A Wallet Shield Would be Better . . .

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Fear is more than just the mind killer – to crib a line from Frank Herbert’s Dune books. It is also arguably one of the main reasons why so many people have so little money – because they’ve spent so much of it to ease their fear about the possibility of having to spend it.

Fear (plus government) is what makes insurance such a profitable business – because there’s very little overhead selling fear. It’s not like you get anything in return for the money spent, after all. You can spend tens of thousands on insurance and have nothing to show for it.

Most people end up with exactly that.

Imagine being on the other end of that deal!

One of the worst such deals going – for the people who buy into such deals – is CarShield, which you’ve probably heard about because it’s almost impossible to not hear about it as CarShield ads are ubiquitous, especially on conservative talk radio. Which is one of the reasons why conservative talk radio is so obviously corrupt as well as terrible. The big-name millionaire hosts – Hannity, for instance – read ad copy for CarShield, peddling fear to people who can’t afford to pay for it.

CarShield putatively sells “vehicle service plans” that cover the cost of big-ticket car repairs irrespective of the age/mileage of your vehicle. Mark that. And think (the antidote to fear) about the shady no-exam-needed life insurance peddlers who promise to “cover” anyone who calls right now, even if they are 80 years old and have had three heart bypass operations already.

Similarly, CarShield says “get your vehicle covered by the ultimate in vehicle service protection before it’s too late.”

Italics added – and no exam needed.

Think (again) about this kind of deal. And then think about what Mark Twain said – about how difficult it is to cheat an honest man. These deals depend not only on fear but on the mark thinking he’s not the mark. CarShield peddles its “vehicle service protection” to people who think they’ll be able to get CarShield to cover the expense of a $4,500 transmission replacement for their 14-year-old vehicle with 185,000 miles that isn’t worth $4,500 itself – because they are smarter than CarShield; that CarShield is actually dumb enough to agree to such a deal – which is a deal of a piece with the “no exam needed” over-the-phone life insurance policies that promise $100,000 in benefits for only $100 per month!

The $100 per month being the only part of these deals that holds up. You pay, in other words – hoping you’ll be “covered.” They collect your payments . . .  .

CarShield promises that you’ll be protected from “expensive surprises”- and that’s true, in a way. You won’t be surprised by the expense of the CarShield service protection plan. The bill comes once a month.

Unlike the possible expense for a needed repair that may never come An expense that you’d probably have the money to pay for if it does come – if you hadn’t already spent it on CarShield’s “service plan,” which almost certainly won’t pay for anything expensive that comes up because that’s not how a business like this make money.

This is the key thing to think about when it comes to such “plans” – and to insurance, generally. It is a business that depends on odds that are almost always in its favor – and hence the offer. It is an offer that implicitly depends on you paying them and rarely them paying you.

This is something worth thinking about.

Also, this:

How much money would you have available to pay for “expensive repairs” if you put $100 into a cookie car each month for just-in-case? After just one year, you’d have $1,200 – and after three, you’d have $3,600. Money enough to just about pay for many – if not most – “expensive repairs” in cash. And the key thing to think about is that the odds are you will not have to pay for such an “expensive repair” over any given three-year period. This isn’t a supposition or even much of a gamble. It is an actuarial-statistical probability depended upon by outfits such as CarShield and the insurance mafia, generally. It is how these business make money. Which they do by not losing money. They depend on you losing money.

To them.

Yes, of course, it is possible you might have to deal with an unexpected “expensive repair.” Just the same as a 25-year-old might possibly have to deal with a major medical expense. But the odds are in your favor that such expenses will not arise – and if you don’t allow fear to cloud your judgment, the smart money is to save yours, in order to have it. Which leads to having more of it the longer you save rather than spend it. And that, in turn, leads to being able to afford to pay for “expensive repairs” if they arise.

And to being able to pay for other things – if they don’t.

. . .

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50 COMMENTS

  1. Eric, great article.

    Don’t even get me started on “Pet Insurance”. The new moniker of “Pet Parents” makes me ill.

