It's not about the house.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Insure vs. Ensure

There’s a lot of talk these days about insurance. Homeowner’s insurance, I mean, specifically.

Wildfires rage in San Diego, and commentators on NPR (on NPR!) are speculating that maybe these people just shouldn’t live in an area that tends to burn. Or, if they insist on living there, maybe they should expect to take the heat.

This same talk was happening two years ago, when certain houses in certain places were floating clear away. Except the metaphor that time was whether these people should expect to be bailed out.

But the thing is, most of us? We don’t choose where we reside base on its geo-meteorological conditions. Most of us live in the general area where we were raised. If not, then we probably moved here for a job. Some of us, certainly, retired to where we hoped we wouldn’t have to freeze to death or shovel snow – but we didn’t choose an isolated spot and build a house. Not unless we were rich enough not to have to worry about the repercussions in the first place.

Me, I live where I grew up. Not specifically, but within 50-60 miles of it. And when I bought this house I discovered that I had to pay extra insurance dividends because it’s in a “high wind area.” Granted, those high winds were what blew the tree branch into the house, which punched the hole in the roof, which started the back half of the house rotting away, which made it so that poor, poor pitiful us could afford to buy the AssVac in the first place. But it goes to show: you never know where danger's gonna come from.

You don’t. You don't know. But the insurance companies sure as hell do. They have whole fleets of boring people whose job it is to run the numbers on just this sort of thing. And if they insured you there, then they have to pay.

As I understand what’s going on, they are. Or have. Or will. I don’t mean to imply that any company is shirking on its contracts. It’s the guilt trip about the whole thing that’s got my knickers in a twist. So herewith, a ten-step proposal:

How All Of Us Can Live Happily Without Costing Anybody Anything

1. Wherever you live, it’s a danger. Move.
2. Take nothing with you. Your things are just a burden on us all.
3. When you get there, hunker down. Bad times are coming.
4. And when I say “hunker down,” I mean like this:

5. Of course, you can’t insure that. It’s just dirt.
6. But dirt is where we come from to begin with.
7. And where we all are headed, anyway.
8. So just suck it up and suffer till it’s over.
9. And be glad when you’re dead you bastard, you!

Okay, that was only nine steps. But they were fun, weren’t they?


Anonymous said...

Hey, insurance companies have no intention of paying a claim, no matter what you pay in premiums! This is experience talking; just ask Travelers! They rejected my claim when my 20 year roof leaked all over the place in 15 years...They didn't believe that it leaked like a sieve during an ice/ rainstorm last winter. So now we are out the 20 + grand we've paid them over the years (and never used) and get to repair the ceilings on our own. We've grown to like the brown designs curving around the place...

Unknown said...

When I wore a younger man's clothes, we moved from the Midwest to San Diego. We were initially concerned about earthquakes, not fires, and so were the insurance companies. You know, if you had to ask how much earthquake insurance cost .... I expect the same will happen with fire insurance. I think we'll just hunker down and try to remember the 9th step when the time comes.

Sparkle Plenty said...

9. And be glad when you’re dead you bastard, you!
10. But, before you kick the bucket, make sure to pay huge amounts of money for health insurance. We'll decide whether we want to pay out if you get a dread disease and/or fatal side-effect from an ill-tested pharmaceutical!
10. And while we're at it, make sure you have OODLES of life insurance because it costs $80,000 to bury you 'neath the Banks of Plum Creek and you'll need post-death flooding hazard insurance. No, forget it. We're not gonna insure your casket. Let's do the Logan's Run thing--it's tidier.

Rat bastid insurance companies! Not that you struck a nerve with me or anything...

Have a great weekend, ege! :-)

Khurston said...

I'm just going to sit quietly over here in the corner and pretend I work for a kitten farm.

Anonymous said...

Are not these the names of products marketed to the aging g-g-g-generation. Ensure nutritional supplement and Insure undergarments. Does perhaps one cause the need for the other? And has ony one noticed that they are not unlike the products used by newborns - milk and nappys;)