With my luck I’d only be maimed

Writing tip: Nothing draws readers quite like writing about insurance!  (Image: http://yourinsurancegirl.com/)

Writing tip: Nothing draws readers quite like writing about insurance!
(Image: http://yourinsurancegirl.com/)

Knowing how you’re going to die would be terrible – for the insurance companies. If people knew for sure they were going to slip away in their sleep, for example, why would anyone bother taking out accidental death protection? But if you knew your fate was to die, say, in a Cuisinart explosion, you’d likely take out a whopping accidental death policy, which, of course, would make it all worthwhile. Either way, the insurance companies would lose money, and we can’t have that.

As it stands, we go through life without an exit strategy, so the insurance companies prey on the statistical possibility, however slight, that we will end our days in a horrid manner – and I don’t just mean under another Stephen Harper government.

Last week, I received a letter from my insurer offering me the chance to double my accidental death benefit for only $10.44 a month. Double! That seemed a pretty sweet deal considering that so far in life I have not died accidentally, meaning the odds increase daily that I will. In short, I’m due.

Trust me, I’ve seen Death lurking – several near misses backing out of parking spaces; almost slipping on gobs of shampoo that my daughter leaves on the bottom of the tub; tangling on the stairs with overfed cats wanting to be overfed some more. And I’ve been accidentally ingesting red meat and ice cream for nearly 50 years.

So I considered upping my policy. But then I noticed a card entitled “Additional Information for Residents of Quebec.” I thought perhaps this would be some linguistic thing, like maybe policy holders weren’t covered if they accidentally died in an English way (line-dancing; drinking wine spritzers; uncomplainingly; etc.).

Instead, it warned that the policy had restrictions and exclusions and that I should review the offer carefully. Apparently, Quebecers need specific reminders to read the small print, which explains why they’ve nearly fallen twice for cockamamie referendum questions.

Being a good Quebecer and English (obedient), I did read the small print and found that there were many situations under which the accidental death policy would not pay out.

For starters, I learned that the policy would end at age 70 – just when I’ll be more likely than ever to have a fatal accident. Seniors are aware of this, which is why they drive so slowly. Not me. When I’m 80, knowing I have only a limited number of days left, the last place I’m going to want to be is in my car. I’m going to get from A to B as quickly as damn possible. And if that means going out in a blazing fireball, I’m willing to take the risk.

But if I’m over 70, there would be no financial gain in my doing so.

There were other restrictions. There would be no payout if I were operating a vehicle while drunk, including any transportation put in motion by muscle power, moving or not. If I were standing in roller skates, drunk, and I slipped, fell and died, I would get no benefits, though probably a couple of laughs. If I were drunk in an office chair and I rolled down the stairs, however, I think I’d be covered. It’s always good to have a plan.

The insurer wouldn’t pay if I died accidentally while committing a crime or taking non-prescription drugs. What about if I were committing a crime and taking non-prescription drugs? Frowned upon.

These restrictions seemed fair enough. But I also would receive no benefit if I inhaled any type of gas, “whether voluntarily or involuntarily.” Let’s just say that if I “involuntarily” inhale gas, somebody better be asking some questions. But more than this, I’m disappointed that I wouldn’t be covered, because I think we all believed in our hearts that, when my death occurred, it would somehow involve gas.

If I die in a commercial plane crash, I would be covered. But I’m not covered if my private jet goes down, which is shamefully prejudiced against people with far too much money.

If my death is the result of civil disorder or war, “whether declared or not,” I’m not covered. This is where I start to worry that the insurers would go all philosopher in the event of any accidental death, for are we not all, ultimately, at war… with ourselves? And ISIS? And our brokers?

In the end, Instead of putting a wager on whether I’m going to die accidentally, I decided I could spend that $10.44 a month on something I could enjoy while breathing, like music or more ice cream. Besides, the way I behave, chances are I won’t be killed accidentally. More likely on purpose.

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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43 Responses to With my luck I’d only be maimed

  1. Small print, from contracts to medication side effects, will be the death of us all. Painfully funny post, Ross. I feel compelled to review my own policy. I’m pretty sure I’m going to die in some needlessly stupid way that will not be covered.

  2. What if you’re at war (hold on, I’m laughing at the thought of Canadians at war)…Ok, what if you’re at war and you should go collect your syrup from the outside syrup containment devices so that invading Frenchmen or whoever you’re at war with won’t steal it and you fall down the stairs and die as a result. Is that covered or what? I’m worried about all the things killing me now so thanks for that, Buddy.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I’m filled with an irrational surge of patriotism at your comment, sir. Canadians have fought in many wars, including against the United States (it ended in a draw). Canada fought in the entirety of both World Wars… unlike some people. https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Battle_of_Vimy_Ridge But to answer your question: no.