    • Thanks, David!

      I have been arguing for years that, as a general thing, insurance is a great way to remain poor. That it is better to live in such a way as to reduce your risks – and save money rather than spend it.

  2. Apple’s Tim Crook:

    @tim_cook

    It’s personal, powerful, and private—and it’s integrated into the apps you rely on every day.

    Introducing Apple Intelligence—our next chapter in AI.

    Tesla’s Elon Musk:

    Don’t want it.

    Either stop this creepy spyware or all Apple devices will be banned from the premises of my companies.

    https://tinyurl.com/5aw7yvy2

    Spyware has rendered telematics-equipped vehicles made in the last dozen years a no-go zone. Now it’s invading Apple ‘devices.’

    Qui s’excuse s’accuse.’ How much spyware do Tesla EeeVees deploy, with their creepy over-the-air updates?

    Pray for a 21st century Carrington event to wipe this poisoned slate clean. Fried chips, bitchez. Got ketchup?

  3. Hubby and I went shopping up in NOVA this past weekend. He bought a pair of sunglasses. The sales clerk tried her best to add an extended warranty for a pair of sunglasses. Really? It wouldn’t surprise me to walk into Saks one day and have the sales associate ask if I would like an extended warranty for my Ferragamo shoes. Personally, I am surprised they are not already doing this. “This will cover the hardware of the shoe and once a year you can bring it back and have it resoled.” Blah, blah, blah.

    A few weeks ago I went to go visit my boobologist (aka annual mammogram X-ray). I am not real good with the “annual” part. More like every few years. I don’t have health insurance so of course, when checking in I get the sales pitch that if I would complete the financial aid packet it “may be covered”. I shook my head no and told her I would like to pay cash. She continued her sales pitch that it would not hurt to see if I qualified. I do what I usually do when backed into a corner. I smiled, said “no” good and loud, and told her I had no interest in applying. Since I was “self pay” I had no bill due at that time. Everyone checking in around me had co pays of $15 to $50. What is the point of paying health insurance at $600 per person per month if you still need to come out of pocket?

    • Concerning “Cancer Screenings” for otherwise healthy people you might want to check out Vinay Prasad on jewtube. He’s an oncologist himself who is slowly awakening from the Covid Madness to the failure of all of Western Medicine.

      tldr version is most of such “screenings” have never been shown to prolong life and are simply another tentacle of the terrible profit machine.

  4. Car Shield, like any other gambling operation, is based on making people think they can “beat the house”. Problem is, if you had a reasonable chance to “beat the house” there wouldn’t be any “house”.

    The Injuns near us just broke ground on a $700 million casino. Just exactly where do you think they’re getting the money?

    • I turned down a $5,500 CPO package for 2 year coverage on a 5-year old used Porsche which I bought, because I view these warranties as a profit maker and thought I’d beat the odds. It’s now two years later, and I’ve paid about $14,000 in repairs which would have been covered. You win some, and you lose some, and in my case, I lost. Ah well. I wouldn’t have played it differently, though.

      • Obviously I don’t know the specifics of your car issues but, I doubt they would not have found a loophole to slither through to get out of paying the whole freight. Modern Porsches are electronic nightmares just waiting to happen. Chasing fault codes can be a Sisyphean task, microswitches, bcms and other contrived complexities make these cars money pits.

        • Nah, they’d have covered it. It was a factory Porsche CPO warranty. Had I known the future, I would have bought it.

          I had the rear differential ($6k), transfer case ($7k) and electric parking brake ($1k) fail. The last one I did myself, that’s just the parts cost.

          • Aftermarket warranties are sketchy by design, but I’d have told you to buy that CPO dealer warranty, and also that knowledge is power. What does the open market & buyers/users of those vehicles have to say about the trials and travails of owning and operating what you’re looking at buying??? The beauty of buying a warranty, especially from a dealer, is the bargaining power you have, for me, it was no, no, no, until they dropped in cost, to literally a third of the original asking price, from $4500 to $1500 before I bought it. The $4500 transmission replacement (covered) a few years later was all worth it. And that was a Honda Pilot!!!

