“The House always wins.” You may have heard it said about casinos, but not insurance. Then, why is insurance such a multi-billion dollar industry? Quite clearly the odds are in favor of the insurer. However, I think that it isn’t the odds that are in favor of insurers, it is the small print. This article in The Times UK shows “The 25 Most Outrageous Policy Exclusions.”
I’ve only had two experiences with insurance, and they were enough to convince me that I wouldn’t waste my money on it. In the US I would be considered irresponsible for it, I know. But, Honduras is another story.
Once I was driving to work, and a lady, who was coming from the opposite direction, suddenly turned left and crossed my lane. I swerved and braked, but I still hit the corner of her car. Don’t worry, I said to her, I have insurance. They’ll pay for it. Big mistake! So, I moved my car out of the way, so I wouldn’t hold up incoming traffic. Another big mistake. I needed to get to work, so we only waited about half an hour for the police to arrive; they can take hours. Very big mistake.
When I went to my insurance agency, and told them about the accident, they said they wouldn’t pay for it unless I was to blame. If the other person was to blame, they would charge them for the accident. They were aghast when I told them about my conversation with the lady. They said they would contact her and force her to pay. Also, since I didn’t wait for the police, they would not pay for the accident unless I went to court and defended myself before the traffic judge.
So I went to the Transit office, and they told me that I had to have waited for police to arrive, and I should not have moved my car. It did not matter if I would cause a line of hundreds of cars, or that I had to go to work. Otherwise, I would have needed to take pictures of the relative positions of the cars in order for them to reconstruct the accident. They set a date for my court appearance a few days later.
Now I had to call the lady. Immediately after the accident I had promised her she would not pay a dime. But, it turns out she is a lawyer! After working out the details of the situation, I realized I had to lose the case in order to keep my promise to her, because she threatened to sue me. So basically, I purposely did not defend myself, so the judge would rule in her favor, while she exaggerated the whole situation before the judge. I was furious, but could do nothing. I lost the case. Insurance did pay for repairs.
The repairs came out to be about three thousand Lempiras. In the years that I had paid car insurance, I had given them more than 50 thousand Lempiras. My car only cost 80 thousand! And they didn’t want to pay three thousand! I now refuse to pay insurance in Honduras! I’d rather buy the lottery, or gamble in a casino, I’ll probably lose less money.