It’s a beautiful day. You are driving down a road and you drive a nail into your tire. After a few miles your tire is running low, so you stop at your local garage and get it fitted for $10. They recommend buying new tires before next winter.
It’s been 3 months since the last oil change. It’s a nice day so you get into the Lube Stop and spend $50 on an oil change.
In fact, the day is so beautiful that you fill your tank and take a long journey in the countryside.
On the way back you noticed your brake pedal low, so plan to have the brakes rebuilt in the near future before the rotors are damaged, another $75.
What is missing from this equation? You didn’t think to ask your car insurance to cover the costs.
What if car insurance was like health insurance?
Imagine new laws requiring every gas station to file an insurance claim every time you fill the pump. But the good news – you no longer have to pay up front. Tire, petrol and oil changes are now covered by your vehicle insurance.
Under the new regulations, the gas station must wait 30 to 60 days before it can receive payment. Of course, the clerk who submitted the request wants his salary on a weekly basis. So is the person investigating the claim. The insurance office has postage, utilities, and rental expenses, not to mention they hope to make a profit. Some claims would be denied or lost, so the gas station would naturally charge everyone a little extra to cover losses.
Do you think the price of gasoline will go higher or lower? Does it actually cost more or less to provide the same service?
Suddenly your $800 for gas and maintenance is double that or more.
The station owner is angry because he has to get more help, wait to get paid, and deal with unnecessary ordeals.
At least we’re happy with you (the customer) – until you receive your increased insurance bill of $1600 to cover new services.
But when you get the bill, you get used to free gas. Hmm, maybe if you drive more you can make up for the increase in premiums. You will get new tires more often, as often as your insurance allows. And of course, you will want the best – no off-brand product will do.
This scenario is exactly what happens in health insurance. And so the premiums are getting higher and higher. Do any of these make sense to you?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the “need” is endless when everything is “free”. Of course, nothing is free, it just seems that way. You are still paying through a third party. And if you’ve already paid, you want the best – AND you don’t want to pay an extra dollar for it.
Of course, your insurance will consider its shareholders and should make a profit even if that goes against your best interests. Soon, only generic oil and knockout tires will be covered, not to mention low-test gasoline. All this for twice the price you used to pay.
You want to go back to the good old days, right?
Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD