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Cost of Doing Business

The Insurance Frauds

Wed Jan 27 12:15:15 2016

Hey, someone's got a hold on my living
Gonna have to do the thing that's fair
They got to justify for what I should be giving
Should I lie, should I steal or should I care?
Because I got to scam
Scamming our life away

People try living life at speed of light.
I don't know why but I have to do the things I do.
Hey.. Everybody got to scam now
Oooh, bust that move as quick as you can, scam!
(Jamiroquai, Scam)

Who are the Insurance Frauds?

Take a look in the mirror as there's a fair chance that you are one of these people, the numbers in existence are small but they increase with every passing moment so the infection spreads. You may even be one for a very good reason,[1] you may not have any falseness at all yet you are incorporated into a malaise.

What you are, from what I see, is an Insurance Fraud. You may not even think about it in that way, and you might not think it matters.

A RTA and a Seatbelt

In 2014 I had a minor RTA (road traffic accident) when someone opened the door of their car into the side of my car as I passed them by. I was able to bring the car to a controlled stop. It caused more damage than you would think possible considering my speed was below ten miles per hour but the other person claimed culpability so his insurance dealt with all the problems of cost.

Damage to my car

This is the damage to the car from a relatively slow and minor accident - ouch!

It was about the best RTA experience you could hope for. Once I had my car returned to me I naïvely thought it was over. I was wrong.

Over the last 18 months I have had almost weekly calls that go somewhat like this:

Me: Hello?
Them: Hello Mr Keating?
Me: Yes?

Them: We are [whomever] and we are working with your insurance company about your RTA. [They’re not. I used my Honda Assistance company and they handled everything at the time of the accident. There shouldn’t have been any further details passed on. The same is true with the other driver and the garages. Somebody, somewhere, provided them with the details and my name]
Me: Really? [I always like to lead them on to see what they say.]
Them: I understand you were involved in a no fault accident.
Me: Yes.
Them: Did you know you can claim for injuries received in that accident?
Me: There were no injuries.
Them: But Mr Keating any accident involves some injury involving the seatbelt.
Me: The seatbelts didn’t cause any injury.
Them: Oh they do, you may not realise it.
Me: You’re not listening, I brought the car to a controlled stop. Something you’d know if you were actually working with my insurance company. I did this with normal braking. Are you suggesting my normal braking causes seatbelt injuries?
Them: No, of course not. But you can still claim and the payment is automatic.
Me: But that would be a fraud, as there were no injuries...

At this point the phone conversation will quickly wrap up, either they hang up or I say goodbye and ask them not to call me again.

Now, here’s the rub. I probably could claim. I would likely get my small payout, actually it would be three payouts as my 18 month child and 3 year old were also in the car. It would be easy. I would get money. And who gets hurt, just the insurance company, right? Right…?

No. Wrong.

We all pay

For a moment let’s just ignore the fact that as a matter of personal decency I hate it when people commit these scams, and they are scams. The companies who help you are shysters, leeches who rely on the fact that it is cheaper to pay out than fight such small annoyances. It is now factored in, it is the cost of the environment and the people who actually suffer are us. Bigger insurance premiums. Whole cultures framed with a ‘me’ culture where we abdicate social responsibility for ephemeral personal gains.

Small claims of this type are a nuisance.

Segway: The Cost of Doing Business

I used my business blog to talk about this because I think this conditioning to think more of ourselves over the benefit to the whole environment is relevant in a business context. We need to think of the impact of our needs on the whole community, not just our business but our partners and competitors.

It is also important to think about how practices, processes, and that ‘cost of doing business’ can become ingrained in the culture of whatever business we conduct. I see consultancies commit the same mistakes that we have, because it was expected, it was the cost of working this way.

We have what can be called a ‘collective responsibility’ not just to our personal values but to the whole society. It is so easy to see the faceless mass of culture as not being affected by our personal life choices, but it is. A good moral behaviour in business should be matched in our own lives, it makes us all, by sum, so much richer.

[Don't forget that you can join in this conversation by using the comments form or by tweeting at @shadowcat_mdk]


[1] Or at least have some notion of validity in your own specific circumstances, though now you are part of the greater issue.