Insurance Fraud: The True Story

Posted Oct 19, 2002
Last Updated Aug 10, 2014

You hear it all the time on those commercials insurance companies throw at you on TV—that people filing fraudulent insurance claims are costing you premium dollars. That’s why they are doing their best to sniff out the frauds and save you money.

If I believed that insurance companies really care about saving you money, I might believe that. But it’s propaganda, and insurance companies know it. The only way I can think of for insurance companies to ethically save your money is to stop spending millions of dollars on television ads. That or going bankrupt and extinct.

Insurance itself isn’t a bad idea. Nobody wants to get screwed in case of a catastrophe. We buy insurance for safety against the odds that something terrible might or will happen. We want to be prepared to handle accidents and disasters.

So we pay money to companies against the odds. And we keep paying and paying and paying. We fork out all this money because we know that disasters just might happen. And we never draw a line.

You really have to think about this. If the average person pays $50 per month on auto insurance between the ages of sixteen and sixty-five, they have paid $29,400 to insurance. Now that’s the bare minimum for insurance. Maybe that person gets into a fender-bender three times, and the damage equals to a total of $6,000. There’s $23,400 lost to the "might have beens.”

The wizened teacher will say, "Well, that’s not such a big price for peace of mind.”

That wizened teacher also doesn’t live on my salary, and probably not yours either.

Insurance companies exist only because it is very likely that you won’t ever need to call on the service for which you pay. Even more, they thrive because there are laws that force tax-payers to fill these companies’ pockets. How convenient! If I could only pass a law that required every literate citizen to pay me $5 per month for writing, regardless of how much they do—or possibly don’t—read me, then I’d be pretty set. The fact that I’d be a thief might pass over my mind, but I’d probably have enough money to pay for the psychologist that would reaffirm my feeling of self-value.

When it comes to auto insurance laws, the ethical approach would be for the government to form an insurance account that every driver pays into for so many years until they have paid the average lifetime cost of insurance claims. That way we can all be insured, but only pay $10,000 and keep the peace of mind while helping ourselves save up some money.

Of course, the well-connected owners and profiteers (read charlatans) of insurance companies will throw a fuss with the politicians. But while they might buy a few politicians, there are more people in the population who could use the extra cash—people who ultimately vote for the politicians.

See, if the end product is the same—that the person out there driving has some insurance that he and his fellows are covered financially—why is he going to fret with the collapse of an industry when he can get the same service cheaper?

But now that we come to that fact, I guess it might be better, in the end, to keep the system the way it is. Obviously, if the average driver saved $30 a month, he would have too much money to spend on alcohol, increasing the odds of auto accidents. So I guess we really should make the insurance companies rich on our money—if not for their benefit, then for a social cause.

The concept of insurance is a twisted matter in American minds. All those ads that say you’re in safe hands with such-and-such a company are a bunch of misleading babblings and propaganda. In the real world, there are no certainties. There is no real insurance. There are only best bets and odds, which is something insurance companies understand much better than the person who pays into them.

I could pay a million dollars to an insurance company and then die tomorrow from some drunk. I could also pay a million dollars and never have an accident that required any billion-dollar company to back me up. For most of us, that’s the case.

And that is why we should have an insurance pot. The average person wins with a balance of adequate insurance and lessened financial burden. It makes the most sense in the end, because if we are going to be required to pay something, it ought to be to the government than to a corporation. There’s nothing wrong with paying companies what they are due. But the money we pay to insurance companies, which is coerced out of us, is too much like a tax—and taxes go to the government, not individuals or companies.

Or better yet--get the idea of insurance out of the public's mind as a necessity to modern living. And get the insurance industry out of Washington and off our back!


Skeptical essays about the insurance industry.

  1. Insurance Fraud: The True Story
  2. The Big Insurance Scam
  3. Obama's Health Care Reform


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Cristhian Mejia

Nov 11, 2009

That's so true I don't believe in insurance and my auto insurance is the minium. The difference is $50 so I put that in the bank. I have been told that's unwise but I don't care because I haven't caused an accident and most likely wont. So why should I care to protect someone out there even if they're the idiot who hits me. If insurance doesn't cover it the lawsuit will.

Shawn Olson

Aug 10, 2014

Sorry it took so long to get back to your comment! Thank you for sharing your view :) You are right, in my opinion. The lawsuits, after the fact of an actual accident, should be all we need.
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