Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Geico - Friend or Foe?
Well, it's the beginning of a new month; I hope all of my readers had fun on Halloween. But now it's time to discuss something a bit more serious, the topic of insurance. Well, insurance in general is too broad of a topic so we'll just narrow it down to car insurance for this post. Is it worth it? In the U.S. it's illegal to go without car insurance, so you're pretty much forced to have some form or another. I'm not sure how it works in other countries, but if you're in the U.S. chances are you've already picked your poison.
We see different car insurance commercials all the time, you should probably be able to name a few different companies off the top of your head. Let's take a look at Geico. Their mascot is the Gecko, a friendly and charming character who we've seen in many different commercials. When the Gecko is in the commercial, the focus is usually more centered around him and not how much money you could save. In commercials where there is no Gecko present, the commercial is entertaining and often humorous; again taking away most of the focus from how much money could be saved. Why is this?
Some of you probably already realize, it's to make you (the viewer) fond of the company. So fond, in fact, that for many people the issue of saving money gets placed to the side and instead insurance is purchased for the sole purpose of supporting that which entertains them. A mighty convenient placement for the insurance company, to be sure, for how much less would their troubles become if they didn't have to worry about competing in the arena of prices?
Different companies have different ways of drawing in customers, but enough about that. Why is this worth talking about in the first place? Well, consider the amount of money you pay to these companies. It's completely possible that you could pay a car insurance company for 30 years without ever getting into an automobile accident. That's a LOT of money built up over time, and for what? They never gave anything in return, other than documentation keeping you out of trouble. Sounds like a rip-off, doesn't it? Maybe that example is a bit extreme, it's more likely a person gets into at least one accident.
Still, you're paying these companies only for them to hand that money (or much less!) right back to you, and there's no guarantee they'll even do that much! Look online and chances are you'll be able to find horror stories regarding any insurance company. Now I know you can't please everyone, there's probably not a company out there that can exist without a complaint to their name. This post's purpose isn't to demonize insurance companies; although admittedly I don't see them in any honorable light. Instead I hope to spark some thought into how your money is spent and for what reason.
So what's your view on the matter? Are insurance companies respectable, or are they not working in the customer's best interest? I want to hear what you think, spill it in the comments. Thanks for reading.