I got off the phone to my car insurer the other day and they wrapped it up with a "thank you for your 27 years of loyal service."
It kind of rocked my world I'd been that stable for so long. Who'd of thought, apart from an insurance company, that a person would pay so many premiums for so many years for what turns out, hopefully, to be so little. Guarding against that statistical chance that something bad might happen. That hadn't. Yet. Not to me anyhow.
Not really a thing you can begrudge I suppose: that you've never had a car accident or killed or injured someone while driving.
But being reminded how long I'd been insured sure undermined that notion I live on the edge. I consoled myself that the law requires you to take out these safety nets, which run so contrary to the gangsta instinct, and at the very core, you remain an outlaw. Just one with a healthy loyalty discount.
Part of me felt like an insurance junkie, heading back each year to the same dealer for a hit. Lining up repeatedly for something that doesn't happen. Talk about placebo effect. Or perhaps my dealer's ripping me off. I don't know, but that's insurance for you. Peace of mind.
I quickly checked to see if the same company had my life insurance, because after 27 years, I might be calling that in soon too. You never can tell right. Exactly! But no, I'm sucking off some other insurance teat for that one. Which kind of made me feel good because you don't want to be someone's slave, exclusively. That'd be a lazy tax. And of course we're all encouraged to gamble responsibly, which often gets mistaken to mean it's our responsibility to gamble.
So you take out life insurance as a bet you won't die and you pay a lifetime of premiums backing yourself in. And if you make it, no one gets a payout except the insurance company. Apparently that makes you the winner.
Hard to get your heard around that wager the longer you live. Getting older may have something to do with it. Cognitive decline and all that. Not sure. Just saying. What was I saying?
Oh yeah, health insurance. You take out health insurance just in case you win your bet with life insurance and end up needing an expensive stay at hospital.
Some might say "financially catastrophic" stay at hospital. Usually an insurance company salesperson or would-be beneficiary from that life insurance that is now not coming their way because you're still alive and hooked up to a drip.
My advice if you want to get the most out of your health insurance - get real sick. But be careful, going overboard is dead easy.
Thinking back to my car insurer thanking me for my 27 years of loyal service - imagine if my local bottleshop had said the same thing.
Apart from underestimating the number of years loyalty, there'd probably be something in the fine print that renders null and void any insurance you have against poor life choices, like not guarding against misfortune.