            History doesn’t repeat itself,
            But it sure does rhyme….

            For any European vehicle, purchased outside of manufacturer’s warranty, the buyer should get some kind of aftermarket or extended CPO warranty. Just look at any blog for performance vehicle repair expenses, Porsche, Lambo, Ferrari, BMW, MB, even mundane makes such as VW, Fiat, etc, and the repair/replacement costs are staggeringly extravagant.

            The last 3 new autos I’ve bought in the last 20 years, I paid extra for the maximum extended warranty offered by the dealer. It’s saved me literally over ten grand, and counting…but YMMV…

            Good Luck!!!

          • What is up with a rear differential ($6k) failing? In a couple of million miles of driving, I have never heard of such a thing.

        • My ’97 GTI put me off European cars for good. Sunroof motor went out…couldn’t drive the car because it was hooked into the bcm security system.

  5. Conservative talk radio also seems to heavily advertise term life insurance, buying gold, buying seeds, buying prepper food, and cheap dick pills/ED assistance. This speaks volumes as to why the target audience falls for the Orange Man and his MAGA bullshit. All limp-dicked rubes and dupes.

  6. But the rapper Ice-T recommends CarShield. He knows what he’s talking about, right?

    His net worth is estimated at $65 million, yet we’re to believe this:

    “Nobody likes it when their check engine light comes on, especially when your car is out of warranty. That can mean expensive repair bills. That’s why I have CarShield.”

    The O.G should have just used his own lyrics:

    “E drew the Glock, yo my set’s aiming
    Dumb Motherfucker
    Try to roll on me, please
    I’m protected by [CarShield]
    And hoodlums and hustlers
    And bangers with Jheri curls
    We won’t even count the girls
    Cause [CarShield’s] got my back
    And I got theirs too
    Fight for the streets
    When I’m on Oprah or Donahue
    They try to sweat a nigga
    But they just didn’t figure
    That my wits as quick as a hair trigger”

  7. The CarShield contract contains arbitration and venue clauses. I practiced contract law, and told my clients to NEVER sign a contract that contained the word “arbitration.” Venue clause: you live in Maine, but must file any lawsuit in Colorado. Both of these clauses evidence corporate contractual fuckery.

    Plus, the contract doesn’t cover squat.

    I own a 2007 Honda Civic Si, yearly maintenance, tell my repair shop to fix anything that looks as though it may go out. Works for me.

    I also worked construction: “Take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you.”

    More advice: Don’t eat anything that lists “hydrogenated” or “High Fructose” or “sucralose” or “Splenda” as ingredients.

    • My wife was having an issue with her heart, she visited the doctor. The doctor prescribed heart medication. Her heart rate and pressures were wild and off the charts.

      She stopped using the medication, her heart rate, diastolic and systolic became more or less normal and has been since she stopped using the prescribed medication. She has been fine since.

      Medicine is in serious question. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

  8. Eric is my hero for taking on topics that others won’t broach.

    In an era where most of the populace is functionally illiterate and incapable of understanding math and statistics, extended warranties are the ultimate scam.

    Always amazes me when Harbor Frieght ties to sell me an extended warranty on a $20 heat gun or some other low buck tool. What amazes (disappoints me) more is watching people buy them 🙁

  9. Selling life insurance to 80 year olds, then the other end “Gerber” life insurance for the kids. What a scam. Who are toddlers supporting? No one. “But but … they might not be insurable later in life!” Yeah, if it’s that bad they won’t be married or have kids to support anyway.

    Another lack/failure of financial education. “Humm, wife, two kids, mortgage. Might be prudent to carry a reasonable amount of low cost term insurance at least till the kids are grown.” vs “I’m single no kids renting, yep sign me up for whole life million dollars woo hoo!”

