I’m madder than Gilbert Godfried when he got fired as the voice of the Aflac goose over the fact that to me, my life is worth more than a million bucks, but to some people — including one insurance company that advertises a lot when I’m watching television — it is not worth a pig in a poke.
Look, you all know that the ol’Screecher’s body isn’t in the Adonis-like shape that it was when I was a lifeguard on Coney Island at the age of 16. Over the years, I may have overindulged a bit, to the point that now it hurts my 78-year-old knees so much when I walk that I prefer to ride around in my trusty scooter Tornado!
But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to insure myself, so that when the time comes, my lovely wife Sharon can afford that tank-sized casket they’ll need in order to give me a proper burial.
And don’t think for a minute Sharon doesn’t know that!
So when she saw the commercial with Alex Tieback (you know, the smart guy from the quiz show where the answers are the questions) promising $500,000 coverage for as little as 50¢ a day, she raced to the phone and put in a call to the insurance company to see what was up.
She got through pretty quickly and spoke to some guy who was not the host of “Jeopardy” and explained that I was within the age parameters 50 to 85 years mentioned in the commercial. The guy said he’d send over the paperwork, and that’s when the screechin’ started happening.
The letter from insurance company said that I didn’t fit into its age parameters because it only was to 75 years — not the 85 years Trabeck advertised. So Sharon called an 800 number and was told that because we live in New York State, the company couldn’t grant the coverage as advertised. So what happened to the guaranteed coverage, Alec?
Now, I wrote all this up for a column last week, but my editor — who for some stupid reason doesn’t believe every word I write — said he couldn’t run it without positive proof that all this was absolutely true.
Of course, Sharon is such a neat freak that she threw out all the paperwork we received once she realized she wasn’t getting her big pay day when I kicked the bucket. So I hatched a plan to get turned down again — that would ensure the guys at the insurance company wouldn’t be wise to me.
First, I sat in front of the Zenith in the living room and watched for the commercial to come on. Then, I took down the phone number, called up, and gave them all of my information — but used a phony name (I’m sure if I said “Carmine Santa Maria” they would have known what they were in for, and hung up instantly).
A couple of days later I received a letter from the insurance company addressed to one “Dominic Recchia.” It read as follows:
“We appreciate your interest in our guaranteed-issue life insurance plan.
“Unfortunately, we cannot fulfill your request for further information at this time. Our records indicate that your age does not meet the requirements for this coverage in New York; you must be age 50–75 to qualify.”
Can you believe it?!? What happened to 85? Well, apparently, that’s the age they’ll go to in some other state!
So I guess that if the answer is “Alan Traback,” the question must be “The guy whose insurance commercials appear in New York even though the stuff he is selling is only good someplace else.”
Screech at you next week!