In the intelligence business, access to insurance company files is regarded as an operational goldmine. A former executive explains, “These files contained detailed analysis of actual and potential weaknesses, trouble spots, and other problems of any sort facing clients. Insurance companies stand to lose millions of dollars in the event of an actionable accident or difficulty, such as the Three Mile Island fiasco. Obviously, these very thorough and detailed investigative data would be of immense interest to a saboteur. In other words, these companies want to know the details by which anything and everything could go wrong with a client. These data are like a printer on sabotage.”
Getting access to these reports and data may not be so easy for the nonprofessional. But if you have enough dedication and imagination you will find a method. The kids who blackbagged the FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania, were nonprofessionals, and look what they pulled off! They managed to liberate entire files of illegal domestic espionage, which later blew apart COINTELPRO, the blackest eye Hoover’s FBI ever suffered.
Now let’s get to the insurance companies themselves. Suppose you get turned down for insurance and you want to know why. By law, the insurance company must show you the file it has on you. Suppose you learn that all sorts of misinformation and other lies are in there. There are organizations and lawyers that deal in just that sort of thing, and a load of simultaneous lawsuits for such things as invasion of privacy and slander would be great.
Deborah Bodenhead hates junk mail, especially mail-order insurance hustles. So she answers these requests with affirmative orders; “I’ll buy,” she tells them. Then she runs salespeople and clerks through all sorts of scheduled, broken, rebroken, etc., appointments. She settles finally on a policy, then waits for the second billing to cancel. Why the second billing?
“They rarely send out the policy before the first billing,” Deborah explains. “I want them to go to the expense of preparing and processing the policy. I usually get a second bill with a polite dunning letter. That’s when I cancel. It drives the salespeople to anguish every time. Usually when they whine and ask me why, I just tell them I really hate mail-order advertising and just decided to cancel on a matter of principle about junk mail.”
I asked an insurance agent about this stunt, and he cursed people like Deborah, saying these people drove our rates up. I asked him if it wasn’t really the companies’ own obnoxious marketing techniques that drove up rates! He cursed me, too.
Don’t ever pity or sorrow for insurance companies. They make more profit in an hour than any of us make in salary in a year.