Insurance 101 – Undermining America for the Good of Americans

Insurance is like a myth. From one small seed of truth, a fairytale the size of 1000 giant sequoias has sprung up. Reality is blocked from view. Surely, youíve noticed all the giant, sequoia-like buildings are owned by banks and insurance companies. Where do they get all that money? How much money do the executives make? Who pays for it all? Grab a mirror. ìMagic mirror on the wall, whoís the biggest sucker of them all? Whatís that you said? The Masses!î

Insurance is yet another unquestioned social reflex. You just buy it. You must. The banker insists you have to purchase insurance or you donít get the loan. Your government orders you to buy auto insurance at any cost. Hence, it must be really good for you. Hell, why not stock up on some of the non-mandated insurances as well? You canít have too much of a good thing. Can you?

Somewhere in the dark, murky corners of our minds we hide our thoughts. Like The Emperorís New Clothes, no one screams out, ìBut he has nothing on!î or ìHey, this is just bullshit!î You are not alone in the darkness. We all think it. So you are no longer scared to speak, here are some of those secret thoughts voiced out loud for the first time:

1) If I speak out against insurance, I will be jinxed. My home will surely burn to the ground and I will look like a moron.

2) If I speak out against insurance, some pecker-head who heard me will have an accident and sue me because folks are not responsible for their own choices.

3) Insurance is betting against myself. Why would I bet against me?

4) If insurance companies must charge such high premiums because theyíre losing so much in payouts, how do they afford all those big buildings?

5) What do insurance companies sell? Air? Promises they intend to deny via small print? Contracts? Wouldnít I rather buy an IHOP franchise with that money?

6) If government represents the people, why do they make me, a people, a criminal when I cannot afford auto insurance to get to work and feed my family?

7) How much in dollars and perks do insurance lobbyists put into the pockets of politicians?

8) Do I really need trip-cancellation insurance? Why would I buy a dream trip, and then bet on my canceling it at the last moment?

9) If I put all the money I spend on insurance into the bank or toward building success, how much money would I have for coping with my problems on my own terms?

10) If I buy the extended warranty, will I remember I have it or be able to find it when my widget explodes?

11) Shouldnít companies make quality widgets that last three years in the first place?

12) And finally, did Jennifer Lopez really insure herself for hundreds of millions of dollars? What? She is already rich. The agent who sold this policy is phenomenal.

Yes, we all know the system is way out of hand! The blame lies with insurance companies, greedy bankers, spineless politicians and with the Masses unquestioningly supporting these absurdities. Every frivolous lawsuit provides government an excuse for mandating people be protected from themselves via costly insurances and removal of individual freedoms.

Before long, we will be required to carry Coffee-Burn riders on auto insurance and Cell- PhoneñEarring-Tear addendums on HMOs. These days Sleeping Beauty would have sued the castle owner (a.k.a. Dad) for that prick on the finger, lost wages from the coma and for trauma from the scar. Uninsured sewing needles would be outlawed throughout the kingdom.

With a system this out of control, how do you protect yourself? You cut the fat. Quit betting against yourself. Think about all those different types of insurance. Stop buying out of reflex and decide for yourself what you can kick to the curb. Consider the variety out there and what you truly must have.

Life Insurance is for betting you will die such a loser that you canít pay for your own funeral or leave your kids any inheritance. Extra Car InsuranceñHow much you betting that you will crash? Not to mention, homeownerís, mortgage, trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, unemployment, boat, credit card, business interruption, earthquake, disability, dental, smoker, expatriate, backpack traveler, winter sports, flood, warranty and health insurance. The list goes on.

Here is a new monument to the ludicrous: Terrorist Insurance. Itís even pushed at Art Gallery Ownerís in isolated communities of the Northern Great Plains. And, why not? No doubt Osama is crouching in an Afghan cave right now, plotting to rid the world of those pesky Remmington Cowboy bronzes.

Insurance agents prey upon these new fears like snakes on wounded mice. Apparently, companies want to terrorize you into buying coverage. Another possibility is a rebel SCUD aimed for Mount Rushmore may slam into a Canada Goose and go askew. It sucks when this happens! No doubt your goat ranch in Chug Water, Wyoming is in eminent danger from this likely chain of events. Perhaps, you should add a specific ëUnpasteurized-Cheese Addendumí to your Terrorist Policy. Call your agent today and ask them. See if they will sell you one.

The odds of you dying of a mosquito bite are better than the odds you will die at the hands of a terrorist. Well, crap! The government better permit companies to require we all carry Mosquito Insurance. Maybe you can get a DEET discount! Better still; why not turn over all our bothersome responsibility, like freedom and privacy, to the Feds. Then good olí Uncle Sam can protect citizens from the winged menaces that haunt our very souls.

Congress could raise taxes to fund Bug Inspectors. Their job would be to comb through your private life, home and property looking for freestanding water. They would not look for anything else (roll eyes here). Still cancer and glaucoma patients might want to keep the baggies away from the birdbath.

