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The Distortion Doctor

June 19, 2012

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

I have always dreamed of having my own radio show on Saturday mornings on AM radio. It would be follow the Garden Doctor and air just before the Car Doctor. It’s that small space in radio programing that attracts the inquisitive.

My show would be dedicated to righting the wrongs in the world of insurance propaganda. My “handle” would be “The Distortion Doctor.” I would be the “doctor” that brings the inquisitive Saturday morning audience the straight scoop on the world of insurance. It’s a thought so exciting that I can actually feel the hair on my arms standing at attention.

In my first episode, I would take on 21st Century Insurance, a company that misleads customers into thinking that the only thing that matters when it comes to insurance is the price. I would call them out on their never ending ads that show two exact same cars, with the exact same damage, or in one case, two cars that have been stolen, and their comical demonstration that “both cars are covered, and both cars get the exact same repairs,” so the customer should come to 21st Century because even though the repairs will be exactly the same, the 21st Century customer will save hundreds over the other guy.

The problem is that this ad makes a lot of assumptions, chiefly that both company’s claim service will be exactly the same. They assume that both companies with respond just as quickly. Both companies will offer the same type of parts and both companies will offer the same type of rental car coverage. The distortion leads the viewer to believe that the most important part of the claim is the same from carrier to carrier, so therefore the only thing that really matters in the cost of the coverage. The fact is that when we purchase auto insurance, we are really purchasing coverage and claim service. We are not purchasing “price.” As my grandmother used to say, you get what you pay for, so buyers beware!

After the short commercial break, the second half of the show would be dedicated to the new ad on the new government healthcare law. It’s an ad that tells the viewer that wellness coverage is part of the new law and preventive treatment is “free.” It’s quite a distortion. Are the doctors donating their time? How about the office staff? The fact is that it isn’t free at all. The price for the office visit is still the same and someone is paying for it. Currently the government pays only about ninety one cents on the dollar for the cost of a doctor visit, leaving the private companies to pay one dollar and nine cents for the same office visit. Aside from the rate increases to private customers caused by this practice, according to a 2009 New York Times article, 53% of doctors were no longer accepting Medicare. The new law seeks to cut as much as an additional 25%. So who pays for it and is it really free? What will happen to the overall care when the private sector is no longer there to cover the gap?

In both cases, these insurance ads, while not lies, are twisting the facts like a Philly pretzel! The fact is that the consumer needs to be on guard as thirty second distortions can leave you in a bad situation. That’s the straight truth from the Distortion Doctor!

Have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

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