2017-01-12 Thu


I have updated my Factoids Page .


What on world is the earth coming to?

When I was your age, Insurance Salesmen – and they were Men in those days! – had a reputation supported by the best cartoons of having their foot in the door.

Say the word “Insurance” out loud, at a party, in the office, on the bus, and a total stranger would grab you by the necktie (we all wore them in those days) and not let go until you had signed something called “Life” (never “death”), Term-Life, Car, Household or similar. Travel or vacation insurance didn’t exist then. Not having your once-a-year vacation was something we had leaned to enjoy.

Today it is different.

Scotiabank issued me a teaser policy for free over ten years ago. Ten thousand dollars if I croaked (see, we still don’t say “death”!), and a month ago I thought to change the beneficiary. Well, it turns out that the teaser-policy croaked before I did. The policy had a lifespan of only ten years.

Death solved one of my problems!

Nonetheless I started wondering whether I should gamble some of my hoarded savings and bet Scotiabank that something terrible would happen to me (death, life, burglary, fire, vacation etc), so I asked the nice man on the phone about my options regarding insurance.

“Go to Our Web Site”, he said. So I did.

Ended up with a short list of questions, but no better sense of where I should go.

Wandered into the million-storey headquarters downtown, asked at the Information Desk about insurance. Clerk goes off into a huddle with two other clerks, who take turns eyeing me anxiously.

Comes back, suggests I go to Our Web Site. Been there, Browsed that, I tell him.

More huddling. Clerk returns with an address, so I go to the Free Lunchtime Concert at St Andrews Presbyterian, than head off to the given address, push the buttons, and step out of the elevator onto a floor that is clearly not a public reception area. Two sets of glass doors, two sets of card-swiper stations, two sets of keen young workers swiping their cards and entering through the glass doors.

Someone takes pity on me, takes me indoors, sits me in a conference room, listens to my story, and suggests that I visit Our Web Site.

Nothing stops me!

This week I visited a large local branch, up on Bloor Street near Yonge.

No, says the nice lady, there is no one in the branch that could sit with you and discuss insurance. Have you tried Head Office? Yes, I tell, her, also Our Web Site.

I gave up.

So much for “Nothing Stops Me!”

You can take out insurance nowadays only if you visit Our Web Site.

No salesman, let alone no saleswoman, will call or will pester you.

It is quite annoying.