Assurance

Ran down to the basement yesterday morning to put the wash into the dryer – SURPRISE!.  Water all over the basement floor.  &^#%%$!## — bad words came pouring out followed by deprecations about how much I hate having such an old house.  Fantasies of a brand new townhouse or a very handy person showing up on my doorstep washed over me.  I told YA to leave me alone for about 10 minutes.

This isn’t my first rodeo where the main drain is concerned.  I called CenterPoint/Minnesgasco right away and they told me they could have somebody out between then and 11:30 p.m. last night. When I got off the phone YA said “how much is THIS going to cost?”  But what she didn’t know is that I have Home Service Plus for the main drain.  In fact, I have the house to street drain on my plan as well.

I have a love/hate relationship with insurance.  30 years ago Montgomery Ward tried to sell me an insurance plan on a dishwasher I had just bought from them.  The sales person said “if this breaks down tomorrow, you won’t be covered.”  I told him that if this brand new dishwasher broke down tomorrow, I would not be the sorry one.  When I bought my car six years ago they tried to sell me gap insurance which would cover the “gap” between the car’s new value and the normal insurance during the first year (I’m sure I’m describing this badly).   The more they pushed, the more I resisted.  I finally said “I understand the risk, my sister is an actuary.”  This is not true, but it shut them up.

But for this old house, bring on the insurance.  My home plan covers my boiler, my fridge, my washer, my dryer, my dishwasher and also the drains.  And despite the fact that I pay for this insurance every month, I’m pretty sure I’m a loss leader with my old house and old appliances.   Once about 20 years back, I had two guys working on my boiler for almost 2 days straight – over 24 hours of service time – no charge. 

So while it wasn’t fun waiting for the service folks to show up, at least I wasn’t worried about having to find a pot of money for them.  They actually showed up earlier than I expected, got the drain cleared out lickety-split and now life in the basement is back to normal.

What are you willing to insure?

28 thoughts on “Assurance”

  1. We have long term care insurance, for which I am grateful. My parents both lived into their 90’s, and their fervent hope was that they wouldn’t see all they had worked for end up paying for nursing home bills. Both had short nursing home stays, short enough so that Medicare covered them. We aren’t such gamblers, so we got the insurance.

    We insure our musical instruments, and husband has malpractice insurance. I do, too, but the State pays for mine since I am a State employee.

    A dear friend has MS, and she could never get long term care insurance. Her plan is that if her health worsens and she needs nursing home care, she and her husband will divorce so that Medicaid will pay for her care, and their assets, which she will cede to her husband, can go to their children and not be claimed by the government for her care. I think it is sad that someone would have to even strateguze this way.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A friend had an auto crash that nearly killed him (and probably should have, as it turned out). In the ICU they put him on a ventilator, creating a dependency. When Bob had been in the ICU for two weeks the doctors decided they could not cure him, so he had to go to an insanely expensive nursery care setting. He was not happy and had probably suffered dementia as a result of his accident. The monstrous care bills were wiping out the nest egg my friends had counted on for retirement.

    I was with Bob the afternoon Elinor told him she was divorcing him. “Honey, you can be my friend. You can be my lover. But you can’t be my husband. I can’t afford you.” I don’t think he understood.

    Someday, when this country achieves a sensible medical system, stories like this will live on as examples of how distorted health financing became. In the end, the ICU succeeded in saving Bob’s body but not his personality, and things were never the same.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Pay Your Premiums, Baboons,

    My first thought when I read the question was, “It’s 2020. I want to insure everything.” Can you insure a bad year?

    Like Renee I have LTC insurance, which as I age, is getting more and more expensive. And I would not be without it for all the reasons Steve just named in his reply. I also pay for a relatively expensive Medicare supplement, which has been worth every penny, given my knee replacement, then a gall bladder surgery following 10 months later. I had no copays or deductibles, which can be financially devastating.

    My mother, who had good money sense, despite her many other behavioral issues, bought an LTC plan early on. It funded my dad’s years in a nursing home and her years in Memory Care, saving a lot of money. It also prevented a divorce for the same reasons both Renee and Steve refer to. Before mom found the LTC policy, she was at least giving lip service to a divorce, which was astounding at the time.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. home service plus is the best insurance in the planet.
    they fix everything and when the company that makes it stop supplying parts if you can find the parts anywhere on earth they will pay for them and install them
    if you have all that stuff covered you may as well go down the checklist and add everything else in the house it will be almost free
    washer dryer fridge freezer dishwasher ac furnace water heater bbq all for the same price .

    i do insurance on my car my body and my house

    upsie is the way to insure all things electronic. when they try to sell you the insurance on your new computer or television or printer or watch go to upsie take a picture of the receipt and send it to them and the insurance cost goes way down
    i used to tell my kids never ever buy the computer or phone insurance now i tell them do buy the upsie insurance
    check it out you have 60 days from the day you purchase it to send the picture of the recipe to them and they will bill your credit card and you’re covered
    great deal
    home service plus and upsie
    both excellent

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My insurance is pretty minimal, homeowner’s insurance, liability on the car, and health insurance. I might look into insuring the house through something like Home Service Plus. I’ve been mostly lucky, but there have been times when insurance would have been nice to have.

