that aliens are real, how long do you think it’ll be before there’s such a thing as Alien Invasion Insurance? I’m only half-joking.

Again, the idea is solid. The idea is empathy itself. It’s just the execution that sucks.

Like the majority of us, most of my personal dealings with insurance agencies have involved just giving them money. I will even admit that a few times, when the car wreck was obviously the other guy’s fault and the police report backed me up on that, they have done their job and covered the repair costs…which is only strange because they so rarely do their jobs. Once, when I did a 540 degree spin in a Jeep on a lonely New Mexico road after hitting a patch of black ice the size of a flash drive, the insurance company even paid me off quickly…suspiciously quickly now that I think of it. I was in my twenties and getting a check for 15 grand was enough to shut me up, but I may have missed an opportunity that day. Still, for the most part, my relationship with insurance companies has been one-sided. I give them money and they let me continue to drive a car or rent an apartment or not constantly worry about alien invasions.

Renter’s Insurance? When did that become a thing? I don’t even really get it. If I get robbed, they’ll what? Pay me the fair market value for my couch? Replace my sweat-stained white tee-shirts with other used underwear? I only started HAVING to get renter’s insurance a few years ago, and I’ve been renting apartments for most of my adult life. This means that the idea, which may have existed conceptually for a while, is now considered a necessary thing. They’ve convinced the apartment people that we’re so dumb and so afraid that we don’t even expect our apartment complexes to protect us from random burglaries.

What’s next? Air insurance for clean, breathable oxygen-rich air? “Airsurance” does have a nice ring to it, and we’re already stupid enough to be convinced that we should pay for water. Air is the next logical step.

Even in this time of unbridled capitalistic excess the industry can’t just straight-up say that they don’t want to do their job, so they had to invent a term, a euphemism for being fucking crooks and liars. They call it Subrogation. That’s the insurance industry word for recouping their “expenses” after they pay out a claim. How is that even remotely legal? That’s like Altoids implanting halitosis-nanobots in their curiously strong mints and then extorting us toward fresher breath.

Subrogation? Are you freaking kidding me?