Thursday, January 19, 2017

So. Damn. Difficult.

This is one of those blogs where it is strictly my opinion and it is emotionally charged so it is probably wrong. That's OK because hopefully it is a conversation starter as well as me just being able to vent to clear my head.

It's no wonder people around the world take shortcuts to seemingly trivial things. They can be so damn complicated, no one wants/can help you, or it outright just costs too much. So what are people left to do? Bend or break the rules so they can continue with other life issues. While I'm not advocating for people to break the law because of an inconvenience or a financial burden, I can empathize with some of the reasons; especially when it comes to the ridiculous financial burdens it can bestow on good people caught in bad times.

While this gripe is completely self inflicted due to MY choice to start a business, it is still something that I have had to deal with ever since I started driving. Insurance. What a nasty word. I shouldn't complain too much because my mom has been in the industry for at least fifteen years and it has helped put food on the table, clothes on our backs, and roof over our heads. It helped pay for Little League baseball and my high school wrestling. I'm grateful for those but it has come with a heavy burden.

Insurance was the reason for countless arguments with my mom when I was younger. And unlike most things, I still don't understand or like it as I have gotten older. It's complicated to me. Why does my good driving get punished with higher rates for a bunch of people that don't know how to drive? Or better yet, why do we all get punished with higher rates when there is a flood or a storm that damages our vehicles. What does all of our hard earned money go towards when insurance isn't being used? God forbid you need it for a storm with homeowners insurance. What does an insurance claim from a storm have to do with my financial history of paying my mortgage if I were to refinance or sell and buy a new home? 

Let me give you an a real world example, me. For the past seventeen years I have been driving with no violations, tickets, accidents, or claims and my insurance rates climb year after year. Why this year? Because the bottom line of the insurance companies took a hit and the fat wallets need to stay fat. Don't believe me?

Here is a report from Cornell University with some stats from 2015.

Revenue for 2015 ALONE was $220.4B with PROFITS at $22B! Those are insane numbers that really tick me off even more. So here I have a household AGI under $75K and for auto insurance alone we pay out $2.5K a year. Does that even make any sense? Nothing on our records, no claims. How can one not be pissed off about that?

I know it isn't Suzy's fault at the local Nationwide office, and I'm not blaming her, it is much, MUCH bigger and I know that. But it still doesn't mean I can't gripe about it. I was taught the difference between right and wrong by my parents. They were/are really great parents. I willfully chose to make my mistakes. But knowing the difference has also taught me to question things that don't seem right and that is what this is all about. If someone, anyone (besides my mom) can try to explain this to me, I would really appreciate it. Because from where I am sitting right now, it just seems like a ponzi scheme and bending the rules in my favor doesn't seem so bad.

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