Buyers Must Share Blame Regarding “Unfair” Car Insurance Policies and Other Contracts

The “surprise problems” with some car insurance agreements and other contracts people sign often result from the same human weakness: CARELESSNESS.

What?  Example:  One well-known car insurance firm (using the Statue of Liberty) has been running ads attempting to depict their competitors as unfair and insensitive because of their policies regarding car replacement.  In reality, the ads inadvertently accuse the average policy holder of simple laziness with:

“Did you read all of the pages? Only lawyers do that.” Or:  “Does your insurance cover a tow truck?  Who knows?”

Not reading what you sign will get you get what you deserve!

This is not to suggest that insurance policies shouldn’t cover the entire cost of car replacement or provide for a tow.  These are reasonable things to expect in insurance.  But why would someone pay premiums periodically without knowing what’s covered?

It’s this same lack of attention to details which explains why many accept “free” phone apps without looking to see what invasive access to their phone is being given away.  Some apps can read address lists and even turn the camera or microphone on without owner approval.

Too many wander along through life with a sense of entitlement that Big Brother will always protect them (when, in fact, he’s a massive problem himself). Instead, we must take the time to read all contracts of consequence.

This includes not only car insurance policies and phone app agreements, but also house purchase contracts, condo/association rules and all ballot issues (bond issues and local/ state constitutional amendments).  In that way, we can avoid these times of dismay:  A condo owner discovers after damage occurs that the area in question is not “common property” but his responsibility or a house property tax assessment for a specific situation never seems to go away — because it’s an “on-going” tax without the usual renewal periods in place!

Yes, there is unfairness in the world, but there’s much we can do to prevent trouble in our lives.  We must shed the “victim” mentality and READ before we sign.





READ “Permissions” Before Downloading Phone Applications

Today’s phones may not be your dad’s phones, but a little old-fashioned wisdom can go a long way to making your high-tech life more secure.  The world of easy, automatic downloads has become an electronic Pandora’s box which can have the same “no going back” results.  Even seemingly harmless programs like those for mapping, bar-code reading and games are not immune to trouble and have been found to have surprisingly intrusive impacts on your information.  You might be giving permission to programming that:  1) invades your personal files and result in loss or manipulation of data  2) uses the data in ways that can harm you  3) wastes battery power, etc.

The bottom line is this: try to avoid the convenience of automatic downloads.  Take the time to read the tedious information available with each upgrade.  The information with initial downloads is important, too.  You could very well decide the potential benefits are outweighed by the dangers your device will be exposed to.