Get a mop and wipe it up!

"I'm not happy, Bob. Not happy."

, posted: 20-Feb-2007 07:06

Gilbert Huph is the head of the insurance agency in The Incredibles.
Gilbert Huph

He is the epitomy of the insurance executive, who is not interested in his customers. Only his shareholders.

I've recently encountered 2 such people (whom I won't name) from 2 different insurance companies (which I will name).


I have been a customer of AMI for more than 10 years, with a very good claim record. To minimise my insurance cost, they insured our house, contents and 2 cars.

But, at the last renewal date for one car, I decided to check that we are still getting a good deal, and got competing quotes for one of the cars. It turned out that State would cover the same car for $100 less. In round figures, State quoted $500 and AMI's premium was $600. So I rang my AMI branch, expecting them to match a competitive quote. No -- they are not allowed to.

I protested that there was no premium reduction for paying for a professional installation of an alarm/immobiliser (which other companies give). I argued that someone who cares about his property sufficiently to pay $400+ for an alarm is more likely to look after their property while driving too. I tried hard. No dice.

I even scoured their web site, posting a message asking for the CEO's email address, and wrote to him, suggesting ways to be more responsive, more astute and asking for a better deal for my car premium.


So, despite my low opinion of State, I insured my car with them.


We did not have health insurance until last year. Before then the benefits didn't appear to outweigh the cost of the premiums. Now that we're older and our bodies are falling to bits (you too can have a body like mine if you neglect it, Spike Milligan), it seems warranted.

But it is very discouraging to put in a claim for the expensive oral surgery for my teenage son to deal with wisdom teeth, to have the company unilaterally respond with "yes to that, no to that and that, and don't forget your excess", with no indication of the judgement process behind those decisions.

"I'm not happy, Bob."

It reminds me on one of my favourite Goon Shows: Insurance, the White Man's Burden.

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Comment by TinyTim, on 20-Feb-2007 20:40

Re State - I've insured with them for 20 years (first contents, then contents and car, now contents, car and house), we've had a couple of claims in the last two years, couldn't fault them.

I heard they get a bad name because they are willing to insure people no other company will touch (and of course they're not good customers!)

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David White
New Zealand

Goon fan, .NET developer, contrarian seeker of truth