Non Insurance Insurance

 Jan 25, 2018 10:00 PM
by Marcel Strigberger

I notice occasionally insurance companies deny claims.  For some inexplicable reason or other, they refuse to pay.  I have a solution.  

How about the establishment of an insurance company that would insure against denial of claims by other insurance companies.  So if say your house gets ransacked and your house insurer denies the claim, you would turn to your insurer of insurance, call it say,  "denial insurer" for relief. 

It might work like this.  The company would initially aggressively advertise this new product.  An ad might read: "Do you really think you are in good hands with your insurance company?" Or, " Just why does your insurance company call it 'life insurance '? Will they pay if you are no longer alive?  Call us at State Charm."

 Naturally you would have to fill out an application/questionnaire to assess risk, containing  questions such as:

Part A

1. Have you ever had a claim denied by an insurance company?  If yes, we don't want to know the details.  NOTE:  Failure to make full disclosure may result in the insurer voiding the policy.

2. If your house ever brunt down, were you ever accused of arson?

3. If yes to #2, did you intend to burn down your house? 

4. Does your current insurance company provide you with any unusual perks, such as mugs, pens or calendars?

5. Did you ever tell your life insurance company that you are immortal?

6. Do you intend to operate a driverless car?

7. Do you have any experience driving a car without a driver 's license? Alternatively do you have any experience driving a car in the Province of Quebec.

8  Do you have a high risk past time, such as a sky diving, scuba diving or food sampling at Costco?

   In addition to the basic policy, you can apply for increased coverage denial insurance based on your fraud and misrepresentation.

   If you wish to do so, complete Part B.


   Part B

I am applying for supplementary coverage in the event that my insurance company denies my claim on the basis of fraud or misrepresentation.  I certify that the following answers are accurate.

1. Are you honest ? Choose one.

        a) yes. b) basically. c) don't ask me any questions and I won't tell you any lies.

2.    Which of the following do you most admire:

       a) Abraham Lincoln;  b) Mahatma Gandhi;  c) Bernie Madoff.

3.    When providing information, does your nose ever grow?

4.    What is the size of the largest fish you ever caught?

5.     Would you rather pull : a) a door;  b) a wagon; c) a Ponzi.

I  further certify that when I am answering these questions my fingers are not crossed."

So, do you think we'll have a new insurance kid on the block?  If you do, are you into denial?




Litigating With Love

 Jan 14, 2018 7:15 PM
by Marcel Strigberger

  I had a couple of people ask me recently if I knew any collaborative family lawyers.  They insisted on one.  I for one have mixed feelings about the process. It got me thinking. If it is as effective as its proponents say, why don't they crank up the approach even more. Maybe they can get the legislators to import the no argument disputes into all litigation.  Call it collaborative litigation.  No finger pointing, no inflammatory comments, just collaborate with a smile to resolve the dispute.  

 It would start with the pleadings:

 In a motor vehicle case for example, the statement of claim might read,

 "   GREETINGS Mr Defendant.

1. The defendant lives in Ottawa Ontario. Lots of good folks live there. It hosts the world's largest annual tulip festival.  

 2.  On January 13, 2016, the defendant drove his car through an intersection striking the plaintiff's car. The defendant is a  hard working and upright citizen.  He just did not notice the red light as he was overjoyed after sipping a whole bottle of Chardonnay.  He is a generous person actually as he shared the rest of the case with friends. 

3.   After all this was an accident and we all know accidents can happen.  We can extrapolate  the biblical golden rule here, namely that if our vehicle is struck, then we turn the other fender.

4.  The plaintiff indeed was injured but doesn't time heal all?  He probably would be getting these same excruciating backaches later on about 4 decades from now in any event. 

5.  The plaintiff asks that the good defendant consider paying some compensation as a result of this unfortunate incident.  Any reasonable offer will be deemed reasonable."

There would also be a collaborative examination for discovery or deposition.

"Question to Defendant:  what is your name sir, if you please?  You need not answer of course if this question upsets you. Do you need a break?"

And of course in the unlikely event that this collaborative approach fails and the matter goes to trial,  the system would also entertain a collaborative trial.

There would be an opening statement from the judge

"I am sitting as your collaborative trial judge today.  Unfortunately the case did not settle yet and here we are at trial.  Let the evidence begin.  If there are any objections I shall not make any rulings as that would suggest one part is right and one is wrong.  

As well you have chosen trial by jury.  The jury has been instructed to listen carefully to the evidence and after the lawyers' closing statements, the jury verdict will only say. 'Interesting case. Both sides are right.' "

Like I said I have mixed feelings about collaborative.  I think there is some wisdom in the words of Al Capone, who said, " A smile goes a long way. A smile and a handgun go a lot further."

Author- Poutine on the Orient Express: An Irreverent Look at Travel



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