    Also the car coverage, shop around! You have years to figure it out before the factory coverage expires. Instead of $3000 at time of purchase how about three years later $1700 for a factory issued policy via a dealer selling this online for this steep discount.

  10. Our house has been paid off for years but I keep the insurance active for the liability coverage. With so many lawyer ads on the teevee I do worry about some shyster “tripping” on my property (even though the sidewalk is city property) and calling 1-800 Ask Gary or similar to sue me for everything I own. As far repairing damage I’ve always done my own repairs to make sure it’s done properly and the insurance mafia doesn’t raise my rates.

      • In some instances, fear is warranted. Though my home is paid off too, I keep the insurance on it not only for liability; I keep it in case of fire and stuff like that. Have you seen home prices lately? Do you have any idea what it would cost to rebuild from a fire or something similar?

        • In my lifetime, I’ve never known anyone who lost a house to a fire. Never. Statistically, it’s close to 0 chance of your house burning down. Is it possible? Sure. There’s a difference between possibility and probability.

          The insurance mafia has a firm grasp on psychological science and how to exploit the behaviors that were once beneficial to human survival.

          Why give a big chunk of your hard earned money to exploiters of human psychology?

  11. Arthur Godfrey advertised Chesterfields until he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    Always a snake oil salesman roaming the countryside knowing there will be gullible people who are looking for an elixir to cure their ills. Dr. Merriweather added a dozen rattle snake heads to his barrel of liquid mixtures in the snake oil.

    “Gives it strength,” said the doctor. It’s always in the movies, Little Big Man is an all-time favorite.

    Car Shield is the same, talks a good game, but you know they won’t deliver.

    Your basic run-of-the-mill swindle.

    Becomes a swindle and you are the hapless victim.

    • This medical system of Paracelsus is the foundation on which modern allopathic medicine is built

      Did you know that the “father” of pharmacology….Paracelsus was an occultist?
      He was a worshiper of Satan! He is a hero in the church of satan today…..

      This was a very radical practice during his time. He treated many diseases with mercury better known as quicksilver. Many physicians who bought into Paracelsus method and used quicksilver (mercury), also known as Quack Salber, were known as “quacks”. This was a very rebellious way of treating the body at the time……Many died as a result of Paracelsus way of treatment.

      So the doctors that used allopathic medicine in the 1500’s were called quacks (allopathic medicine is using poisonous drugs and injections to cure diseases)….

      pharmacon = poison, pharmakeia = sorcery, witch craft, witches
      pharmaceutical = drugs made from petrochemicals (oil).

      Entering a Doctor’s office is entering an occult temple….

      William Rockefeller copied Paracelsus…a snake oil salesman….

      John Rockefeller created the monopoly……
      his father William was a snake oil salesman posing as a fake doctor, pedaling fake cures, he was also a horse thief and was indicted for rape in 1849………pedaling fake cures….looks like the son is too…..and his helper fauci…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zht0ok2DAQU

      • allopathic medicine has great roots…haha….

        why would anyone trust it?….

        it now consumes 40% of GDP?…a great racket…..

  12. Contrary to my shopaholic former wife’s notions, you cannot save money by spending it. Which is likely why I now have enough cash on hand to buy a more than decent used car (don’t want a new one). Carshield is not selling their product because they are losing money on it.

  13. I’m at the age where I start to notice my own mental decline. I also see it in my father, who is in early-mid stage dementia, and my mother, who seems to be regressing. I used to wonder how little old ladies got scammed out of their money by unscrupulous degenerates -the 1980s TV preachers come to mind, but now I’m not so sure it can’t happen to anyone.

