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Topic - Insurance, capitalism and morality

Jon Stewart - on 16 Apr 2014

Today I picked up the renewal notice from my car insurer and thought, "there is no way I'm paying that" so I looked on a comparison site and of course there were much better deals around. I rang my insurer and said, "so then, this is the best offer I've got, what's yours, it's clearly not that nonsense you sent in the post?". They said, "no of course not, we were just taking the piss with that, seeing if you were either too busy or too lazy to give us a ring, we can offer pretty much the same as anyone else".

I shrugged it off, and thought "what a shit, crooked world we live in".

But it played on my mind. There is nothing surprising about this banal tale. But is it alright, morally, that my expectations of people should be so low? Although it requires something of a stretch of the imagination, insurance companies are actually collections of people - human beings. It wasn't magic, or an accident, or a mistake that they tried to rip me off, it was a decision. A pathetic, dishonest attempt to take a couple of hundred of quid out of my bank account and add it to their profits without providing anything in return.

Now this market is regulated, and I say that the regulation has failed, because whenever I have any dealings with the financial services and insurance sector, they lie to me and try to rip me off to the tune of hundreds or thousands of pounds. Well, yes, regulation fails.

But the moral question is this: have we failed? We don't refuse to deal with the people who behave like this, we don't refuse to work for them, we don't, through our elected representatives, ensure that the cheats are brought to justice. We just shrug it off, or join in.

After a bit I went up to Stanage and climbed many of my favourite routes in the beautiful cool spring air as the sun set. But some poor bastard just went home from work having spent the day trying to cheat and lie his way into a little bit more money.
Post edited at 21:54
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