In Finland.

Nothing riles more than getting a bill for insurance. Now-a-days they sneak in on the computer, silent thieves in the night, with the stealth of someone walking past your window wearing soft slippers checking up if you have any visitors. Strange unknown cars parked in the visitors section of your villa/townhouse might indicate you have a visitor. The depth of interests of some residents in shared housing often brings on a mindless curiosity, and an ennui, whereby the merest diversion from the norm, brings on an excitement in the minds of  lonely residents.  Sociologists whose jobs are to study societal ills write often that loneliness is a major contributor to mental illness. They sometimes also point out that even when in the company of people, many suffer isolation.

I have often wondered that isolation and a fear of isolation draws us into taking out insurance. There is no doubt that fear is used to attract people to take out insurance, even though we know the odds are stacked in favour of the Insurance companies and that the consumer of insurance is at the shortest end of the stick. Anyone who took up the shares in NRMA (IAG) some years ago will now be sitting on a nice little packet today. My advice is to take up shares in Insurance companies but don’t get insurance. You will be the winner, not the other way around.

Lately there have been a spate of advertisements on TV dealing with deaths. However, death is dealt with in such a happy and jovial way the viewer almost ends up wishing to hurry along into the welcoming arms of a warm and cosy pre-heated crematorium. Expert actors, always at the prime of their lives, are showing wives and husbands jubilantly bending over a pram or dancing along a verdant meadow obviously happy  full of life and avocados, when suddenly and without warning, and through the sheer magic of advertising genius, the wife quickly takes the opportunity, while taking a curt little side-step,  mentions still all smiles, and beaming with happiness but a certain determination, that good responsible wives are good at, and comes out with a bit of a downer to all this family content-ness and asks; ‘but who might pay for the funeral?’

Not to be outdone; the husband all gleaming pearl-toothed, and hugely smiling whips out a death and funeral policy and proudly shows the wife he has done it already. No fear, all is well and taken care of.  The advertisements ends up with the couple bending again over the pram or rolling down the meadow. The wife so proud of her hero husband. All is taken care off.

Till the end

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25 Responses to “Insurance?”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    I must say I’m glad we have our house at Rosedale well insured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good that you did, Peggy. Many victims of bush fires also found out that they were either not insured or under insured. Many insurance companies have experts that try and find clauses and ways to get out of paying the damage.
      One of their best lines is ‘Acts of God’ in case of floods.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dorothy Brett Says:

    So very very true gerard. In fact there are a number of ads that are either in bad taste or ridiculous.
    BTW the photo of you and my dear friend Helvi is just gorgeous.

    Liked by 5 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is a great photo, Dorothy. Helvi was your best friend. She had many best friends and towards the end did not fear going. She always maintained that she went to bed with a clear conscience, never deliberately hurt anyone or anything. She gave me so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thetinypotager Says:

    I heard a radio advert for life insurance saying “if you die early, we refund half of your premiums, so it’s win-win” (I still can’t work out how it got signed off to be broadcast). Agree with above – the photo is just lovely 🌿 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, I tend to get away from insurance. Have no contents or death insurance and no car insurance except green slip which is compulsory. Through my life I saved thousands and when I am gone, I want this to be read out;

    I shall not see the shadows,
    I shall not feel the rain,
    I shall not hear the nightingale
    Sing on, as if in pain;
    And dreaming through the twilight
    That doth not rise nor set,
    Haply I may remember,
    And haply may forget.

    Christina Rossetti 1830-1894

    Liked by 3 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    That photo is wonderful! Beautiful Helvi! 🙂 And two of you and your smiles speak volumes! ❤ ❤
    Another great write, Gerard.
    We are dealing with some insurance woes right now…found out about them right before Christmas. It's ughy, concerning, even a bit scary. 😦
    I don't have life insurance, but I've already paid for my cremation. Everything is ready to go. So my kids won't have any expense related to that.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. Helvi was beautiful in heart and looks. I have to go on without her and yet, she is who I want more than anything. I know I can’t see her anymore.

      I am now contributing my third party car insurance towards saving the Koala. I have committed $20.- per month and adopted a koala. who will be cared for by the WWF . I happily forego the car insurance.

      If I have a car accident I will have to pay for it, that is if the accident is my fault. I am happy to carry that risk in favour of doing something about the terrible carnage those enormous bush fires have done to our wild-life. Over a billion creatures are estimated to have lost their lives. Tens of thousands are now being cared for by countless volunteers and the WWF.


      Liked by 1 person

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        I am sitting here reading your words and crying. I’m so sorry you are without your precious Helvi. 😦

        Thank you for helping the koala. What a worthwhile use of money.

        Yes, when I think of all the animals there that died, suffered, were scared, or have long painful recoveries…I cry. Too too horrifying and sad. 😦
        More (((HUGS)))

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Many volunteers are now also helping the animals that are victims of fire and loss of habitat.
        I made some good friends doing the round at the local cricket café within walking distance of my house. Some of those friends knew my Helvi. A lot of great people and I always thought they would be cricket lovers. That view I held was wrong. No one so far talks about cricket, not in the group that I sit with. Many bring dogs so it is good for Milo as well.


  6. shoreacres Says:

    A beautiful photo of you and Helvi ~ isn’t it wonderful that we have these images to remind us of the special times and the beloved people in our lives? In a way, photos are a kind of insurance against memory loss. I think of my blog in that way, too: at least, to a degree. If my mind begins to go, I always can go back and read my own blog to see what I was up to!

