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Car insurance: A legalized scam - Greg Gelpi

I'm not the brightest guy around, so maybe someone can help me understand car insurance. Everything about the concept baffles me, and my latest exploits to find a new policy only add to my bewilderment.

What would you say if you walked into a burger joint, slapped down your money and were said the burger will cost more because you're male and 26 years old?

That is essentially what has happened to me in my attempt to find a new policy. Regardless of my driving record, precision driving and impeccable driving precautions, I am judged by my age and sex. If I was a female senior citizen, I bet a flock of attorneys would trip over themselves in a hurry to fight for gender and age equity. It's OK, though, to rip off the 20-something male.

To top if off, what if at that same burger joint, you dropped your money for the burger, the restaurant took your money and never gave you the food? Again, I hate to be so presumptuous, but I bet you would be at least a little upset.

I've been paying for car insurance for years now. Literally thousands of dollars later, I have yet to make a claim.

What do I have to show for it? A lifestyle of living paycheck to paycheck, a life of wearing clothes from my high school days and eating microwave pizzas.

And if I try to cash in and make a claim? I will be rewarded with higher rates or worse.

I dish out money each paycheck for medical insurance, but that is different. At least with medical insurance, you are guaranteed some return on your investment. For instance, I know that I get a free physical with my medical insurance. Maybe car insurance should consider a free fender bender or at least a free oil change.

But, why should they? It's the law to have car insurance. Car insurance companies have no reason to entice customers. Customers don't sign their car insurance payments with a smile on their face. Rather, they do so out of fear, out of pure intimidation of getting a ticket.

And when I do resign myself to the cheapest way to throw my money away on insurance, I can rest easy knowing that when I do have my first claim, even if isn't my fault, my years of paying faithfully on time and in full payments, will be in vain. My rates will shoot up and I will potentially be dropped for daring to ask for any return on my thousands of dollars.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.