    Thing is, the death of centralized mass media will bring out even more shysters and conmen. The sales team has a lot of inventory to sell. And it’s like produce, the closer it gets to airtime, the more desperation to dump it. Because an unsold ad slot is like a banana, and watching it turn black on the shelf is torture for the sales manager. Better to sell it for a penny than to run a PSA or house ad. Of course the agency buyers figure this out so they wait until the last minute and lowball the sales manager for unsold inventory, which of course makes more work for the traffic and billing department, requires a lot of shuffling around in operations and a mad scramble if the ad comes in late (at least back in the days of shipping tape around. These days I’m sure it’s just a file transfer).

    At this point I think just about all nationally syndicated radio shows work the commission ad model, where the ad runs for free but the station/network make a commission on every product sold. This is nothing new, the old compilation LP records of the 1970s and 80s were all sold on that model. I wonder if there’s an ongoing revenue stream from these “insurance” packages? Of course Beck and Infowars have their own products, which is another innovation and even harder to recognize in the age of podcasts and streaming.

  14. There are nothing but con-jobs everywhere you turn. These vehicle “protection” plans have more loopholes than a politicians “promise to do plans” if you vote for me. One can go on YouTube or Rumble and hear any mechanic shop tell of their experiences of dealing with these shysters and having to break the bad news to the auto owners. Just wait until these EV owners are “offered” repair plans for their rolling devices! About the only plan that these repair warranty businesses are banking on are the plans to sucker the hapless customers out of every cent they have!

    • ‘Just wait until these EV owners are “offered” repair plans for their rolling devices!’ — Allen

      Extended battery warranty! You got a business plan for that? I want in on the ground floor.

      We could hire Michael Cohen as counsel.

      And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
      We call it riding the gravy train

      — Pink Floyd, Have a Cigar

  15. This sounds eerily like all these pharma commercials on TV claiming that if you take their drug or vaccine, you’ll be protected from X.

    I’ve also gotten calls and stuff in the mail claiming that if I don’t call so & so, the warranty on my vehicle was going to expire. However, I own a 25+ year old vehicle that is paid off and I’ve NEVER had any sort of warranty on it.

  16. Hold on a second. You mean Glen Beck gets paid to tell me I should get Car Shield? I thought he was just trying to help me. Now I’m getting disillusioned.

    That said if you are buying a used car from a manufactures used car lot you do have the option of buying a warranty from them. With the increasing complexity and ensuing higher repair costs it might be a good idea if you are incapable or travel long distances with no access to your home shop. Decades ago I probably broke even on what the dealer would have charged vs what I paid for the warranty but I knew people who got twice as much in repairs as what they paid for the warranty.

    An even worse scam are those little boxes that they screw onto your car that somehow stops rust and corrosion. But apparently you have to pay for a yearly inspection and even if the car rusts they argue with you over it and at best they pay you the cars rusty value and then take the car.

    • Beck. The last time I heard his show, Beck had just returned from a vacation in Yellowstone, and he went on an epic rant about how something needed to be done to limit the teeming masses overwhelming the park these days, following the pandemic.

      It was a telling hour of radio, revealing that Beck is just another one of the elites with plans for us that we may not like.

      He certainly seemed in favor of limiting access to cars for most that morning.

      As for Hannity, is he just a millionare? He owns many rental properties scattered across the US and amassed quite a financial empire using the cash flow from the radio contract.

      Back when they were competitors, Neal Boortz used to call Hannity “Cutie Pie”. I think that label is apt.

      • Off topic, but the National Park Service is a hot mess and fantastic example of the failure of public management. Reagan caught a ton of flak for pushing the service toward a more “revenue neutral” model (similar to the Post Office), introducing a fee structure, but unfortunately left it under direct control of the DC syndicate, so it continued to be a political pawn. Instead of being a park in the sense of a place to relax and enjoy yourself, the mandate shifted to one of preservation, turning the national parks into massive museums where one may look, but don’t touch (unless you have a permit). So of course all you can do is drive through Yellowstone, looking. But keep off the grass please. It is very delicate and might not survive your afternoon picnic. Meanwhile, in the areas outside of the parks, many of them every bit as beautiful and breathtaking, you can do what you want.

