Thursday, November 09, 2006

Car Insurance

Dear Readers

I sometimes watch TV and occasionally with some regret, I fail to hit the mute button when the commercials come on. In the US, these come on with alarming regularity, and typically spoil my enjoyment of any program, which to my dismay is why I rarely watch TV. The majority of commercials also seem to be aimed at imbeciles. Be that may, yesterday, I watched a very moving program about some animals that had been mistreated, and the wonderful work of the SPCA in helping them. During a break, a commercial came on for AIG (American International Group, Inc.) which highlighted their car insurance scheme. A must have obviously, as the people on the commercial had perfect teeth and no wrinkles – none that were showing anyway, except for the teeth. It seems that a few minutes would solve all my problems and save me up to gazillions of $.

To set the scene. I have been with GEICO for the last 6 years, and pay a smidgen under $400 every 6 months. My car is basically not worth anything if it was wrecked, but I pity the other sod that would crash into it. It is a Mercury (hang in there Joy – not a Mystery or a Miserable) Grand Marquis which answers to the name of Hercules. As previous readers of this un-missable blog might recall, this has a wonderful 4.6 liter V8 with a Single Overhead Cam no less - I'm not sure if it has a 1.8 Ghz or a 2.4 Ghz clock, but I'm told that if one is expected to be technically oriented, one has to at least have the buzz-words. At least my gas pedal is digital. "On" means 'yeah, baby', "off" means sitting at a set of lights watching the fuel gauge go East. However, I digress, but as I discovered yesterday during a downpour, he has a severe disliking to being driven in the rain. The word “WON’T” was constantly belched from under the hood. He was coaxed home on threats, and promises of more oil. (He’s prone to leaking it on my driveway.)

Back to the plot, dear readers. Today, I went online to get a quote from AIG for this worthy steed. In the US there are many questions about the coverage one needs, but after about 10 minutes, I was quoted $671 for 6 months. By my basic arithmetic skills, this is about 70% more than I currently pay. Now, by dint of technology, one can get AIG to call you to discuss said quote. After 4 transfers, I spoke to Matthew. I do believe that my understanding of English is quite good, but Matthew’s grasp left me repeatedly going, “Excuse me?” I began to wonder if Mark, Luke and John were about to follow. After discussing my concerns, he revised the quote to $490. This included a veritable recovery service. However, all my quotes were for less liability. He was surprised when I declined his generous offer. He reminded me that this included the towing service (available from AAA for $60 a year). Arithmetic seems to be amiss in some people’s minds… When I was a child (yes, once), the three Rs were important. Reading, Righting and Rithmetic.

So the little Gecko will continue to get my support. I then went out and bought half a gallon of oil. Hercules gulped down the oil with gusto. He’s now behaving well. Man over machine.

And the moral of the story is? Don’t watch/listen to commercials on TV. And keep your cars well oiled.

Here endeth today’s lesson.