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What is it with everybody offering insurance?

wowbagger (69688) writes | more than 3 years ago

User Journal 10

What is it with every entity with which I have any form of business relationship with wanting to offer me <voice type="Annoying TV announcer"> A really great deal on [home|car|life] insurance - save HUNDREDS OF $$$$!!!!! </voice>

NRA, AAA, IEEE, ARRL, all 3 of my credit cards, my credit union - heck, I think even my cell provider has offered me insurance at one point!

What is it with every entity with which I have any form of business relationship with wanting to offer me <voice type="Annoying TV announcer"> A really great deal on [home|car|life] insurance - save HUNDREDS OF $$$$!!!!! </voice>

NRA, AAA, IEEE, ARRL, all 3 of my credit cards, my credit union - heck, I think even my cell provider has offered me insurance at one point!

I do wish these businesses would realize I want ONE THING from them - whatever line of business they are in - and THAT'S IT. I don't want them "sharing" my data with a "business partner"! If I want to evaluate other insurance options I will do so - until then SHADDUP!

And of course, there is the tangentially related "Oh, you need OUR credit card!" - NO I DON'T. I have three cards already, thank you - and each of them has a limit higher than many people earn in a year (not that I carry a balance or approach those limits, of course).

Then there is the wonderfulness the cards I do have, and every month sending me an envelope labeled "IMPORTANT ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS" (read: STEAL THIS!) that are nothing but a bunch of "checks" - "Go ahead, CONSUME! BUY STUFF! USE THESE! ignore the cash advance fee". Guys, I have a perfectly good checkbook with checks in it - in fact, since I pay almost everything electronically, I have PLENTY of checks with which to buy things; checks that DON'T cost me interest the instant I sign them.

I am getting so tired of every damn business trying to screw that last extra dollar out of me, that one additional "revenue stream". I am doing business with you, how about you focus on that, hmm?

(and the final rant: it's getting to the point where about the only time I feel like posting on /. is here, due to the mod-bombing, bullshit, and stupidity on the main pages.)


I only get a few (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046498)

Since I stopped using credit many moons ago the only offers like that I get now are from my bank, and I just use them for kindling/firestarter. I get the occasional credit offer, again, in the wood stove. I am even thinking of just giving up my bank account and debit card, and cashing my pay checks at the supermarket or something. Cash and tangibles rule. I know I will have to purchase health insurance coming up soon, and seeing as how I have low amount to zero available FRNs to do this with...my long shot hope is that a change in congress will get rid of this requirement. There just isn't any cheap enough insurance out there for the marginally employed, doesn't exist, I've looked and shopped around a lot. It would cost me near my whole income to get insurance. If not, maybe some company will come up with some huge deductible type, then really low monthlies.

Anyway, I think they are doing it because they are all broke, only still existing from printing press government bailouts, and want the cash flow in.

The whole scene is "broke". I read two dozen articles a day or more that prove this. We are in the twilight of the good old days, pretty soon the US will be a de-evolving nation, mass poverty and just a few really wealthy people, the globalists dream, the two class society of mega owners and everyone else, where they get the government to insist everyone is "in debt" to the wealthiest class. Of course, that's just my opinion, but I have yet to see anything that shows the USA can get back to some sort of rapidly expanding large wealthy middle class.

  It can't be done with the way "things" are structured now and looking at all the trends and this debt load. The entire economy is based on the premise of creating credit/currency out of thin air at the top levels, loaning it at interest to the lower levels, and doing this to a degree way beyond any productivity gains. The "trickle down" theory (which again amazes me how many ultra liberals insist on higher taxes, when that just goes to perpetuate the trickle down theory they always complain about from the Reagan years..the whole fiat currency system and income taxes is based on trickle down). It just doesn't work, and won't ever work, except for concentrating wealth in fewer hands. It's the old "company town" model applied to an entire nation. No matter how hard you work, or how much wealth you create, the debt is structured to always be more than that.

Metals, productive land, good water supplies, tools, etc..all will be what is really worth anything soon, all this paper nonsense is a joke. It's just too far gone with the wealth skimming at the top codified into law to be anywhere close to sustainable. So ya, they want more of your cash to go into their pockets, because they can always just rely on too big to fail and get bailed out when they run out of gambling chits again. That's our economy, rich guys gambling, creating gambling games. People are putting their trust into that scene...man..just man.

Re:I only get a few (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33049626)

You don't want to let the supermarket/check cashing place/etc handle converting one form of paper to another - they will charge your for the privilege. Find a cheap credit union, get a cheap checking account, let them deal with it. Nothing says you have to keep a lot of money in the checking account.

