Archive for October, 2010

Insurance Deductibles

Posted in Law, Money on October 24, 2010 by daviddiel

Suppose your best friend were to come to you tomorrow and say that he was being chased by the mafia, and he needs to leave the country and never return. He doesn’t want to burden you too much, but he is asking for whatever you can afford without any expectation to be paid back in the future. How much would you give him? Your insurance deductibles should be at least on par with this number.

Variable Insurance Coverage

Posted in Health & Food, Law, Money, Sports and Recreation on October 24, 2010 by daviddiel

How much insurance is covering you right now? Without even putting a dollar value on it, how many types of coverage do you have? Did you make these choices, or were they chosen for you?

Sitting here in my apartment, I am double covered. If I walk over to my yoga mat, I am triple covered. But, if I walk down the street and hold up a protest sign, then I am completely exposed to the financial disaster known as medical liability. These circumstances are not of my choosing, and the existing health insurance laws in the US, Massachusetts in particular, actually prevent me from buying full 24/7 coverage without adding it on top of all of my other insurance.

Allow me to explain the marvel of injustice that insurance companies have conspired to create.

I rent an apartment just outside of Boston. As far as I know, every landlord in the area requires renter’s insurance for the property, and mine requires medical liability for myself and others.

I work at a company which provides substantial health coverage. If it were up to me, I would customize this insurance plan by making all of the deductibles equal, and raising them to something like $10000. It would be sad to pay such an amount, but wait a second… In the past four years of employment, my company has paid much more than that amount for insurance instead of putting it into my paycheck. I should cancel this plan, and get one that suits me better, right? No, not really. Strangely enough, if I turn it down, then I only get roughly 1/4 back in my pay check, or 1/6 after taxes.

I’m also a yoga instructor, so I’ve got yoga insurance. The government didn’t make me buy it, but every landlord and studio requires it, so again it’s a forced move. It covers me while doing or teaching yoga as well as my students and the venue. The standard coverage is probably enough to pay for hundreds of funerals in case somebody explodes and takes down the whole building.

Oops, I forgot something. Gosh, that always happens at just the wrong time. Did you read the fine print in the insurance document that your employer sold you? I did, and it says that I am not covered while participating in a protest. It’s hard to avoid the feeling that I have been manipulated here. Either my company or I would have to take on substantial financial burden for me to be covered while holding up a sign that reads “I protest the current senate bill” versus a sign that reads “I like the color blue”.

Finally, I can’t drive a car without insurance, so I’ve got that too.

All of this forced insurance coverage begs the question “What does society want to protect me from?” The answer: Doing yoga on the roof of my car while parked in the garage of my apartment complex. For that, I am quadruple covered.