    Some insurance doesn’t seem to be a very good deal. Dental insurance is nice to have if your employer pays for it, but if you buy it on your own, it’s not really worth it. They cap what they will pay out in any given year, so if you have to have something like a crown, you end up paying much of it yourself.

    I sometimes wonder about health insurance for pets, but I suspect that would be a similar deal – you’d be better off taking the money you’d spend on the premium and sticking it into a savings account.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. once upon a time I used to sell snow blowers to Mills Fleet Farm Menards and people like that and after a season where it hasn’t snowed people were hesitant to buy a snowblower and the company came up with a great idea where we would offer snow insurance and if you purchased the snow insurance and it didn’t snow at least 40% of the average snowfall in a season you would be reimbursed for the full cost of the snowblower

    if I remember right it was the state of Wisconsin that declared that to be gambling and made it illegal I’m trying to remember how they justified the difference between betting on snowfall versus betting on health or maintenance or anything else that you purchase insurance for
    Done with voice recognition there for upper and lower case

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with insurance. I keep a decent amount of emergency cash on hand so I can opt for higher deductibles with P&C insurance (car, home, etc.). My wife insists on having a life insurance policy on herself because if she dies before me, her pension money disappears. I keep telling her that if she dies, the household expenses will drop by about two-thirds, and I’ll be fine with our savings and rapidly approaching Social Security.

    Health insurance is another necessary evil but I’ll be on Medicare in 2021 so whatcha gonna do? MNSure the past three years was such fun! Sooner or later Medicare premiums must rise to better reflect the cost of all this “free care” our seniors receive. Right now it’s an unsustainable model, worse than Social Security. But it’s easily fixed with a modest rise in premiums COMBINED with a modest increase in the Medicare payroll tax.

    I’m ambivalent about long-term care insurance. A great idea in principle, but so expensive! I like peace of mind as much as the next guy, but if my nest egg steadily erodes to purchase that peace of mind, I get LESS peace of mind as the dollars flow out of my bank account.

    I never buy extended-warranty “insurance” for appliances or electronics or cars. That sort of insurance is usually a cash cow for the retailers and rarely worth it to consumers. Take care of your stuff and you won’t need insurance. Also applies to one’s health too. But always insure against the catastrophic.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Chris is right about the mixed nature of insurance. I suppose one of the best arguments for insurance is that it forces you to keep paying for something that you will probably need someday, only you wouldn’t have had the discipline to save for it. Buying insurance often feels like gambling in Vegas. Someone smarter than I am has calculated the odds with precision, and “the house” is always going to win in the long run.

    I currently have zero insurance unless you count Medicare as insurance. Or maybe my remarkably high rent bill can be seen as a form of insurance, paying for services I don’t yet need but someday probably will.

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  9. I never buy the extended warranty on anything. Sandy always did. We ever used it on anything. Have read about it a couple times over the years. Financial people say don’t buy it, or did when I looked.
    Just did a thorough wash of the microwave. Building maintenance guy says it is one of the few of the first installed in the building 18 years ago. Has been repaired twice. Next time it breaks we get a new one. This one is fine, except it is an over the stove one, with a built-in lousy hood. The bottom of the microwave is so hard to clean. Grease does linger there to some extent no matter what I try.
    OT Report: my son goes home after lunch. All system working. Lots of pain but that cannot be avoided. His ex-wife will take care of him at her house. He will be around his son then, which is a good healing thing to have. They get along very well except when they are around each other too much. We will see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do carry the service contract with Best Buy for Ipad and computer. Very worth its cost. Use it maybe twice a year. Also includes virus protection, which works well. Not MacAfee or one of those pieces of crab everyone tries to foist on me.

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  10. I also have a love-hate relationship with insurance. Currently I have homeowner, health, and car insurance. I choose to not have long term care insurance. My feeling is that if you have a lot of income/assets to protect, then go for it, otherwise no.It is too expensive. My parents both had it even though they really couldn’t afford it. After dad died at age 76 and my mom was left with minimal income (they did not plan well), we convinced her to drop it since she now REALLY couldn’t afford it. At the end, when she required constant care for a couple of months, the insurance would not have covered her (can’t remember exactly why).

    I had malpractice, health, disability, and life insurance provided for me while working. When I retired I chose not to purchase a life insurance policy. I am single with no dependents and no debt (except credit card which I pay off every month). I have enough in savings for my survivors to have me cremated – ashes to be scattered.

