mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Finance anxiety

Message on voicemail when I came home Friday-- insurance renewal broker 'wants to ask me a few questions.' Need I say that this ruined my whole weekend? Well, it didn't quite, because I am Mindful and Meditative these days, but it did its best.

The insurance company has sent me forms asking questions for which I don't have answers and threatening dire results if I don't tell them All. Stoppardian 'obscure promises balanced by vague threats', though these letters tend to reverse the order; and always the sense of being at a disadvantage because of dealing with something I know nothing about. This is why I've always wished for a practical companion who knows, by osmosis I assume, how mortgages and lines of credit and insurance work; because whenever I try to research these things I feel like I'm reading the wiki page on some advanced physics: it's English, but it has no meaning.

It never occurred to me that the broker might actually, like, be on my side. When the information I provided her with bumped my premiums up $400 a year under the current company (which puzzled her too), she found me another company with cheaper rates and advised raising my deductible, and explained why. It never occurred to me because in the past the brokerage has never done anything of the sort. Automatic processing only. I wish someone had told me that they're like travel agents. Their job is to get me the best deal available; if they don't, I should go to another agency.

(Note to Americans, for whom this will be incomprehensible: I don't drive. Thus I never had to deal with insurance until I was almost 40. Auto insurance I can comprehend; it has an immediate applicability, in that cars kill daily. House insurance and its vagaries are remote. Houses don't burn down that often, and the companies refuse to cover any common damage, like flooded basements from backed-up sewers.)
Tags: rl_13

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