I ❤ my insurance company. They are so considerate. Generous too! Why, just today, I received a nice letter in the mail reminding me that I had only a few weeks left to respond to their offer.
OK. I have to stop.
First of all, I don’t think I can maintain the farce. Second, I’m not a big fan of über-sarcasm.
Rant it is, then!
According to the offer, I can double the level of accidental death protection without doubling my cost (their emphasis). At first you think that you can get double the coverage for the same premium, don’t you? Of course, buried in the text is the notation that this added coverage costs $5.42 a month. That amounts to about 20% of the initial premium.
At first I thought, “Forget it!” I did not appreciate the fact that the “special” offer was marked “urgent” and “this won’t last” and “act now!” However, I resisted the temptation to recycle the letter and thought it best that I talk with Reiner. After all, this is life and death, right?
When he got home, he read the fine print. Among the assorted disclaimers was this: basically, in order to qualify for the benefit, the deceased must become deceased at the scene of the accident. Death on the operating table does not qualify.
My mother was killed in a car crash. We children benefited from the double indemnity clause because it was an accident. She was at fault. She ran a red light and was t-boned by a transport truck. She died in hospital about 8 hours after the event.
If she was covered by this plan, however, and died today, we would not qualify for the benefits. Clever of them to close that little loop-hole, say what?
I don’t have a lot of good things to say about banks and insurance companies. Here in Canada, if you have a mortgage, you must have house insurance. If you make a claim on that insurance, it is not worth your while. The insurer increases the premiums, or declines coverage.
Meanwhile, I am approaching my retirement. I would like my savings to generate a decent rate of return. Guaranteed investment products pay 1.5% to 3% depending on the balance in your account. The inflation rate today sits at 2%. You do the math.
My only choice for a decent rate of return, say 6%, is to invest in the stock market, which, in my opinion, is no different from Black Jack or Roulette. Of course I have money in mutual funds and other investment products, but I’d like to be encouraged to invest in safer choices, like a bank. There was a time when a savings account generated a decent rate of return. Actually, around the time of my mom’s death in 1986, GIC rates, for instance paid between 6 and 10% which was just slightly higher than a bank account.
Today, if my balance is over 5 million dollars in a “high” interest savings account, I will earn a whopping 1.05% in return.
A friend works for one of the largest insurance companies in the world by market capitalization and employs about 30,000. According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, this company ranked number one for the amount of cash it holds. That is, six billion dollars (emphasis mine.)
Sit with that a moment and consider what that means. A company is so wealthy that it has billions of dollars, in cash, sitting around. Got it? Good.
So perhaps, then, you could explain to me why, according to my friend, she and her colleagues must work insane overtime hours, year round, because they are short-staffed. Why is it that the number one company cash-wise cannot afford to upgrade their IT network to one that… well, works. As opposed to one that is the patch upon patch with work-arounds out the ying-yang. This is the same company that consistently advertises for employees. People are jumping ship, left, right, and centre, the stressful working conditions are intolerable.
By the way, the most I could earn with this company’s GIC is 2.45%.
About the offer to increase my accidental death benefit? Yeah, thanks insurance company, but no thanks. I [dis]respectfully decline your invitation.
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