Insurance is a necessary part of life. I am happy to pay the premiums knowing that if a meteorite weighing 473.32 kg (no more, no less) strikes my car during a slight drizzle during a breeze measuring only 1.001 mph on a sensitive graph located underground somewhere on the African continent at 0203 hours, any damage to the left rear door only will be covered. And only if the car is painted ripe hazelnut puce. Restrictions will be strictly adhered to.
Up through the fog of my elderly brain some months ago rose the thought that my auto insurance premiums seemed a bit high considering certain changes in my life. So after various checks, cross-checks, consultations with some quatrains of Nostradamus, studying some ancient astral charts and calling my insurance agent, it was found to be so. Yes, there was an error. I had been paying too much.
I rubbed my hands together with much glee and aloe cream and waited for a refund check to appear. It did, and for the exact amount earlier expressed by my agent. All was now well in my world.
Soon I received my proof of insurance status and that my premium for the next six months was $579.33. Then I received an 82-page explanation of my coverage (including the part about meteorite activity). The first page of this document had a box in the upper right corner which stated that my premium for six months was $610.33. What? This is about $30 higher than the previous communication. One paragraph later, I read this: "Your new premium for six months is now $682.45.”
Hold on. How could my premium increase $72.12 in the course of a few lines of type and just about 48 seconds? In addition to the other $30? I am no math genius, but even I knew this did not make sense. When confronted with such perplexities, I handle them intelligently. I place them neatly on the stack with other similar perplexities and wait for a week or so because I know more nonsense is to follow.
I am generally right. In this case, I was right. A month passed. Then I received another letter. This one had so many pages in it that I was pretty certain several trees had fallen in the forest and a lot of creatures heard them as they fell and were dragged off.
Its cover letter notified me that my six-month premium due shortly was $627.65. This was not as good as $579.33 but better than $682.45. Now I want to put on a gaudy T-shirt, prance up and down in front of an audience and yell, “I’ll take what’s behind Curtain Number One, Bob! Noooo, Three, Ohhh, One. Two! I’ll take Two! Audience? Two?” If I hold out, will the premium drop? Go up?
There is another part of this thing. I am not sure I trust a major corporation who sends me letters signed by someone who puts gold snowflakes all around her name and little smiley faces and hearts between the letters of my name. Are they hiring 11-year-olds?
It is time to line up bowls of pecans, caramels, pretzels, glasses of iced tea, chocolate milk and a pea shooter with ammunition. I need sustenance when I must begin the process of calling this company and going deep to reach someone who can sort out the actual amount of my premium. I know I will answer many robotic voices before reaching a human.
That is the reason for the pea shooter. While I wait, I can fire peas at a small waste basket that sits in another room. If I miss, the cats will chase them. And soon learn they are not fond of peas. I am not fond of confusing premium statements.
Do some companies base premiums on which stage the moon is in? Or who won the World Series? Actually, I did reach a human voice in less than 24 minutes. I was told amount No. 1 is due in six months, No. 2 is due now and to throw away any other statements.
I carefully noted the name of this person, the time he said it, the date, the weather and what I was wearing. Just in case.
Susan Keezer lives in Adrian. Email her your good news stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Susan Keezer: The wonderful world of auto insurance premiums