Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2000

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / April 29, 2000

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’ve never truly understood insurance. I’vewritten articles about insurance and bought insurance and used insurance, but I still don’t really understand it.

In fact, just mention insurance to me and it’s all I can do to ward off an attack of yawns. Still, there are insurance professionals who are enrapturedwith the process which, to me, is simply a way of printing free money.

Deductables really get to me. All right. I pay hundreds of dollars a year forinsurance on my truck. Then, when something happens which is totally notmy fault, I have to pony up hundreds more before insurance companies bend to pay out a few pennies – if anything.

Does this sound like a man who doesn’t understand how the system works? Darned right it does.

Recent case in point – my truck was recently broken into as it was parked overnight in front of my house. The driver’s side door lock was pried openand the CD player/radio was neatly removed.

I take it in to the “adjuster” who examines it carefully, putting mysterious entries into his laptop computer and taking digital photos of the empty spot in my dashboard. He returns to his desk, makes a few phones calls to getestimates on replacement and repair costs and proudly announces to me that because of my $500 deductable and the $478 estimate, the insurance company will pay out exactly diddly.

On the other hand, with my medical insurance, if I pay the deductable during the course of a year, everything beyond that point is picked up by the insurance company. When I had my double-hernia surgery, what could haveknocked me back thousands of dollars ended up costing me perhaps $50.

That I can handle. That I can believe.Life insurance is a whole ‘nother matter. I have life insurance. It’s not a”term” life insurance policy, but rather it’s a “whole life” policy. Whateverthat means. I don’t know. I don’t really want to know. All it means to me isthat when I die, my wife pockets a few thousand which will likely all be spent on burying me – if it covers that.

And, since we have no children, when both of us are dead, nobody gets anything of the money we paid for decades into the policy – except perhaps the funeral home or any other outstanding creditors.

Since I’ve jokingly told my wife I fully expect to outlive her, I plan on spending the insurance settlement and any other assets I have before I kick off. Thatway, my creditors can go whistle for their money after I’m gone.

It’s a tough world out there. You’re betting you’ll die so your family will getpaid. They’re betting you’ll live so they won’t have to pay anything. And youhope they lose.

As I said, don’t talk to me about insurance. I have a closed mind to thesubject.


LEONARD GRAY is a reporter for L’Observateur.

Copyright © #Thisyear# Wick Communications, Inc.Best viewed with 4.0 or higher