Tuesday, October 12, 2010

About The Insurance Scam

The world is an uncertain place. Whether it is physical property or human life, the risk of loss due to damage or disability is often translated into financial terms. For the family or community, the loss of income can become a matter of survival for the dependants.

Risk doesn't mean that something will happen but that there is a statisical chance of happening. The whole concept of insurance is that the individual risks associated with a person or entity can be spread them among many others so that if they actually occur, the financial burden will not be overwhelming. The various cocktails of personal, health, property or indemnity insurance products are too many to list, but they are all related to the propensity to pay.

But if you have really deep pockets, should you care about insurance policies at all? If you have 5 cars in the garage, would you lose sleep over the Ferrari wrapped around a tree at Nicoll Highway? The businessman who stands to lose $6.5 million shelled out as a single premium was 64 when he took out the policy. Whatever the value of the cover, did he ever ask himself if he will have the time to enjoy the money? Quite obviously, it was not the protection from calamity that sealed the deal, but the temptation of 6 to 7 percent returns. Putting aside the pros and cons of insurance as an investment instrument, we see again the sad story of greed exploited by the even greedier.

The insurance agent involved in the dispute was once hailed by the media for earning more than $300,000 in annual commission from new policies. Then, and now, the details of those policies are never held up for public scrutiny. The news is always about how much they make, not how they make it. If the cabinet ministers aren't paid millions, nobody will give them the time of day. Especially when you scrutinise their performance record of recent years. The high premiums have always been questionable, and the insurance scheme against corruption and bad governance could turn out to be another scam.

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