Monday, October 25, 2021

Wanna Bet?



By Monte Lazarus

This week’s rant is about INSURANCE, legalized gambling in which we bet against our longevity, bodies and minds, homes, cars, art and jewelry, ability to avoid hurting other people or their property, and myriad other things.

Consider life insurance. Whether we buy whole life, term or other form, we rely on our knowledge that, so far, nobody has lived forever. We pay insurance companies to make lucrative investments so they get very rich and our survivors are paid off when we kick off – and then they have even more reason to tell everyone how wonderful we were in life.

Health insurance seems to be an endless issue. It’s expensive, and the United States ranks far below other Western nations in cost and quality. If we are lucky enough to survive 65 years we get on Medicare, but we then need “secondary” insurance to cover a chunk of what Medicare does not cover. So, we wind up with two coverages and lots of paper in our paperless society.

We even insure our vision, including eyeglasses and contact lenses, and teeth for those of us fortunate to have any remaining. We can also pay for health insurance for our pets so that Fido and Fifi can have coverage.

Then there’s automobile insurance for those times when we bop someone else’s vehicle or person, and when someone else bops us. Not only are law suits expensive, but auto repairs seem to get more expensive as our cars get more sophisticated, so automobile insurance is a must.

We insure against floods, fire, earthquakes (I think) and other miserable things that happen to our homes. Our friends and neighbors also cover whatever jewelry and art they are lucky enough to have.

Do you fear flying? Yep, there’s still flight insurance. In the olden days insurance counters were sprinkled all around major airports. No longer. However, we can still buy it and bet against the airplane and/or the pilot. It’s a twofer.

Athletes insure their arms and legs and, maybe, other body parts. Singers insure their voices. Professionals buy Errors and Omissions policies and bet against their own abilities to be professionals and avoid mistakes.

If there’s anything not yet covered that venerable company, Lloyd’s of London, will do it for a handsome sum. Those Brits love to bet. There was once a rumor that Marlene Dietrich insured her legs…or was it Betty Grable? There are fewer and fewer of us who remember that far back.

Oops, gotta go. I forgot to get trip insurance for our next vacation…

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