      • I’d rather read about hockey fights, but we should all be proud of where we come from, sir. Wars or otherwise. Lol.

        • Paul says:

          PFFT! You guys didn’t do so well against us in the War of 1812. And don’t get any ideas now or we will bring the might of both of our working tanks into play and crush you. Oh,wait,Frank who drives one of the tanks is out on workers comp with a sprained ankle – can you hold up on the invasion until he returns?

        • rossmurray1 says:

          Sorry. Our current PM is rubbing off on me, I guess. He is a real war-history-monger. It’s weird to be proud of something that most young men were duped into. But it is our history, so that’s something. That’s it from me. Back to my pacifist ways. Salut!

    • R. Todd says:

      Wait.. wait.. wait.. your laughing because of the Canadian’s at war part (ok, I’m laughing at that too), but then follow up with ‘invading French’??? I am hoping that this is a fine bit of irony… cause to my knowledge, the only thing the French have invaded in the last 100 years was a restaurant.

  3. pinklightsabre says:

    Yes, I was wondering just yesterday if I might drop dead any moment and much happier not knowing. I won’t slime your story here with Zen, though. Keep it in my pocket with the chap stick.

  4. The Cutter says:

    James Dean was right: Die young.

  5. Paul says:

    Yikes! Reading the fine print on insurance policies is a sure downer. Inevitably it is possible to imagine a way that the policy could be invalidated,with less rhetorical skill than the least talented on the grade 10 debating team (that would be Howard who only started speaking to strangers last year and whose mother was insistent that he spend time away from his dark room and video games by joining the debating club).

    Personally I found another inventive way that insurers can not pay out – assisted by the Harper government. I rolled a loaded tractor trailer in Houston some years ago when I parked on a soft shoulder and the ground gave away. The damage was mostly cosmetic but had to be repaired to operate the vehicle. The insurance company gave the go-ahead and while the vehicle was being repaired,decided they didn’t want to be an insurance company any more (Carrier from the US decided to exit the Canadian market). The Canadian Superintendent of Insurance took over the assets and looked for a buyer. Under the law governing insurance operations there is no where close to enough money set aside to pay claims. The government continued to demand premiums and stopped paying claims. The little pink card was worthless. When no buyer could be found, the government closed the insurance company under the “Rolling up Act” and paid out claims at 10 cents on the dollar about 5 years later. All this was kept secret until the end- for fear the customers would leave and the premiums would stop. So,the profits went south and the debts were downloaded onto the customers – with the help of the government.

    The moral being that the fine print leaves out one other way that your claim will not be paid – if the insurance company decides not to. It was a wise decision Ross to keep your $10.44. I applaud your actions. 😀

  6. ksbeth says:

    good call. my insurance company made me swear that i did not participate in ‘rodeo.’ no lie –

  7. T.G. Forester says:

    Reading the fine print is like stopping at stop signs; you never do it until it crushes your fibula in three places.

  8. Those policies might mean you lack some coverage, but take comfort. It could be worse. You could live here, in America.
    It’s fine here! We don’t NEED insurance! /sobbing

  9. Hahaha! 🙂 Great post!

    Since I’m a pilot, I basically can’t get life insurance, unless I pay about a zillion dollars a month. Another first world problem. 🙂 But it beats falling down the stairs while drunkenly participating in a roller derby. Or some such.

  10. List of X says:

    That provision about inhaling gas provides the insurance company with a way to wiggle out of paying practically any claim, because you’re almost guaranteed to be inhaling oxygen and nitrogen during or immediately before any death-causing accidents. I can only think of drowning being an exception, but they may classify drowning as “excessive drinking” and you’d be out of luck again.

  11. Clearly, it’s your obligation to pass this mortal coil prior to 70 years old. Wouldn’t it be TOO FUNNY if you died the day AFTER your 70th birthday? Oh, your family would laugh and laugh and laugh!

    This was a good one, Ross. I’m mean…they’re all good or I wouldn’t subscribe. But this one rang my bell.

  12. Ned's Blog says:

    If you’re going to do something stupid that gets you killed while still covered under your policy, at least you know it’ll be when you’re 69 and 9/10ths years old. That really narrows it down.

  13. Elyse says:

    Does it cover dying from boredom while reading the fine print? No? I didn’t think so…

  14. cat9984 says:

    You could get accidental death and dismemberment insurance in case part of you gets separated from the rest of you.

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