Friday, October 28, 2011

To insure... well, anything

I am often astonished by the types of insurance products available for purchase. Many are for life's most mundane risks. Some insurance coverage for risks seem misplaced, that is, there ought to be a different way of dealing with it. For instance, insurance coverage for the risk of default on a credit card or loan payment. And I don't doubt that some of these coverages works for some people.

Here is a personal example,
I am near sighted and therefore, I need glasses. As the glasses wearing public knows, glasses are obscenely expensive. The frame, a small molded plastic product usually made in China, costs roughly $200 and then the lenses about another $200. For me, living off government debt and roughly $1500 month, this is no small (annual!) expense. A large commercial glasses retailer offered a 2 for one deal, enabling me to get prescription sunglasses as well, and insurance coverage against damage. The coverage was cheap, $25/per unit for the year and protected me from damage but not loss. For the $25, I could come in and get a brand new pair of glasses. The deal was a good one, but on principle alone, I opted out. I think damage to my glasses is trivial and offering coverage for such a risk is as offensive as how much glasses cost (and my monthly "stipend"). The whole situation seems reminisce of problems with healthcare generally.

In any case, a new insurance coverage is being offered for roughly the same sort of expenses.
ResortQuest, a condominium and home-rental company with properties throughout Colorado, Utah and Idaho, is offering clients a Snow Guarantee, which allows its guests to relocate accommodations to another resort destination — at another company property — at no extra charge in the event of less-than-favorable snow. Customers contact the original destination 72 hours in advance and request a change, or, if they didn't check conditions ahead of time, ask for a move upon check-in...
"One great feature of ResortQuest's program is that our guests get to decide for themselves whether the ski conditions meet their expectations," Cheryl Spezia, vice president of ResortQuest sales and marketing said. “Our Snow Guarantee remains in effect whenever the ski resorts are open, regardless of how many lifts are running. We trust our guests' judgment on what constitutes a good snow report for them.”

... Skiers and boarders also have the option of purchasing season pass insurance, which has been growing in popularity in recent years, according to an article last month in The Denver Post. The insurance — which costs $20 for all four of Vail's mountains in Colorado, Copper Mountain and Intrawest's Winter Park and Steamboat — protects buyers against sudden injury, illness or job change.

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