14 Oct 2016

The Insurance Industry's Stupid Jargon

The insurance industry has a lot of stupid jargon. I was recently pitched a "Personal Accident Policy". I thought, "My policy is to never have an accident." Why do they refer to insurance as a policy?

Then there's a "rider". That brings to mind going somewhere on a bike with your friend. Why call an add-on a "rider"? Nobody's taking a ride anywhere. Just call it an add-on.

Then there's "loading". Brings to mind goods being loaded on the back of a truck. Since that's not happening here, why call a higher premium loading? Why can't they bring themselves to call it a higher premium?

Then there's a "morbidity clause". That was unpleasant enough that I didn't want to find out what it is. The entire insurance industry is one big morbidity clause!

All that was jargon. There are also industry euphemisms. I was once speaking to an insurance agent who explained, "In case of unfortunate demise..." I thought that was some fine print, and that they will later claim it wasn't unfortunate after all and refuse to pay the claim. So I interrupted, "What if it's a fortunate demise?" The agent explained that they will pay out, no matter how fortunate or unfortunate things were.

At another time during the conversation, he said, "In case of eventuality..." Not being sure what that was, I interrupted and asked, "Do you mean if I kick the bucket?"

Euphemisms are understandable, but the jargon is worse. The insurance industry should get rid of them and speak plain English.

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