Today, we went in to change our insurance. This past year, we had had renterï¿½s insurance, which was more expensive, obviously, than just regular homeownerï¿½s insurance. So we went with the simple objective of canceling the current policy and getting a cheaper one. When we got there, the receptionist shouted back to ï¿½Margieï¿½ and then said, ï¿½sheï¿½ll be right with you.ï¿½
When Margie appeared, we were both a little speechless. She was wearing a blue, summery dress with white buttons down the front, and clunky, white, slide high heels. Her arms were thin and very tan, and had a little atrophy typical of the over 60 set. I imagine she was wearing a couple too-large bracelets, though I could be wrong on that. Her glasses had that slight tint that was popular in the 70s and were about size of Sally Jesse Rafaelï¿½s glasses. Her hair was also big ï¿½ dyed dark blonde and brushed straight up and back.
When she spoke, it was like a cross between Phyllis Diller and Aunt Pat.
We explained the whole situation to her, and she got right to work looking up our file.
Margie: Ok, so your house is on Vilas Avenue?
Eileen: No. Highland?
Margie: Oh, 310 Highland Ave?
Margie: But you insured the house on Vilas?
Eileen: Thatï¿½s the mailing address.
Margie: Oh, I see. Well, now, wait. This policy was for the house on Vilas. It says right here. . . oh, now, I see. Bob must have done this. Yeah, right hereï¿½s the Highland Avenue address, but it was scratched off and switched. Oh well, it probably would have been fine had anything happened. Yeah, Bob must have done this. Ok, well, letï¿½s get this policy cancelled to begin with. (some silent typing. Margie leaves the office to get the print out. Eileen and I look at each other). So where did you folks say you were?
Margie: Oh, how was that? You know, I went to Mexico for a couple weeks with my sister and her husband. I tell ya, two weeks is just too long. I mean, my brother-in-law drinks too much and then he treats my sister real bad. Then he kept telling me, ï¿½you donï¿½t need this, you donï¿½t need that.ï¿½ If Iï¿½m spending your money, okay. But itï¿½s my money, Iï¿½ll spend it however I want to, you know? Ok. So if we go with Erie, I think I can get your car insurance for a lot cheaper too. Let me just see if you qualify for the discount. Says here youï¿½re an 8 on credit rating, so thatï¿½s really good. You donï¿½t see much of those. Right after our Mexico trip ï¿½ you know, I put it all on the credit card ï¿½ and when we got back, I was just curious, so I looked up my credit rating on Erie and I was a 12. Well, I was just steaming. (At this point, Eileen and I exchange another glance. ï¿½Oh my God,ï¿½ I think, ï¿½I am definitely blogging this.ï¿½) So then I paid off my bill and I went right down to an 8. Let me just get this printed . . . Yeah, so some people donï¿½t like Erieï¿½s system, but you know, itï¿½s experimental. Do you know your driving record? I could get it up on the DMV, but do you know if youï¿½ve had anything in the past five years.
Eileen: I havenï¿½t, no.
Tim: Um, I donï¿½t know. I think the past five years are, uh, without incident.
Margie: Well, letï¿½s see. It looks like you have something here on February 17th, 2004?
Margie: Oh, maybe Iï¿½m just looking at a registration. Whoops. Didnï¿½t mean to scare ya there.
Eileen: (nervous laughter)
Margie: So, yeah, it looks like I can save you a lot of money here if we do the house and car through Erie. Though I would like to get that liability a little higher. It wonï¿½t cost much more, and I think itï¿½s worth it. I mean, Iï¿½m not here to take your money, but when Thompson was in office, he put a cap on wrongful death cases, so you only have to pay a maximum of $250,000. Thatï¿½s good. But if you get into an accident and someone, letï¿½s say, loses an arm, well, I hate to say this, but you almost wish youï¿½d killed ï¿½em cuz thereï¿½s no cap on what they can win. Jury looks at a little old lady like me and thinks, ï¿½oh, she deserves a lot of money.ï¿½ I mean, Iï¿½ve seen it happen. You got any kids?
Tim: (suppressing smile, shakes head)
Margie: Little easier to travel without kids, huh?
Margie: Neither do I, but my puppyï¿½s my kid. I tell you, Iï¿½ve spent so much money on him. His leg stopped growing when he was a pup, so they had to go in and break it and do some other surgery. Now, heï¿½s got more metal in his leg than most humans. It cost me $4000 but the surgeon was great. I mean, Iï¿½d have him do surgery on me if I ever needed it. So hereï¿½s what I did with the car insurance. Youï¿½ll see the premium go down quite a bit. And the house will be a lot cheaper, too. I still kept a rental reimbursement on here cuz that wonï¿½t cost anything. The deductibles I kept the same cuz most people are going with those. . .
Margie ended up proposing a dual car/house policy that would indeed save us a lot of money. We didnï¿½t sign up right away, cuz we want to shop around a bit, but upon leaving, Eileen and I could barely wait to get far enough away from the office to burst into laughter. At one point earlier in the conversation, she had mentioned that she spends ï¿½thirty dollars a month to keep my teddy bears in the basement. I got a humidifier down there and I also got some water damage coverage, but you know, I probably got 1200, 1500 bears down there. I mean, theyï¿½re in boxes, but if anything happens to them . . .ï¿½