As for health insurance: I spoke with my doctor once about this - work was changing our insurance, and I had a choice of Point Of Service or HMO. I asked him a couple of questions about the sorts of things he felt OK referring on (since he is my Primary Care Physician, if I went HMO then he has to refer almost everything.) I mentioned that were it up to me, I'd just have catastrophic coverage and handle everything else out of pocket. He said he wished more people felt that way, because not dealing with insurance over every little thing would reduce his costs and mine. That's one thing that burned me about this whole health-care system: OK, so people are being bankrupted by medical bills. So, let's offer a nationwide means-tested catastrophic care option - wouldn't that solve the issue, with a whole lot LESS government involvement? You (zogger) get hit with a $10K bill - bam, you are covered. I get hit with a $10K bill - sucks for me, that's why I have savings. I get hit with a $100K bill - covered.

Charges (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33053164)

Actually, my local supermarket wouldn't charge a cent as long as I am shopping there, which I do anyway. That's why I thought about it as an option. I only have a few bills I pay on it, and I could cover those with money orders once a year, some vehicle insurance stuff, then I have my ISP, but I drive by their office a lot so I could just drop it off cash. That leaves my amazon account, which I could do without most likely, and I also pay for flickr, not sure if I could mail them a yearly money order or not, it ain't much, like 25 bucks a year.

    Taking the paycheck to the issuing bank, which isn't my bank, they want five bucks to cash their own check! Seeing as how my take home is only a little over a benjamin a week, that is a huge hit to cash their own dang check! that's really the main reason I have kept my little bank account this long, otherwise, my needs are little, and I gotz no credit anyway, so all the other banking "services" are a moot point.

Side issue, because of your radio interest. Want to make some loot? My ISP is a wisp, and they use motorola canopy radios/systems. Well, turns out they suck (as in mine is broken again and am on my cell data service right now to type this), at least the ones they give the customers, no idea on the big tower AP point radios, the little ones croak after around a year, and cost near 300 bucks! The warranty is just at one year, so this leaves the ISP with making little to no money or losing money. I mean, do the math, their cheap connection like I have is 35 clams..radio cost 300..croaks after a year a lot of times... this is a rank biz model.

    They are basically like a cellphone I guess with a sim card for ID and security that operate at 900 mghz or some other freqs, I forget which right now. I looked at one, a few chips go bad on them according to the tech I was talking to. They are not amused at all. Anyway, build a radio, or long distance wisp type deal, both ends, that these people (wisps in general) could rely on to last several years instead of one, you'll sell some maybe. Especially now with the feds push to get more rural broadband out there. When they work, they work fine, then have catastrophic failure. Seems like..I mean..you see cellphones for like 15 bucks now, $300 seems awfully excessive... And cheap cellphones can last more than a year, and these home radios don't use batteries, they use power over ethernet. Anyway, thought you might be interested in that little deal. Seems a decent enough niche which is not being filled adequately. It's like a good idea, but crappy engineering. When it works I do get my advertised speeds and it is reliable..then it gets flaky on and off for a few days, then blatz, nothing. It goes that fast, I am on my third radio now and most likely need another one.

Oh, the healthcare deal.. I don't get what you are saying. Who pays that theoretical 10 grand or 100 grand big bill? How does that work? Isn't that the same as just having a high deductible and cheap payments?

As to insurance in general, I was an agent for one year, how all this works is simple, but you can see how it is failing fast now. People's premiums, no matter what policy they get, cover administration, commissions, etc, that jazz (mostly). They don't cover claims, not even close. Heck, the first year, it is almost all the commish for the agent, like 3/4ths, then it drops off to residuals for the agent until they retire, and live off their small percentage but thousands of policies sold residuals, almost like an actor, how they get paid big the first time, then little residuals forever.

  The insurance companies go gambling with the loot in wall street cons..I mean, they shrewdly invest in the market..and any loot they make, they pay claims out of that and pocket the diff. If they had to pay claims from their premiums..there would be no insurance companies out there, not private run anyway, they would lose money fast and go bankrupt. And especially now that healthcare is like triple inflation every year or worse, and people use it for everything ex: Ohh, a hangnail, doctor visit! $250 plus scripts, another 95 bucks..stuff like that. During the bubbles they still made enough to cover crap like that, but now, they can't, and the medical field will not drop costs at all, plus their own insurance always goes up. Vicious cycle.

There's no practical way to beat it that I can see either, because it is a highly educated specialized field, all those folks are not going to work for minimum rage scales, and the government would also have to open up all the medical patents, etc and do all the research because private wouldn't do it. Those foreign nations with public healthcare are just a few years behind the US with collapsing bubble economies, they can't really afford it either (that's my prediction based on all the economic jazz I read and analyze). Places like norway will hold out longer because they are oil based, and germany still groks manufacturing..but that's it, the rest of them, downhill slide eventually as well. The planet sold out cheap to asia for short term cheap stuff for most everyone, plus make a few dozen more billionaires, and that's about it..

