Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, June 26, 2006

On Insurance

One of my co-workers had his homeowners insurance cancelled on a ten-day notice because he filed one too many claims in too short a period of time, even though he cancelled the last claim.

His mortgage company (bank, whatever) requires that insurance, and as such institutions are wont to do, they would find the most expensive insurance possible and impose it on him if he didn't come up with other coverage. He had to scramble around, but he found another company. Then he pulled out all his life, auto, and other insurance from the first company and transferred it to the second. I would, too.

Insurance companies have us by the short hairs. We have medical care rationed in this company by who is able to afford the best insurance. Then some faceless accountants in some anonymous office dictate to our highly educated physicians what health care they are allowed to give us. Waiting times for surgeries and other procedures are no better in this country than in England, France, Canada, or any other more-advanced country that cares what happens to its citizens.

I won't go on about that. Instead I have a further rant: Auto insurance.

In order to buy a car, or even get a license to drive, we have to have purchased insurance from some huge insurance conglomerate. Then, if we get a speeding ticket, how much does it cost our insurance company? Not one more red cent. But they jack up our rates, anyway. And it's all legal.

But then, if we do get into an accident, even if it wasn't our fault, they jack up our premiums again, enough so that we pay them back every cent they spent on our repairs over the next three years. So they are wealthier, and we are poorer. And the government requires their hands in our pockets.

While I'm at it, I remember some years back the church I attended used to take inner-city children to summer camp every year, giving them a positive experience they could keep with them forever.

But they had to stop doing that because the liability insurance became too expensive. As a result, these children were deprived of this positive summer experience. How many would have been influenced by that to resist gangs, etc. if they could have gone? I have no idea. But if one child's life took a turn for the worse, and if one innocent person gets hurt or even killed because of that, I have to believe a just God would hold the insurance company executives accountable for that in the next life.

Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims. That is just an unpleasant but necessary sideline for them. They are in the business of collecting all the premiums they can.

God have mercy on their souls.