What customer?

“What about our shareholders Bob? Who’s looking out for them?”
– The Incredibles

You know me. I love insurance. I love it so much I bought a bunch of it. We’re like that ice cream place that brags about all the flavors they’ve got. It’s a good thing too, because it’s coming in handy after Cheryl’s accident.

I know what you’re thinking, or I think I do. Well, maybe it’s just a hunch. Yeah, better call it a guess. I’ve been off my game lately. I’ll bet you’re a little suspicious, waiting for the switch to go with my bait. (My, what terrible bait you have.) I’m predictable that way.

The customer relationship is a little off in the insurance business. You’re only right as long as you’re not trying to get something for your money, besides a monthly/annual statement… or… brace yourself: a renewal notice. They’re down with the statement gig. Aren’t statements grand? I love statements. I love the way they file, so smooth with delightfully heavy paper that just….

Sorry. I should really keep that to myself.

Something happens to you when you need more than reassurance from insurance. You’re not really a customer any more. The industry term often used is leech, or rube; depending on the context, or wether they’re trying to be civil.

When you have more than one policy, even if you don’t think they’re related (or overlap), you become something else again: screwed. Company A wants company B to pay, due to Y coverage. Company B says they won’t pay because you don’t have any more Y coverage. You thought all along that company A would pay something – why else would you have X coverage? So you go back to company A, explaining that you don’t have any more Y coverage. They say “prove it.” You say, “I’m already responsible for the deaths of a thousand trees proving things to you people. Don’t you ever stop?”

They laugh.

You almost feel guilty for thinking bad thoughts.


And so it goes.

Sick of me writing like I flunked junior high English? (It was a D – and only that one time.) Here’s the deal. We have two insurance companies (more than that really, but stay with me): one for auto and one for short term disability. Neither one wants to pay for short term disability, despite there being no dispute Cheryl is ‘short term disabled.’ How fracked up is that? Sure, I can see auto’s beef. They’re only gonna let us get so fat on their dime. But come on disability… you don’t cover disability? Your policies are printed on some great paper, but it’s not that good.

I know one thing. You probably knew it already, but I’m slow. You’re foolish if you think anyone but shareholders are the real customer. Everyone else is just a prop in the show, or so it seems.

It’s not easy being a prop. How did we get here? Is it something we did, or didn’t do? Are there insurance companies* out there fighting on the side of good, who aren’t trying to bring down the dreams of freedom loving people everywhere?

*Although I’m in no mood for fairness, I must admit my health insurance company was fantastic when I was sick last year. Sanity and fairness can be a real downer sometimes. It will return in 3… 2… 1…

Give the gift of words.