    I’m insurance poor, in a very real sense, but it’s either required, or potentially useful. Liability insurance is required for cars in Texas, but I carry comprehensive coverage, too. It’s paid for some odd little damges, like the time some critter chewed through the rocker panels on the car. It cost $1200 to repair them, but I only had to pay my $100 deductible. I do have to carry contractor’s liability because of my work — without it, I can’t get into the marinas. And I carry contents insurance on my apartment, as well as flood insurance. Not only would my policy take care of property loss in a disaster, it also would provide living expenses for a good while. Since I don’t have the savings to self-insure, it just makes sense.

    I pay a whole lot for health insurance, too — but that’s also required. Sigh. But no life insurance for me! Without any family, there’s no reason for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, In Australia we have compulsory insurance for cars in case of personal injury. The community based ownership of my apartment pays for external insurances, including storm and tempest. Of course that gets covered in our quarterly ‘strata’ payments to the ‘Body Corporate.’

      The idea that the large Insurance corporations maximise profits as a first requirement after which they might consider paying the holder of the insurance as a last resort, doesn’t sit easily.

      I don’t have contents insurance because the worth of my contents are simply the memories they hold when we bought, acquired or inherited them and memories are never compensated by money.

      People are leaving the private health system in droves now. It simply doesn’t seem to work in Australia. We need to think of a free health system and ought to consider that Finland back in 1971 passed a law abolishing fee charging by the medical profession to patients The doctors get remunerated by the country through raising enough taxation.

      The same goes for education. It is free.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        Free medical care and free education never are free. Someone pays for them. And scale makes a difference. What works in a smaller country like Finland may not (probably wouldn’t) work in the U.S. Still, there’s no question that we need a better way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        It is not really free anywhere, but. Through adequate taxation it ought to be possible to spread the cost on a more equitable basis than is now the case, at least here in Australia.
        Income Taxation and revenue raising is demonised in Australia as if it is the worst thing that can happen.


  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Not only does insurance seem to grow ever more expensive Gerard, it has fueled the ever escalating costs of health care.And then there is the factor, at least in this country, it’s easy to get health insurance as long as you are healthy. If not, it becomes close to impossible. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I have been told to get the most expensive insurance possible when travelling to the US. Woe the tourist break a leg in the US without insurance. He might have to sell his house.
      That is the popular story we are told when contemplating travel to the US.


    • Therese Trouserzoff Says:

      Hi Curt.

      I friend of mine managed to square up her health ledger – albeit the hard way. She got breast cancer and was successfully treated by a top surgeon with some seriously expensive surgery and nearly two weeks in hospital.

      Not all roses there though. My missus was with her as she was going into theatre. The anaesthetist took her vital signs, asked her how she was feeling, reassured her… and stung her for $700 bucks – $200 of which was that chat. I gather from my wife that there was a small compensation – the anaesthetist was drop dead handsome and as smooth as silk. One gathers on the basis of his income, he can afford superior smoothing.

      BUT – she is stuck with this insurance company / policy because if she was to change, the new company could then argue ‘pre-existing condition’ … and refuse to pay up for any future care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, and at most of our ages, we all have pre-existing conditions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        When we moved to Oregon, our insurance didn’t cover the area. I was on Medicare, so no problem. But Peggy had to get a new carrier and the battle over pre-existing conditions was outrageous, and expensive. I laughed about the anaesthetist, and agree. If somebody is going to stick me in the butt with a needle, it helps if they are attractive (and, of course, competent). 🙂 Thanks for commenting Therese. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        Only 700 bucks for a private anaesthetist? Cheap as chips.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Hi Gez.

    Insurance companies. Just like the banks. Worse – banks who also sell insurance – and insurance on the loans they sell you. And insurance on the income you need to earn to pay the insurance on the loan as well as the loan itself. For Pete’s sake !

    Dunno about insurance company shares though – witness the complete bashing the market dished out to – and so richly deserved by AMP.

    CBA shares ! Anyone with some cash during the global financial crisis could have purchased Comm Bank shares for $24 – now 12 years later they’re bumping around $80-$85. And all the way they’ve been paying 5% fully franked dividends. It’s the only game in town – if you don’t mind taking profits from money laundering, ripping off customers with unfair and even fraudulent fees – and other crimes.

    As far as insurance goes, it’s a really uneven playing field. Insurance companies have all the bloody data – they base their pricing on sure bets about when we are going to kick off. It’s a big data bonanza – on occasion they will get it wrong – but clearly the odds are definitely in their favour – not yours or mine.

    We have no data beyond wild guesses about when our ancestors shuffled off and some optimistic prognostications about how we live a safer lifestyle with fewer excesses etc. And we are betting the farm when the insurance companies hedge their bets and lay off excessive risk amongst each other. So we are not only making our own insurers rich, but a raft of bloody underwriters we know stuff all about and never will.


    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I just don’t get those insurances for burials. Does anyone know of anyone who was left unburied, like aunt Agnus just loitering about on the nature strip in front of Number 16 of Rozella Crescent?

      I know the adds try and induce guilt with the relatives feeling stingy for not coughing up a couple of grands for the old pop and take out an insurance?

      One woman watching her dear departed husband’s body final moment during cremation through a viewers window, thought he was calling a taxi, as was his want when still fit and thriving, when as a result of the high temperature his arm raised up in an action of reflex. She wanted it to stop and it took a lot of convincing that her hubby was dead well before his cremation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        Yes, funeral insurance is a bloody nonsense. Funeral Directors are the only companies that can obtain money from an estate prior to probate. No one dies unburied or uncremated in this country, although the idea of old aunt Agnus just lying about is amusing!


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