Garbage In, Garbage Out
Garbage In, Gospel Out (gullibility about what a computer or website tells you)
Got It Going On
The following may be hard to keep up with. It's probably worth it.
It all started last summer. During one thunderstorm, lightning hit our house, rendering a television monochromatic. We called the insurance company to check on our coverage, then brought the TV to a repair shop. The TV repair wound up costing $80, so we just fixed the TV and went on our way. Little did we know that the insurance company had filed a claim for us with a $0 payout.
This year, in August, my insurance company of 10 years runs a check on me through ChoicePoint. ChoicePoint is a TRW or Equifax of the insurance world. If you've ever bought insurance, you have a record. If you make claims on those policies, they are noted in that record. My record had a single claim noted, for $560. That was PSNH working on the juice outside my house, cycling the power to my house like a strobe light. The one computer not on a UPS just kinda went "poof".
Here's where it gets interesting. Somehow, a non-claim made to another insurance company, referencing a policy that was not mine wound up on my ChoicePoint report. According to the database, I now had two claims. A policy pruning process run on the database at my insurance company noted this, flipped a bit in a database table, and my policies get the axe. That's right. Cancelled. One legitimate claim of $560 almost three years ago, and I'm "encouraged to seek coverage elsewhere". Astonishing.
I called my local agent, and mentioned that this was obviously a "computer mixup" regarding a list claim with a $0 payout, and he thought a call to the underwriter would clear this up. Not so. "The system has flagged you for cancellation due to the number of claims filed. You're not a good risk".
I promptly terminated my policies with them, and requested a ChoicePoint report on myself. Then I looked for new insurance. Seems that the rates quoted to me by other companies were very high. "Your report is causing that" is what I'm told. My mood was dark, like violets at midnight. I did find coverage that day, but it was not a pleasurable experience. On the plus side, ChoicePoint seems to have a fairly straightforward dispute process, and I'm moving in that direction.