How the Pandemic is like Car Insurance

My husband works in the insurance industry. He’s never thought of himself as a “natural salesman,” but in truth, he is exactly the sort of person you would want to have walk through the intricacies of your auto insurance coverage with you. He cares deeply about people and wants to educate them more than he wants to sell them something. Most people appreciate this attitude and he’s made many sales to people without the best quotes because he is genuine and authentic.

However, there are others who cannot afford his level of personal attention. I’ve heard him take a verbal beating on the phone by people who simply can’t understand why their quoted rates are higher than those of their friends or family who they feel are similar in kind, with similar vehicles.

There are many factors that go into the cost of insurance, only some of which one can control. One of the largest factors that people do not think of is their ZIP code. Where you live has a relatively large effect on your insurance rates. This is because where you live and the prevalence of accidents, vandalism and other property crimes in the area where you spend most of your time will increase your risk. You will be more likely to make a claim on your insurance if you live in a high crime area or on a high speed thoroughfare than it would in a low crime subdivision, with all other things being equal. This is an example of you being adversely affected (being forced to pay more) by other people in your vicinity.

The same is true for coronavirus. If you are in an area where most people are staying home, wearing masks when they go out, limiting their activity to what is necessary, your risk is lower. Alternatively, if you are in a place where your neighbors are out and about like nothing strange is happening or not wearing masks or, worst of all, actively coughing on others as an act of apparent protest, you are at higher risk, even if you, personally, are following all the guidelines. Your risk is at least partially a function of the people you are surrounded by.

This is precisely the reason why it is non-sensible to NOT take into account the lives and health of others in your vicinity when you go outside now. This has always been true to some extent, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it could be the difference in someone’s life or death, not just your own. We are all connected and we are all dependent on others’ caring enough for our lives to not take risks unnecessarily.

Please keep others in mind as well, stay safe, mask up and save lives!

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