    I was paying beaucoup bucks for health insurance once I retired and had to purchase my own. I was able to retire at age 56 so I had a long time to wait for Medicare. The last 4 years of single health coverage was ridiculously expensive so Medicare was a godsend. I am fortunate to have no underlying health issues except for osteoporosis and only one prescription med. So I am able to purchase a very good supplemental insurance plan that costs a fraction of what I was paying before age 65. I won’t complain even if Medicare premiums go up.

    I have only rarely paid extended warranty insurance for electronics, appliances, or my car. My thinking is that same as Chris’ – cash cow for the retailer. And electronics these days are unfortunately not meant to last for longer than a few years at best.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Consumer Reports is adamant that extended new car warranties are a scam.

    I know one person whose IT skills are so rudimentary that the extended warranty offered by Apple was a really smart buy. Apple lost big bucks with that contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We have car/home and then medicare, and Husband always does careful research each November for our supplemental. The one time I bought an extended warranty was in 2000 for an iMac. Ironically, it did a crash-and-burn just before the e.w. ran out! Still, we usually don’t spring for that.

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  13. HI-
    I’ve made insurance salesman cry. I don’t get along well with them.
    Well, I do if they listen to me. And I have met a few really nice people that sold insurance (and one, who was also an Olympic Bobsled captain!)
    The insurance on the farm and machinery is a tough one to pay every year. Just the dollar amount and three of the four payments always seem to be at the worst time of the year.
    I am so lucky to have medical insurance through Kelly and Mayo Clinic. It’s not as good as it was years ago when they just covered everything, but it’s still better than a lot of other things. She knows she has to keep working just because of insurance.
    I do have insurance on my iPhone because I’m pretty hard on them, but I haven’t had to use it either.
    Appliances we’ve been lucky with. knocking on wood.

    My parents were big on getting us on insurance as kids so we had a policy that would be paid and “making us money!” as we got older. yeah. That didn’t always work out as interest rates dropped. Oops, They didn’t foresee that coming. I thought I had 3 policies. Turns out I only have one, as one of those “paid up” ones, burned up all the revenue and expired and we didn’t have any local agents anymore to follow up. However we’re also at a point we don’t really *need* life insurance anymore. I still FELT like I should and it took several conversations with our financial guy to understand why we don’t anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I turned 70 1/2, my life insurance company informed me that my $125 monthly premium was now going to be $888 and subject to further change. Since the mortgage was paid, and I wasn’t terminally ill as far as I knew, there wasn’t much reason to keep the policy.

      I have a hard and fast rule with salespersons of insurance and other financial vehicles. If at any point they pause, look thoughtful, and confide, “You know, people don’t plan to fail. They just fail to plan.”, our conversation is over.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. To add insult to injury, the amount a life insurance policy will pay out upon your death decreases with your age while the premium you pay skyrockets. When I think about the amount of insurance payments I have squandered over the years in an attempt to shield husband from financial ruin in case of my untimely death, I could cry. Perhaps I should take the other tack and rejoice that I’m still alive.

        We carry mandatory car insurance, and our home and belongings are insured, as well. We are both on Medicare and carry additional supplemental insurance. This year I opted for dental insurance, but I think I’m dropping it for next year, just not worth it. Husband and I don’t carry the same supplemental insurance as I would rather pay a few extra dollars each month in premiums, and not have to worry about sizeable deductibles and co-pays.

        My father used to say that when you bought health and life insurance, you were betting against yourself. Back then, healthcare was not yet socialized in Denmark, but even then, it wouldn’t bankrupt you. Husband’s former boss, who died a week ago today from Covid-19, had been in the ICU on and off a respirator since September 13th, I shudder to think what that medical bill looked like. I trust he had decent insurance. My friend Ken, who has been in a memory care unit for over three years now, is nearing the maximum that his long-term insurance will pay out. I don’t know how you protect yourself from such a tragedy. His monthly bill is just over $6,000.00, not very many budgets can withstand that for any length of time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Not just sad, though it is certainly that, it’s really terrifying and heartbreaking. Eva, his wife, has not been able to see him since the middle of March; she has absolutely no idea how he is being cared for, or how much his physical or mental health has deteriorated. Ken’s situation reminds me of a line in a song by Eric Bogle: Never knew there were worse things than dying.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I am happy we somehow ended up with a rider on our long-term care insurance that will cover us forever. There is no time limit once we start using it.. If we don’t use it, it turns into life insurance.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. Years ago we bought three kinds of policies from Prudential. One term life insurance, is that what you call it when at a certain age is expires? Sandy to this day is offended she no longer has life insurance. She seems to think if I love her I put lots of life insurance on her. That all arose well before her dementia. Supposedly that is the best kind of life insurance to buy. The other two policies Prudential turned into more investment programs as well as insurance. We had a few thousand dollars a couple years ago which I used to pay off the last of our debts. There is still enough left to pay for both of our funerals, which is all we need. No policy on her but I can withdraw the full value when I want.

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