Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Bob asks: I live up here in Herndon, VA. My auto insurance is through Elephant, outside of Richmond. My renewal comes up this week. I just called them to review some obvious info. For example, my daughter (just turned 21) is still on my policy. She has since secured her own auto insurance for her own car. So, I simply asked for her to be deleted from my policy. I was then put on hold for a few minutes, but not told why. When the rep came back, he asked for proof of my daughter’s new insurance policy due to underwriter’s requirement. Since when did this verification start? My daughter’s new insurance company is none of their business unless they are doing some stealth marketing research. I just said I will call the underwriters in the morning, not that I will get anywhere short of canceling the policy and moving to another company. Or am I out of touch with the whole auto insurance scheme? Thanks for any input!
My reply: I burn with hate for the insurance mafia – precisely because it is a mafia. They have wheedled the government into serving as its enforcer – threatening us with violence unless we buy their “services.” This accounts for the insolence you describe. A business that had to please its customers would never get away with such things. You could tell them to cancel the policy and go to hell – without repercussions (as I did with my home insurance policy – which I’m not yet forced to buy).
That said, I am not aware of any law which requires you to divulge the info about your daughter’s coverage. However, that doesn’t matter if the mafia requires it – because you’re compelled by law to buy “coverage” – and they know it. So they can make obnoxious demands (as well as charge you outrageous sums) because they know you have to buy their “services” – or the “services” of one of their government-backed rivals, which is a difference without a distinction.
You could cancel your policy, but I would counsel you not to do so before you have acquired a new one with another company. If you just cancel, it is a sure bet that every company you talk with will quote you obscene rates on the basis of your “cancelled” policy, which they will use as the excuse to fleece you even more than they otherwise would.
You have my sympathies, amigo… .
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