Anyone who’s ever owned a cat or two (or three, or four – like potato chips, you can’t seem to just have one) can easily attest to the fact that the lovable little fuzzy bastards can be complete assholes sometimes. They’ll be happy and affectionate one moment, and then right when you turn your head, they’re throwing up on the rug, knocking over expensive antiques, or trying to trip you while you go upstairs, all while flashing you their best “who, me?” look.
Cats are a lot like corporations, aren’t they? Though instead of shitting on your rug, they’ll try to fuck you out of as much money as they can.
One of my main clients is the owner of a car insurance comparison website in the UK. I’ve been writing copy for this site for over a year and a half, and in that time I’ve been able to learn an incredible amount of information about how things are done across the pond when it comes to insuring a car – it’s about the same process as it is here in that it’s illegal to drive without insurance. What is different, though, is how insurance claims are handled in the UK; if someone ends up putting you into traction and you sue the pants off of them, not only do the other driver’s insurers have to pay your compensation payout but they also have to pay your legal fees.
This is different in America. Even if you’ve got a contingent fee agreement with your lawyer (in other words, you don’t pay unless they win your case), your lawyer gets paid out of your compensation award. UK lawyers and solicitors instead recover their fees from the defendant in an analogous situation, and the British insurance industry has been socked with massive legal costs – costs they’ve passed along to Mr. and Mrs. Nigel and Mary Fishcunt (of the Nottinghamshire Fishcunts) in the form of insanely high insurance premiums.
The insurance industry has pointed the finger at ambulance chasing lawyers that encourage frivolous lawsuits by chumming the waters for people looking to make a quick few pounds. Of course, what do these asshole insurers leave out? The fact that they’re actually selling the personal information of their customers to these law firms in the first place.
Can you believe this shit? They’re wailing and gnashing their teeth at how many accident claims are made against them on a daily basis, and then in the same breath they turn around and sell customer lists to the British equivalent of that fuck-up lawyer from the Simpsons. The best part is that insurers call this process “accepting referral fees” and not “buggering their customers.” I guess we know who bought that 55 gallon drum of lube after all.
So why don’t insurers just stop selling their customer information? Well at this point, they can’t – every time an insurer sells these lists, it’s a collection of customers who were involved in accidents through no fault of their own. This means that they’re expressly selling the information on in an effort to fuck over their competitors – if Bleeding Asshole Insurance Company folds because We’re Fucking Douchebag Insurers keeps encouraging lawsuits against them, then hey, more prospective customers for the Fucking Douchebags, right?
The thing is, if every single insurer does this, the entire industry suffers. It’s like a giant ass-rape daisy chain, a human centipede of bullshit with drivers being the last stop. These insurers are handing people a shit sandwich and then telling them “just be grateful we cut the crusts off.”
The best part is of course that even though insurers are crying about how their bottom line is suffering so badly that they have to keep raising their insurance rates to break even, the big players in the UK market are posting huge profits. Not revenues – profits. As in they’re making money. In the billions of pounds. Aviva, the big bastard insurer in the UK, made £2.6 billion in pre-tax profits in 2011.
£2.6 billion. Let me do the math for you – as of today’s conversion rate, that’s over $4 billion in profits. Pre-tax profits, sure, but the UK corporate tax rate stands at about 25%, so that means there’s still $3 billion in profits – and let me tell you, Aviva isn’t going to turn around and donate that to bail out Greece, or to feed the homeless. Hell, they’ll probably just raise their rates even more.
And don’t for a minute think that we’re immune from this sort of asshole behavior on this side of the Atlantic, either: everyone’s favorite Cockney gecko made around $587 million in profits in 2011. The best part about this is that these figures were “disappointing,” as profit margins were down by around 48% on last year. Well go fuck yourself if I don’t break out the tissues for you assholes because you “only” made half a billion dollars last year.
Do these fucksticks really not hear themselves? Can you imagine having a company that turned a five hundred eighty seven million dollar profit and being disappointed? I’m lucky if I can afford to fill my car’s gas tank every week and these chucklefucks are crying into their gold-embroidered spider silk handkerchiefs because they can’t afford their seventeenth Lamborghini.
And people wonder why the Occupy movement started. Jesus Christ I need a drink. At least my cats are cute.