Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some say insurance, some say IN-shurns, some say fraud

Ever get the impression that the Insurance industry has no idea what it's doing? Well of course you have if you've ever bought insurance. I remember buying my first house 40 years ago and being told my premiums were high because of the average distances to hydrants and fire departments in my town. I got nowhere with the argument that there was a hydrant on my front lawn and the firehouse was 150 yards around the corner. As with religion and political doctrine, the reasoning always refers back to the unsubstantiated assertion rather than to observable reality.

So when I read today on that buying a smaller car might cost you more in insurance than your megatruck, I was amused. Seems that without taking into account better braking, better handling and more stability of cars over trucks, they're assuming that people in smaller cars, particularly ones chosen for fuel economy are, they guess, driving farther and probably are younger thus probably driving more aggressively and faster and such people probably have more accidents. Is there any difference between this sloppy sophistry and rank conjecture? How many probablys to we have to count before deciding they have no idea and are just making it up to maximize profits?

It seems odd since only two years ago they were saying that SUV drivers were four times more likely to kill someone and ten times more likely to suffer serious injury because they wind up rolling in the gutter more often than Barak's bowling ball. Could it be that they have no idea and don't care? And then there are the fast cars like Corvettes and Vipers. They have to assume, they say, that such people like them because they drive over the speed limit, which I have not observed. What I have observed are SUVs with their noses up Corvette tailpipes trying to prove that they are king of the road -- and I've been observing this for decades. Iv'e observed that my Ferrari friends never take their cars out of the garage for fear of the kids with winged economy cars and Hummermoms.

And then of course there's the assumption that fast drivers cause more accidents, which hasn't been credibly supported by any facts I've seen published by anyone not connected with the insurance racket industry. The National Motorists Association, for instance has studies showing the opposite to be true.

I've also observed that on the Interstates, it's the econoboxes and pickup trucks; it's Escalades and H2's weaving at 90 plus while the folks with expensive cars cower in the right lane. Keep in mind that the demographics for supercars are similar to those for wheelchairs -- very few youngsters.

Of course they're making it all up, but since the Insurance industry is large and powerful enough to do whatever it likes, no one really can refute them or argue successfully against them, so I'll go on paying twice as much to insure my car than Hard Drinking Harry does for his jacked up pickemup or that young lady in the 8000 pound behemoth who has a cigarette in one hand and a cellphone in the other who habitually uses four lanes in a turn and rolls through stop signs. Haven't had a claim in 40 years? Never mind, our records lead us to guess that I probably might be maybe sorta in a category that would lead someone on Mars to speculate that I might be dangerous.

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