        And of course there’s an aspect of the parks that isn’t mentioned: the tourist visa. Every year millions of Europeans and Asians do the park loop out west, looking at all the American beauty. They’re used to not being allowed to touch anything, so for them it’s perfect. It gets so bad that in many of the parks they had to put instructions up as to how to properly use a pit toilet!

      • The last time I heard a Glenn Beck show was at least ten years ago, after he spent about an hour singing high praises of Ape Lincoln.

      • Both Beck and Hannity are shills for israel, Beck wishing that he could go and fight with the IOF (israel occupation forces) and Hannity openly denying on his radio show that the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was attacked by “poor little israel”. Hannity openly denied that this “act of war” ever took place, declaring that “israel is our friend and never would have done such a thing” (his exact words”.
        Neither can be trusted.

    • I carry tools in the car and fix it on the side of the road….

      Buy an older car that is simpler, easier to work on…..learn how to fix/maintain it….

      It is hard to find mechanics that can fix your car and do good work….you have to do it yourself…it will be ten times quicker and cheaper……

      • Same here. A basic set of Hobo Freight tools and a good jack in the trunk. Also, I try to visually inspect under the hood for obvious issues at least once a week.

        Easy.

        When I was considering an old 70’s muscle car for a daily driver a few years ago, everywhere I looked people said it couldn’t/shouldn’t be done. It can be. I’ve been driving my 79 Firebird to work for 2 years now with minimal issues. It’s never stranded me on the side of the road. And I’m no mechanic.

        The thing about an old car is, even if there’s a problem, a guy can fix it “good enough” to limp it back home if it comes to that.

  17. Mercifully, conservative talk radio doesn’t exist in my world. I shun those zionist imposters like rat poison. But robocalls from spoofed numbers nearly always are peddling auto warranty plans.

    Years ago, they used to send direct mail appeals, stating that ‘the warranty on your [15-year-old vehicle with 150,000 miles] is about to expire!’ — an obvious, absurd lie. Why would anyone deal with a company that lies to them from the get-go?

    The FCC cautions consumers about warranty scammers in a posted warning. But it’s just lip service. Incompetence or corruption? Probably both. While 10 million illegal immigrants streamed across the border, nearly 3,000 unlicensed cannabis stores are estimated to have opened across New York City since 2021 [versus only 62 legal ones].

    https://archive.ph/cUoyR#selection-615.0-615.101

    For at least some violations of the law, enforcement is nonexistent. Which makes it seem bizarre when one is forced to comply rigorously with other laws, such as building codes.

    Ask me about selective enforcement.‘ — Donald J Trump

    • >building codes.
      Speaking of buildings, “home warranties” on existing houses are another such scam.
      Read the fine print. They cover doodly squat.
      And then there is the 3rd party “extended warranty” on your auto engine ‘s microprocessor scam … Hey, buddy, it’s Intel, it’s swell.

      “I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
      — T. S. Eliot
      “I will show you fear in a fistful of dollars.”
      — Insurance peddler

      • Car peddlers for the Ho:

        ‘The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association will be hosting a fundraiser for Gov. Kathy Hochul – mere days after she indefinitely paused the controversial congestion pricing scheme for part of Manhattan. The group is asking for suggested donations of $5,000 to $10,000, according to a flier for the event.

        ‘The GNYADA donated $18,000 to Hochul’s campaign in July 2023, according to the Washington Examiner, which first reported the planned fundraiser. The governor has also received at least another $22,865 since 2018 from the Automobile Dealers of New York political action committee, according to fundraising records.

        ‘Hochul campaign spokesperson Jen Goodman said “in keeping with Governor Hochul’s commitment to maintain high ethical standards, campaign contributions have no impact on government decisions.” ‘ — NY Post

        https://tinyurl.com/2ffpv33s

        Screw the collaborationist car peddlers … and the device they rode in on.

        • Campaign “contributions”, aka bribes, have no impact on gov’t decisions? If you believe THAT one, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NY I’d just love to talk to you about…

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