Friday, June 5, 2009

Life Insurance Required for Healthy Marriage

Today’s cautionary marital tale is brought to you by the insurance industry.

“Insurance: If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t do without it.”

Often, the most insidious insurance policies are the ones with the most cheerful names.

When you eat two platefuls of undercooked Shepherd’s Pie at the East Loserville Snowmobile Club’s Annual Bluegrass Festival and end up in the hospital for three days heaving all your internal organs into a little plastic tray, your “care” is paid for by “health insurance, “not “sick insurance.”

When the hospital accidentally switches your chart and you end up having open-heart surgery, your settlement is covered by their “liability insurance,” not by “incompetence insurance.”

And when you have an unexpected allergic reaction to the anesthesia and croak on the operating table, your family becomes wealthy via “life insurance,“ rather than “death insurance.”

If we called these things what they really are, people would realize how evil they are and not buy them.

Insurance companies spend most of their resources on two things: 1) advertising, and 2) trying not to give you the product you thought you paid for.

Last week, my life insurance company terminated my policy without warning.

True, my payment was late. I use my bank’s electronic bill pay system, because the money it saves me on postage will almost offset the amount that gets stolen from me when a hacker gains access to my accounts.

But my bank suddenly changed the system on me, so I had to click two buttons, “submit” and then “confirm,” to get a payment through. I didn’t realize this in time.

The insurance company, which I won’t identify here because they’re all the same anyway, sent me a nice reminder notice, alerting me to the problem, and leaving me plenty of time to get the money to them during the “grace period.”

Ha! If only.

In reality, they “terminated” my policy (odd choice of words on their part, but whatever), and said I could get it back if they received my payment in seven days.

I sent the check immediately, and they cashed it eight days later.

Then they sent me a nice form asking me to apply for a new policy – pretty convenient for them, seeing how rates have increased since I first signed up for the old one.

They still had my 280 bucks, and apparently no intention of giving it back. Meanwhile, it would take 27 days, they said, to process my form.

My wife had a serious problem with the lapse in coverage. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little uncomfortable with her sudden intensity about getting me insured again as soon as possible.

What were the chances I would die in the next month? Apparently, pretty good. We had been bickering a lot lately. Every married couple goes through these stretches when you constantly expect your spouse to have better perspective and emotional control than you do.

But I then had one of those important breakthroughs in which I realized everything was my fault. I had apologized, and thought we were squared away.

Apparently not.

So I got on the horn with the insurance company and told them, in no uncertain terms, that my wife really wants to stop over to East Loserville this weekend for the Bluegrass Festival, and my policy darn well better be in effect by then.

Thankfully, they heeded my urgency, and everything’s back to normal.

Right, honey?

1 comment:

New York Viaticals said...

Nice post, in my views this correct Healthy Marriage always requires life insurance..
Thanks for sharing...