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No Kidding!

Insurance see itself as a serious and consequent industry.  There is very little humor to be found in, say, the disability income field, or in the final expense or critical illness realm.  But insurance is also a geeky world – in fact, sometimes it’s an absurd and  silly world.  And since we have spent the last few weeks going over tedious things – necessary, but not riveting and we know it –  like health insurance and identity theft, we thought you deserved a break!*

Have you noticed  how odd insurance slogans can be?  Consider the following:

  • Insurance is fun.  No really.  It is.
  • Forget my exclusions, let’s talk about your limitations!
  • I love it when you extend my perils!
  • Adjusters live in denial!
  • Love hurts.  Insurance doesn’t.
  • Flood me, baby! Mold me, baby!
  • Premium finance is better than average finance!
  • Relax.  It’s just insurance.
  • Everybody’s doing it!  It’s called insurance.
  • And in the end…all that was left were those who had fun with insurance.
  • Elvis is alive: he sells insurance!
  • Elvis has insured the building!
  • Sex, drugs, and insurance.
  • Insurance isn’t that bad…is it?
  • My dog? He’s a pit bull.  Why do you ask?
  • We live where you live.
  • Have you Met life today?
  • Cash if you die.  Cash if you don’t.
  • You’re in good hands.
  • Ask about it at work.
  • The power to help you succeed.
  • Take away the risk and you can do anything.
  • Give your child an advantage for life.
  • We make our customers’ problems our problems.
  • The company you keep.
I’m never quite sure what the slogans are designed to do – persuade? inform? entertain? scare? annoy?  All of the above?
And then we have the world of insurance fraud.  The dangerous and sophisticated examples, the sort used in television crime drama plots are one thing.  But there are also some world-class dumb ones:
  • The Akron, Ohio man who decided to rent a backhoe and use it to bury his 1997 BMW on his father’s farm.  He then reported it stolen, claiming $20,000.  He had second thoughts, though,  and decided to use the same backhoe to dig the car back up.  Of course, the backhoe broke down in the middle of all this and the whole town saw the ‘grave’ and figured out his scheme.  He spent a year in jail. You know what they say about small town life – no secrets!
  • A Florida man who owned a medical supply company was running a scam that netted some $7.4 million from Medicare.  On top of that, he was caught breaking into a vehicle.  The police chased him, but he escaped by jumping into a lake – a lake clearly marked with signs saying ‘Danger! Live Alligators!’.  He was found dead the next day, covered with alligator bites.
  • Then there was the Connecticut family man with big debt and an even bigger mouth.  He decided to set his house on fire to collect $250,000 by leaving a grease-filled pan on the cranked up stove.  He did have the sense to take the family out of the house first.  The place  burned down, as planned.  However, he spend the next seven years in prison.  It seems he had told everyone who would listen about his scheme to torch his house; his children even told their classmates!  School officials notified the police.
  • Two very silly couples in Illinois hatched a unique solution to an age-old problem: how to come up with the rent?  Ah – we know!  Let’s crash my car into a tree and collect the insurance money and use it for your rent!  Easy!  No one will suspect a thing!  Well, it worked – sort of.  But they also videotaped the whole thing – who knows why.  And later, during a nasty divorce, the husband of the landlady (who was part of the original scam) gave the tapes to the police.  Gotcha!
  • And then there was the high school chemistry teacher who was sick and tired of her car payments.  She wasn’t really wild about the car, either.  So she offered two failing student passing grades for a favor: ‘torch my Malibu; I can really use the insurance money’.  She lost her job.  She spent three months in jail.  Again – small town life!
(*yes – another slogan, another industry.  irresistible!)
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