Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Square Peg - Protection Plans

Protection Plans
Copyright S. Bradley Stoner


Did the world zip through a few revolutions while I was asleep? Or wasn't I paying attention? What happened to insurance? You remember, the security that you used to buy from the guy who came to your house smoking smelly cigars and telling those really good jokes. That comforting sheaf of papers that guaranteed that if you had a fender bender you were covered. If you tripped over the barbeque, slap-whacked down on the patio, and busted your flipper, you were covered. If the neighbor kid used your picture window for a backstop, you were covered. If Ma Nature decided to single out your house to demonstrate that man isn't quite as dominant as he thinks he is... that's right, you were covered.

Well, I just discovered that you can't buy insurance anymore. You purchase a protection plan. An automobile protection plan. A personal protection plan. A home owners protection plan. You've got your indemnity plans, and if you have an ACCIDENTAL death, you can be doubly indemnified if you purchase the RIDER. Of course, if you die at a time of your own choosing, the insurance company pays itself a handsome dividend and your family gets squat. This is the insurance company's way of telling your spouse that she or he shouldn't have nagged you so much and your kids should have been a little better behaved.

For your car, you may purchase any one of the following plans: Your Fault, My Fault, or No Fault. No Fault is rapidly supplanting the other plans and is being pushed by state legislators with the full knowledge that nobody wants the blame for anything anymore. No Fault means that when the drunk from down the block presses your Porsche, dings your DeLorean classic, or annihilates your Audi, it's NOT HIS fault. How could it be? He doesn't own a protection plan. So, every time he bangs up your baby, guess who's rates go up? That's right. Considering that ten percent of the idiots out there cause ninety percent of the damage, this is no accident. Figure it out. Do you make more raising the rates of ten percent to astronomical levels? Heck no.. they'll quit buying protection plans. Oh wait, they already did... so, you raise the remaining ninety percent's rates to the stratosphere and then you've got something!

I've noticed something else too. With the advent of protection plans, insurance salesmen have become all but extinct. This makes me mad. I miss the jokes. Now we have to deal with Agents, Investment Counselors, CICs and CLUs. When was the last time you heard an Agent crack a one liner? When was the last time you saw an Investment Counselor crack a smile? Nuts, they don't even smoke smelly cigars anymore. That would raise THEIR rates.

One more thing. Who told the insurance companies they could produce oil? Become stock brokers? Own vast tracts of farmland? Make movies, for Pete's sake?! Wall Street doesn't even run a close second when it comes to control and ownership. I dug and dug for the answers. I never did find them, but consider this... who else could afford the protection plans?

I've got it solved, though. When it's my time, I have the perfect plan. I don't need insurance. I'm going to take all the money I've saved, pack it around a box of dynamite in my living room, sit down on the box, light a really smelly cigar, tell a couple of really good jokes, call up my CLU, and let him hear me go out with a bang!