Re:Charges (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33054862)

Building a radio: Mostly I write the code that tells the RF what to do - I let the RF engineers design that side of things. Besides, getting the FCC type acceptance is pricy.

However, given what you are describing, and living where you live: I'd check the grounding on the input from the antenna to the radio - I've seen the job most of these "installers" do and it sucks - no good ground, no input protection, antenna to radio and that's it. Get a good Polyphaser or Transorb with an element rated for about 10W (that's the power of the protected device, not the energy dissipation rating), and drive a GOOD ground rod - at least 6 foot, preferable multiple rods spaced around the antenna system - and use either 4 gauge wire OR copper flashing to connect it to the antenna ground, the co-ax shield, the Polyphaser ground lug, and the ground lug on the modem (if it is externally mounted).

As for healthcare - you have it exactly. An insurance system, but with a very high (and means tested, so it isn't the same for everybody) deductible, with the risk pool being "everybody". But don't try to cover everything -the routine prophy I am having this afternoon should be paid by ME, not by insurance - just cover the "black swan" type events that wipe people out.

Hey, thanks! (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33062664)

Good advice. I am going to copy and paste it to a note and print it out and give it to the techs. The system is grounded, but I don't think it has a separate lightning arrestor/surge thing, but it is pluffed into my router, and that and the power supply are both plugged into my APC UPS thingee. I am not sure on the quality of the cable either, they said it was exterior grade ethernet, but no idea if it is shielded or not, I may carefully peel a little back and see. I *did* go out and soak the ground around the grounding rod today (the same one that used to be for the phone line, no idea how deep it goes), this morning,(it's been hot and not enough rain to do more than get the surface damp) then I got back from working and the system is up again! Still slow, but working. No idea if that helped or not or if it is just a coincidence.

Journals (1)

LordBodak (561365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046736)

(and the final rant: it's getting to the point where about the only time I feel like posting on /. is here, due to the mod-bombing, bullshit, and stupidity on the main pages.)

That's been a pretty common sentiment in the journal circle for years now. I can't remember the last time I went anywhere on /. besides friends' journals.

Go with a credit union (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047834)

Much easier to deal with.

As for free life insurance, after reading all the fine print, I typically agree to it because hey, why not? :)

I haven't had very many offers for insurance though. Then again I don't own a home either. I get CC offers in the mail now and then, but the main spammers I gave my info too once I gave slightly incorrect info too, so they were unable to track me down after I moved a few times.

My credit union offered me a high limit on my CC but I declined and told them to drop it to a few thousand. I like to minimize exposure to fraud and theft. Besides if I am buying anything over a few grand on a CC I am indulging in pointless consumerism and need to stop, rethink what I am doing, and not be such a tool.

And on a related note... (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33050474)

And on a related note, what is it with EVERYBODY jumping on this "Web 2.0" "Social media" crap? Every damn radio station in Wichita wants you to "friend them on Facebook" and "follow them on Twitter".

WHY, FFS?!!?

If I want to "follow" your station, I have this neat device called "a radio" that allows me to stream audio from you!

About the only thing I could even REMOTELY care about might be a feed of what songs you have played and are going to play:
a) I could avoid it when they feel they have to play a stretch of crap songs
b) I could prove this "We have the largest rock library" "OH YEAH? Well WE play more songs than you do!" "BOB plays everything!" to be utter bullshit - you may have the largest rock library, but if you don't ACTUALLY BREAK IT OUT AND PLAY IT who cares? You guys play the same 100 songs all the time. And Bob - you don't "play everything", you play "anything that was at the top of any of the charts."

Then, of course, there is the idiocy of Slashdot wanting my do follow them on Twitter and Facebook. That goes beyond my ability to describe.

Re:And on a related note... (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 3 years ago | (#33050804)

At work managements idea of keeping up is to see what the boss says or otherwise ignore it. If it is on facebook or twitter now beloved by our state government leaders (I work for a state gov department at the moment) - can't see it at work. This may actually be a good thing in a few ways.

I can't waste time on the /. at work as all front page stories are blocked.

You can get to journals and specific comments but the read more link is blocked. and using IE6 makes it not worth the effort.

Last time I listened to the radio was on the weekend when the wife had the Saturday Party Mix on when people were over and Sunday afternoon (80's and 90's stuff).

Generally the radio is a wasteland for me. I have an iPod and am not afraid to use it.

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