David Gewirtz | BIO
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute
So I jumped through the looking glass the other day. I spoke to our insurance company. Although the woman I spoke to was very nice, I felt at times like I was talking more to the Mad Hatter than a respected insurance provider.
It all started last fall, when we got a notice that our company's insurance program was going to change with the new year. Our insurance company (one of the largest and best known), provided no further details. After calling our agent and the company itself, all we were able to determine was this change was "normal" and our billing process might be delayed.
OK, fine. Was our rate going up? No idea. Did we file too many claims? No idea. Were we in some sort of coverage limbo? No idea.
So, we waited. And it turns out, our coverage was fine and our rate even went down by seven bucks.
Then came the conversation.
We hadn't gotten a bill for a while and that started to worry us. I drew the short straw, so I had to make the call. The conversation went like this.
David: Hi, I'm calling because we haven't gotten our bill in a while.
InsCo: Oh, yes, I show you're late making your payment.
David: Wow, we do our best to be on time, when did you send the bill?
InsCo: Last night.
David: Last night? I thought you said we were late.
InsCo: You are. About three weeks. Don't worry, though. If you pay us within the week, it'll be fine. Although you should make sure you make your payments on time.
David: We usually do. But this time, you told us our rate would change, and we should wait until we got the bill. I'm a little worried, because that bill never came.
InsCo: Yes, that's right.
David: So how could we be late if we didn't know our rate?
InsCo: Well, that's your responsibility.
David: OK, so can I pay over the phone? I can give you a credit card or use a check.
InsCo: We'll take a check. Please hold.
[I wait for five minutes]
InsCo: I'm sorry, we can't accept a check from you now.
David: Why not? Is there something wrong with our account?
InsCo: Oh, no. It's just that since we only issued your bill last night, our system isn't set up yet to accept payment.
David: Um, okay. So what should I do to make sure you're paid?
InsCo: Well, I can fax you your bill and you can send a check in as soon as you get it.
David: Well, that seems fair, but I want to make sure you get it in time, so our company's insurance isn't disrupted.
InsCo: Oh, you don't want to be late. We frown on late payments.
And, other than a few pleasantries about the weather, the conversation was over. I awaited the fax.
I got a fax from the nice insurance woman few hours later. It said, "I can't generate the bill yet. It's still too soon. But make sure you pay on time."
What about you? Have you experienced insurance company logic from your insurance provider? Comment below.
Follow David on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz.
Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the ZATZ magazines. He is a leading Presidential scholar specializing in White House email. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.
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