Speaking of cancer, the Air Force could spray us all from above with a perfectly ìsafeî mixture of insecticides called Agent Tan. Coincidently, that day your governor vacations far away. Is there anybody in his or her right mind who would elect an insurance salesman to public office? Of course, both politicians and insurers are selling you hot air, so perhaps it is a match made in HÖ

A very few insurances are worth buying, such as liability insurance for cars and real estate. Once you have something to lose, itís a sure bet some lazy troll with an entitlement-mentality will try to sue you. In this case, you want the giants on your side. Insurance companies provide lawyers to run evil little trolls back under their bridges.

Insurance prices in America are out of control. The wide range of insurance the bureaucracy would have us believe we cannot live without is genuinely insulting. Buying all the coverage companies would have you believe you need wastes thousands of your dollars each year. Look over policies and eliminate what you can. Insurance is just legalized gambling. If you are betting against yourself, how can you take a gamble on yourself? Pursue your dreams instead!

Do You Need Identity Theft Insurance? And What Is It Anyway?

With the serious nature of identity theft, many people are turning to identity theft insurance as a method of protecting themselves from the ramifications resulting from this crime. But what exactly is identity theft insurance? Do I really need it and how much will it cost me?

Identity theft insurance coverage varies in coverage, deductible and costs, just like many other forms of insurance. In most cases identity theft insurance will cover lost wages due to time taken off work to correct or repair damages due to identity theft. However, this coverage often carries a limit, in the approximate amount of $2,000.00. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse estimates that victims spend on the average the equivalent of 22 work days trying to correct the damage from identity theft.

Identity theft insurance usually also provided benefits coverage for: attorney fees (which may or may not be necessary); notarization of documents, mailing, postage, supplies, copy costs, and phone bill charges which you may incur in an effort to correct the damage done to your credit and financial reputation.

Critics of identity theft insurance claim that it is ìnot worth the money,î (Consumer Reports magazine, as reported on or that it does not provide enough benefits. The concerns include: identity theft insurance does not provide reimbursement for money that is stolen or for identity theft expenses that occurred because of who the ìthiefî was. Most commonly a family member is the culprit in the case of identity theft and in that instance most insurance does not pay benefits. A word of caution by The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is that insurance ìcannot protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft and does not cover direct monetary losses incurred as a result of identity theft.î Although, an unfair criticism, some conclude that the purchase of identity theft insurance may create a false sense of security, thus consumers may not be as careful with their credit and financial information.

The cost of identity theft insurance cost varies on both the coverage and how you obtain your insurance. Identity theft insurance can range from free to approximately $200.00 a year depending on how you have purchased it. There are three main ways to obtain identity theft insurance:

– As a provision in your homeowners or rental property insurance
– As a service of your credit card company, bank or lender
– By purchasing it as an individualóìstand aloneî policy

The first step in obtaining identity theft insurance is to contact your banks, credit cards, lenders and insurance providers. Determine what coverage you have, how much it will costs to add additional coverage or to add identity theft to an existing policy and get details of the existing provision if it exist. You may need to purchase it as a ìriderí or extra to your existing policy much like purchasing flood or earthquake insurance ñ but not as expensive.

In some cases credit lender; such as the credit card company, mortgage or other loan provider, provide identity theft insurance. This coverage may be free or it may require a yearly service fee through the lender. For example, American Express provides some form of identity theft insurance to its card holders free of charge; MasterCard offers it through the specific banking partners and VISA may do a combination of both options. One word of caution, make sure that the identity theft insurance covers all your existing credit, not just the one card associated with the coverage. If it only covers one card, that what happens to the remainder of your credit?

One other option is to purchase your own ìstand aloneî policy through most of the major insurance providers such as Nationwide, State Farm, and/or Farmers Group. If you are not using a ìmajorî player in the insurance field be sure that the company you are purchasing from is reputable. Sometimes these are the most dangers purchases of all as they may be an effort to gain your credit information for the sole purpose of identity theft. If your insurance provider bills this coverage monthly, be sure to multiply the monthly cost by 12 to determine the yearly costs. Most importantly make sure to keep your coverage current.

Another consideration when utilizing identity theft insurance is the level of deductible. Generally the range from $100 to $250, but some may be as high as $1,000. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that the average victim spends less than $1,500 to recover from identity theft so it important to do the math and determine if your insurance premium plus deductible is a good value as well as provides the right level of protection for you and your family.

Nothing can protect you completely. It is important to follow all the basic rules for protecting your credit, identity, and financial information like: keeping your personal and credit information in a safe place, not releasing the information to others and shredding all documents. But it is also good to know that you can also have for free or purchase additional assistance in the form of coverage and monetary support during one of the most difficult financial times in your life.

Finding out about damages to your identity and credit is just the beginning. After that begins the time consuming and often frustrating process of repairing the damage and correcting the mistakes. Identity theft insurance may be your choice to help you through this expensive and frustrating task. Make sure you know what options and coverage are available to you.