Monday, January 28, 2013

Twisting My Mustache

Why You May Want a Mean Insurance Plan 

So, I've been thinking about my blog.  Not really thinking about it actually, thinking about the word 'blog'.  I mean, is there an uglier word in the English language?  It conjures up visions of the result of severe gastrointestinal distress.  "Mom, I don't feel so well after eating that ice cream".  Mom retorts, "Honey, I told you not to pick the under-cooked pork swirl flavor, but you just wouldn't listen!". "Mom, don't be cruel.  I feel like I could blog at any moment!". This way, you don't have to blog.  I'm doing it for you.  Kinda my community service contribution I think.  

Another thing that seems to make folks want to 'blog' is when they hear about how the big, mean insurance company denied an insurance claim.  It seems that oftentimes insurance companies are perceived pretty much on par with the guy in old cartoons who's tied the young damsel to the railroad tracks while laughing evilly and twisting his mustache in excitement.  This cannot be.  After all, I don't have a mustache, I tie knots poorly and despite hours of practice, I can't seem to master the evil laugh part.  The staff at the office did look at me a little sideways after I worked on it though.  What is wrong with them?  I mean who hasn't heard someone sitting in their office laughing all by themselves for a few hours?  Okay, don't answer that question.  If you do, my therapist will have nothing to do.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, many folks seem to think that insurance companies sit around all day plotting, scheming and looking for reasons to avoid paying claims.  Well, we at Azimuth don't.  We take time out for lunch after all.  Seriously, Azimuth is in business to pay every valid claim presented to us. And paying valid claims efficiently and correctly is what we do.   Notice the subtle emphasis on the word 'valid' I added prior.  So...what's a valid claim?  "I have the strength of 10 men" in my case.  Okay, so maybe if the 10 men were all octogenarians who've been heavily medicated, but let's not dwell on the details.  Valid in the case of insurance means that the claim follows the terms and conditions set forth in the plan wording.  In other words, Azimuth says we'll pay for 'X', so don't expect us to pay for 'Y'.  "Y?", you ask (you really must start using whole words, not just letters)?  "Because" is my certified dad-style answer.  Okay, since I'm probably not your dad, I will more fully explain.  That is, unless you are twin my six-year-olds.  In that case, I am your dad and I wanna know what you're doing on the computer?  Go play. Remember, your brother's head is not designed to be used as a battering ram and try not to break anything (else).   For everyone else, here goes:  first, Azimuth has a very stringent bindery agreement with our Lloyd's insuring partners that doesn't involve any chains, whips or leather straps, but it does require that 'X', and only 'X' is to be paid.  If Azimuth fails at this, we go "poof" (we don't really go poof - the noise is actually more like the sound when your engine throws a rod) into thin air, because we no longer have an entity taking the risk on our plans and I'm no longer at the keyboard pestering you with blogs.  Stop the doggone cheering already, would you?  It's rather unbecoming.  More importantly for you, dear reader is that we also have a fiduciary (fancy word for the fact that we owe a responsibility to others) duty both to our insurer (Lloyd's, London) and to those existing insured members to pay only those charges which are eligible to be paid.   If we did otherwise, we would drive up both the rates for any new applicants (read: YOU) and my hours & hours of market research shows that you don't like paying more than you have to pay.  It would also drive up the the renewal premium rates for people who are already enjoying ongoing coverage through Azimuth.  I have heard a pretty solid rumor from existing clients that they aren't exceptionally excited about paying higher renewal rates either.  This market intelligence gathering thing is exhausting, I'll tell ya'.  Anyway, when all this is taken down to it's molecular level (which takes a really good magnifying glass, I'll have you know) we arrive at the fact that Azimuth has a responsibility to protect our clients.  These clients trust us (well, at least they put their trust in the other people who aren't half as nuts as me who work with Azimuth) and the Lloyd's, London market to provide them with the best possible value in international insurance products while doing our very best to control client premium costs moving forward.  You know, moving forward, like that really cool DeLorean in Back to the Future? Okay, so after taking another look, maybe it wasn't that cool looking, but hey a time machine?  How cool is that?  Just think, you could go back in time and not ever be in contact with that person or off-brand search engine who recommended this under-cooked swirl of words to you and made you feel like you might just might....blog.