Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Insurance Scam

Occasioned by my turning 50, our State Farm agent called up and said it was time to update my life insurance, so I’m going to poked and prodded, phlebotomized and made to micturate in a cup so as to ensure I’m a good risk for the company that would have to pay off should I keel over and die in the next ten years.

Naturally, the megabazillion dollar conglomerate has to look out for its interests, but the whole arrangement strikes me as cheesy; if they really want to take the bet I’m offering on continuing to live, they ought to accept it at face value without stacking the deck so strongly in their favor.

It’s like they’re playing poker with me but they want to see my hand before they ante up.

Insurance overall is a weird business; it’s only worthwhile if something bad happens to the customer and so you find yourself in the strange position of paying for something you don’t really want.

I think it’s predicated in lots of cases on fallacious reasoning, specifically the so-called post hoc fallacy, wherein you see a causal connection between events that are merely contiguous, like coming to believe that because I won some money in Vegas that time I wore my green shirt that the green shirt is lucky.

Most people (me, anyway) buy insurance because they believe that if they don’t buy it, something awful will ensue. We hear about some guy who died without coverage and think, “Poor schmuck; if only he’d had a universal whole life policy, it never would have happened.” (Or, I do, anway.)

Assuming I qualify for the “super preferred” rate, I’ll be spending around five hundred bucks a year for the next ten years all of which, assuming I don’t die, will be for naught.

So, why not take the five grand and buy a stack of lottery tickets? At least there’s a bet I’d be glad to win.


Anonymous Rhea said...

You're right! Insurance companies do want to peek at the hand you're playing before they bet. What a racket!

8:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home