Month: June 2006

Two Gripes With Insurance Companies


Recently, I’ve increased my dislike for insurance companies. The idea of insurance is good, but the current way it is implemented is so wrong. Two examples.

1) My wife and I purchased car insurance for both of our cars. We provided all info for setup and thought that everything was done. Two months later we are told that they misplaced the file for the auto-pay, so although we have been covered, they didn’t automatically deduct our payment from our banking account. What bothers me about this is they need to use the banking to charge for those first two months and pay for the next month as well. That’s just not right to me. We didn’t have any claims or use for the insurance for the previous two months so the company was not providing any service. But, even though it was their own error, we still have to pay for the past months.

2) My wife had a rock hit her windshield and cause it to crack. We called the insurance company to ask if it would be covered. They said they would be able to cover it, but the premiums would go up. It made me wonder, “What were the last four months of payments being used for if it wasn’t to cover something like this? To be fair, can I have my premiums go down every month that I have a non-claim?”

No, that would make too much sense for the customer.

When I think of insurance companies, I think of the following image. I am the walking man and the old lady is the insurance company. You can be the observing guy.

Image

Turning Technology Around For Your Benefit


A while back, I read an articleabout an interesting product called the “Mosquito.” Invented by Howard Stapleton, this machine was made to “repel” teenagers. The machine emits a pulsating 17 kHz high pitched sound that only those under the age of 20 can hear. It is quite annoying. Mr Stapleton would sell these boxes to store owners who were having trouble with loitering teenagers in front of their store shop. These sounds would be so annoying that many of the teenagers would leave after a few minutes, while adult customers wouldn’t be bothered at all as they shopped in the store.

Well, in a truly genius move, some of the teens took this technology and used it for their own good. They created a ringtone that had a similar sound. Now, when their phones ring in class, they can hear it but their teachers can not. (Yes, this is better than putting it on “vibrate” because one can certainly hear that in a quite classroom.) You can hear the NPR Podcast on this topic here. (itunes link)

This group of kids get the genius award of the day.