The Insurance Con Sham

In the early 1990s, American insurance companies wanted to evaluate their public image
Researching the market, they discovered same public image was very bad.
The real joke is that this came as a complete surprise to them!

Who has not had this sort of experience with an insurance company, please come forward:
You have faithfully paid a stiff premium for years and years when, finally, something happens and you have a claim.
Then, the company does not honor it.

The first time this happened to me was when I left a room in which a kerosene heater was burning (a thing I wouldn't dare do now.) When I got back and switched on the light, I thought the bulb had burned out. Didn't see a thing. What had happened was, that heater had started smoking and then covering everything in that room with a layer of greasy soot. Now, over forty years later, I still get reminders of that when I open a book and find out a Treasure Island-like Black Spot in it. What hurt most was the loss of a Saul Bass poster of Exodus and one of Anatomy of a Murder; both priceless now. There was not even so much damage; I had very little worth real money in that room. But after all, it was insured.      After I put in the claim, two guys from the company came to visit me (like the Gestapo or CIA, they never come alone.) They informed me I didn't get a cent: This was no fire damage. When I asked them if I should have let it burn out they sort of shrugged their shoulders.
Their care and professionalism really came out when I got a confirming letter from their office. In that, they warned that I should take care with my negatives, as these entailed a high-risk fire danger.
I replied that in the 1930s Kodak had introduced so-called safety film which is impossible to set afire, and cancelled my policy.

In 2006 we bought a new car, having a no-claim discount of 50% on the old one, which we did not sell. Naturally, in our innocence we thought that we would get that same discount on the new car.    But no: The no-claim discount applies to the car, not to the owner. When we sell the old one, the discount will be transferred - naturally, only when the present policy has to be renewed.

If you have ever experienced the horror of your house burning down, you know what's coming. 'At least,' you think, 'it was insured.' This is almost always the case, because you can't get a mortgage without an insurance; something it would be easier to agree with if both did not come from the same financial institute.    The house was under-insured; that is, for the buying price, and market prices went up. You get only x% of what you had been paying for. Then, the foundation never burns down, so you don't get any money for that, either. But no builder will accept that foundation as reliable enough to build your new house on.

When you take out a policy in Curaçao to insure your house, you will pay for coverage on water flood damage. Like, the drains cannot handle a tropical downpour and water enters your house, or a tsunami sweeps your house away, you're covered - you think.     Wake up: This only covers inundations by the sea caused by earthquakes, seaquakes or vulcanic activity - none of which have ever been known to occur around here. You pay for a risk that does not exist, and cannot get insured for a risk that does exist.


If you google that up combined with 'insurance', you will find scores of sites stressing how financially sound all those companies are. Just look at their buildings; just like banks sumptuous with marble, discrete lighting and fine works of art. Reminds you of church prosperity! Remember, this is just décor, façade to sucker you in; in their con game, necessary trappings.
But that soundness is not the point. Sure, it's good to know they can pay out - but will they?
The 'solid' insurance world is sometimes rocked with investing schemes the proverbial four-year-old-kid wouldn't go for, promising incredible returns. One example is the Ennia 'Money Savings Plan' which around 2000 blew up in Curaçao.

50 people who had invested their savings in this went to court. Ennia, of course, claims it never promised you would actually get 8%-20% returns; this was obviously not a 'savings plan'. Investors had to choose for no, low, medium and high risk contracts; there was no guarantee of profitablity at all. But investors claim this really was not at all obvious, and they thought they were partaking in a saving scheme. In all fairness, those hight profits would have made me very cautious indeed, not to say suspicious. If it hadn't been a solid, reliable insurance company like Ennia, partakers would have been sparce.
The investors ought to have read the small letters, the Ennia lawyer declared. Dealing with any insurance company, that's some good advice. You may often decide that you are better off by pocketing the premium and running the risk. Statistics are on your side.

I have never had one single insurance claim that was paid out like a gentleman; what was pledged when I took out that policy - except for medical insurance (and, but not always, car accidents.)


Alas, these two sites are only of use to residents of the USA. But a visit to them is still worth it
if only to warn you about the assortment of dirty tricks that can and will be played on you.


The Other Side of the Coin

Insurance companies drive up the costs of insurance. It's logical: The more they have to pay out, the higher the premium we have to pay.
You go to a car body repair shop after a smash-up and the first thing the guy asks is, Do you pay yourself or are you insured? In the first case, the price is lower.
Because insurance pays all, medical prices have gone up to insane levels. Any hospital just buys equipment like a madman who's completely out of control, regardless of prices. Insurance pays, after all and the Public wants the Best. Then, inevitably, insurance premiums go up again.
The medical world is also quite good at downright insurance fraud. It's not very surprising this applies especially to the alternatives. Take out a free subscription to the Quackwatch newsletter and you will be bombarded every week with stories on fraud charges against homeopaths, drug dealers and chiropractors. Plus plenty more good, solid info.

need watching

On Wade Frazier's home page you will find
really good articles on Insurance and Banks

(virtually the same thing):

The first life insurance policy on record was written in London on June 18, 1536, a one-year policy on the life of William Gybbons. Gybbons died on May 29, 1537, run over by a hit-and-run bullock cart. In a telling beginning to the industry and a comment on insurance in general, the company refused to pay the widow and children of Gybbons, insisting that a year consisted of twelve months of four weeks each, making Gybbons' unfortunate death a few days outside of the policy period.

(too bad Frazier can't be trusted without thorough checks)

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