• Insurance

    Got my act together this weekend and called around again for contents insurance quotes – got one from State, AMI and ASB. We went for $20k worth of cover, jointly – AMI was the cheapest, probably because of the bundling multisave discount (BF’s car cover is with them. He was like “won’t they care that I’ve had two accidents and be like, man, this client sucks?”) Fingers crossed they renew his insurance in May.

    ASB cost more and didn’t offer a quarterly payment option (neither did State). I like AMI’s flexibility. Plus they’ve been good in our dealings so far. They also keep the quote in the system for “quite awhile”, and aren’t too pushy. ASB’s quote was valid for 30 days. State hustle you; they told it was only valid till close of business, ALTHOUGH, I could sign up now and then have 15 days or so to cancel, before payment, no hard feelings etc. However, ASB’s basic actually offered full replacement for computers under 3 years old and furniture/appliances under 5 years old.

    It’s a little confusing though, deciding how much cover we need, and whether it’s worth getting a more comprehensive plan for full replacement value of items! And not all plan are created the same. Some have free lock and key replacements, or for personal effects like glasses, cell phones etc. And the replacement value vs market value is the kicker really. Is it worth the extra?

    I think we’ll be fine with market value, really. Bu it’s good to know that a hundred or two hundred a year can cover your ass for so much more. Something we’ll consider when we amass stuff that’s actually worth anything. Honestly, I’d say BF has about a third of what I have – he has virtually no clothes or furniture. His tools though are probably the biggest single item of worth we have.

  • Nifty little thing

    I noticed a nifty little thing on Fastnet today – don’t know how long it’s been around, but I don’t think it’s been long at all.

    It’s called Online Vault and is a way to store important details online within your online banking, like account details, important contacts, insurance details, IRD, driver licence numbers etc. I love doing things like that and immediately set about backing up our important info, details that would be hard to recall if say our wallets were lost or stolen. It also got me thinking about sorting insurance – I got three quotes today, and will confirm it in the next day or two.

    What else will I need? I’m compiling a list of things I need to do for insurance – like take photos, copy receipts, serial numbers, etc.

    Gotta love ASB – I think they’ve always been ahead of the game, despite their increasingly grating ads.

  • Bless you New Zealand

    I’m so glad we have ACC and a national health system.

    I would not want to live in a country where you’re terrified to go one week without health insurance and you couldn’t afford it on your own without your employer subsidising it. I would not want to be rushed to hospital and get sent a $7,000 bill a week later.

    I read today in the New York Times about a woman was afraid to get pregnant as it would cost eight grand to have a baby.

    That being said once I get into the workforce I plan to get health insurance, assuming its affordable either thru work or through T’s work (lucky bastard gets free insurance and cheap insurance for family). I’m going to do this way because I want to afford the little extra things, like a coybely pocket doppler during my pregnancy and all the educational toys afterwards. It’s just one of those things it’s good to have, and one of those things you want to get while you’re still healthy and while it’s still cheap.

  • It’s been a bad day…

    I am so incredibly mad.

    I just can’t believe the sheer rudeness and unprofessionalism of certain insurance agents.

    I don’t recall a single good experience I’ve had with insurance companies, but I think this one tops the cake. Not that this is directly involving me, but I wish it was because I have some choice things to say to this person.

    This is meant to be a representative of a massive national company dealing in motor vehicles and insurance, one with the same initials as another organisation known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

    This particular individual has been ringing someone I know while they are at work (and they are not in a job where they can simply take calls at leisure), telling them to “stop being cheap and top up your phone” to ring somebody else (maybe this agent is so well paid that $20 is a drop in the bucket to him, and he’s never experienced being broke at the end of the week), SWEARING at the person and then hanging up.

    That’s beyond rude, beyond unprofessional and is, frankly, harassment. What I find most inexcusable is the cursing – understandable perhaps had the other person provoked him by swearing at him FIRST – but that wasn’t the case.

    It absolutely disgusts me – this “agent” has ruined my good perceptions of his company. As their representative he should be acting ethically and professionally at all times. Whether you’re a politician, police officer, debt collector, shop assistant, bus driver or teacher, you simply can’t speak to people any bloody way you like. You sure as hell can’t start swearing at them

    What gets me the most is that there was absolutely no reason for these calls. The matter should have been conducted through writing and there was no need for telephone contact whatsoever. I sure as hell hope I get to speak to this character and set him straight about his job and take the matter to his manager.

    Just as an aside, why does virtually everyone in the insurance industry seem to lack a rudimentary grasp of English? Almost all of the ones I’ve dealt with seem incapable of understanding what I’m saying let alone answering my queries (although that’s also to do with poor training, I suppose, and the fact that insurance companies really aren’t there for you – they’re out for themselves(.

    In other news, I feel terrible for Austin Hemmings and his family. It’s awful to think that he was doing the right thing, trying to help someone in trouble, and ended up dead. If I was trying to intervene in a fight I’d probably expect to get punched in the head or something – I wouldn’t expect to get stabbed for my trouble.

    That’s a whole new level, and I think in this country we still don’t quite have that mentality. But it’s only a matter of time.

    It’s amazing though how much difference it makes to be able to put a face to tragedies like this. When it was just an unnamed man, sure it was horrific, and depressing, but once his name and a photo of him smiling and alive was released, that added a whole new dimension. It made him a real person, who now no longer exists. A person who got killed for no reason at all.

    I think it’s the sheer randomness of acts like this that scares us. That and how close to home it was – just metres from my office. Most people still believe in the inherent goodness of human nature; but incidents like these make it hard to do so.

    I just can’t understand how people can do things like this. Much like I can’t understand how people can hurt their own children. Once you’ve held a newborn in your arms , I think your entire outlook on life shifts a little. And that’s something I never thought I’d say, being one of the least maternal people I know.