Most of the time, I would say yes. Especially in the insurance department.
No one wants to be hit with a big bill on top of the big bill they’ve already accumulated. If you are like my family, lightning will miss the 1,001 people standing around you in order to hit just you.
So is the way with insurance. These days you can buy insurance for almost anything — from life, to cars, to cell phones to alien abductions (it’s true!) any device made by God or Man can be replaced — for a fee.
In some cases you need to buy this kind of extra protection. Health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, all protect you from being that guy, and provide you with a safe financial haven. Insurance companies play the odds; they take in more than they have to pay out. So for all the people who pay buco bucks to insure their homes from tornadoes and cars from crashes, insurance companies compensate very few. That’s how they make money. I get it.
Then comes the secondary market; appliances. The whole gamut from dishwashers to lawn mowers offer some sort of extra insurance policy. Afraid you’ll take your brand new appliance home and it will clunk out in two days? Well, for just $$ you can buy insurance for the first 1-3 years. It’s that fear of clunking that encourages some of us to shell out an extra $$ for safety’s sake.
Then there’s insurance for my cell phone. Granted, it’s not a $700 iPhone, but it’s a Samsung Galaxy X6, a pretty fine little machine. I’ve insured my phones (and my husband and son’s) for years now. $8.99 per month times 3. And yet, when my phone started acting up, the fine print said I had to meet a $150 deductible before they would take a look at it. So all those years of $8.99 per month times 3 meant nothing when it came to fixing my phone. It was cheaper to sign a new deal and slip the payments into the phone bill.
So for the past 2 years my phone company has made $9 x 12 months x 2 years x 3 phones, all tax free.
Yes, I often imagined myself bending over the toilet, phone in pocket becoming phone in toilet. Or dropping it out of a fishing boat. Or left in a pocket to be washed and spun dried. But that never happened. Even when I was fed up with my phone and tempted to run it over with my car, the thought of $150 deductible put a halt to my dastardly deed.
I know, $150 is better than $650. Yet something irks me about being guided by fear of the unknown dollar. For the insurance fee you pay never really makes up for the balance of your debt. Your hospital bill of $30,000 now is $5,000, which you still cannot afford. The tooth you had to have replaced at $2700 is not covered because the dental insurance that you pay for every paycheck considers it cosmetic surgery.
And even if I outlive my current life insurance policy, I’ll have to pick up another one at a higher premium just so my husband can cover my final arrangements. And all those payments for the last 20 years will have gone straight into the pocket of the insurance company.
I don’t have a solution for the lopsidedness of insurance coverage. All I know is that it’s just another business trying to make money off of people who have none to begin with. That’s why we buy insurance.
But I do know that if some little dude assures me that I can make silk out of a sow’s ear, and if I buy insurance and can’t make any silk I can have my premiums back, I’m gonna take it.
Cuz I really don’t know how silk is made…