Auto Insurance in Unlikely Places: Car Coverage Gets Screen Time


Screen time Auto insurance is commonplace: everyone needs it, most people have it, but not everyone talks about it. So it’s always a kick whenever the topic turns up in unlikely places.

In this entry, we’ll review recent auto insurance-related topics that you’ve seen on your screen: your TV, your phone, and your video games.

GEICO Does the Humpty Hump, America Follows

Wednesday: the workweek’s midpoint; the launchpad for Christina Ricci’s career; and the day that is annoying a lot of teachers at a Connecticut middle school.

That last point is because Wednesday is actually “hump day,” and “hump day” is actually a GEICO commercial phrase that’s getting the same TV pop-culture treatment as Budweiser’s “whas-sup” and Paris Hilton’s “that’s hot.”

There are reports that “hump day hysteria” has spread across Vernon Center Middle School—and the problem’s even gone past Wednesdays.

“They do it every day,” one Vernon Center middle-schooler said this month in an ABC News report, which credited the commercial’s “it’s hump day” slogan for spawning tens of thousands of parodies and millions of Youtube views.

The TV skit features Caleb the Camel, the latest addition to GEICO’s menagerie of commercial creatures.

In this already-crowded menagerie, new addition Caleb will find the long-famous GEICO gecko along with the now-famous Maxwell the Pig, who’s recognized for being snippy to dates, flight attendants, highway patrolmen and Phil Simms.

Other zoo denizens are owls, antelope, and a Pillsbury Doughboy. (Dracula and Old MacDonald can be seen in the Literary Character Exhibit.)

But fear not, animal lovers, GEICO’s not keeping Caleb trapped in his exhibit: he was recently spotted at the movies.

Video Game Player Shoots Driver, Takes Car, Still Needs to Insure It

In simpler days, video-gaming meant two moving lines, a dot and a black-and-white game of something that resembled ping pong.

These days, it means the typical incident in Grand Theft Auto V: taking your car out of the garage, submachine-gunning a few passersby, evading cops through something that resembles downtown Los Angeles, and flipping said car over a highway passing before ending the flip in an exploding ball of fire.

Then you file your auto insurance claim.

Auto insurance is a requirement in the online version of GTA V, the best-selling video game that is well-known for the hyper-violence it displays in its hyper-realistic world.

The lowdown: get a car, buy an auto insurance policy at Los Santos Customs, then call your carrier, Mors Mutual, after your car gets stolen and/or impounded and/or exploded in a ball of fire.

Note: The Mors Mutual policy offers some form of comprehensive coverage (obviously) and comes with a tracker should your car get stolen.

Another note: Deductibles apply (seriously).

Yet another note: Unlike the real world, GTA V doesn’t offer premium discounts for having a tracker.

This Forbes reporter points to the auto insurance requirement as one way GTA V’s too-realistic world hampers gameplay.

But what respectable video-gamer listens to what Forbes has to say?

TV Heroes Crash, Burn Cars as Viewers Mull Their Premium Costs

It’s a new fall season for television, so there’s no lack of polls where viewers mull the important questions of TV land: Hottest onscreen hookup? Which character dies next? Which of these four dozen crime dramas is your favorite? Robin Williams, Michael J., James Spader: Better on film or TV?

Buried in the bunch is this poll: Which TV character has the highest car insurance premiums?

The poll notes some niftily applicable nuances about car insurance, including these observations: “Hawaii Five-O”’s Steve drives Danny’s car without being an added driver to the policy (a major no-no); “Supernatural”’s Winchester bros likely lack coverage because they have no fixed address (another major no-no); and the car in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can fly (a major impossibility).

Readers chose: Michael Westen, from “Burn Notice,” a Miami-based intelligence contractor that whimsically wrecks car after car after car. (Miami’s TV characters drive nice rides, but sure are careless with them).

We’ve run our own piece on vehicles on the screen, when we counted down the top 5 cars on film last year.

The Smartphone: A New Frontier of Global Insurance Sales

A business will go to great lengths to get as many chances at you as possible. And given the time today’s consumers spend on their smartphones, there are plenty of chances to get you buying as you browse those mobiles.

Insurance sales across the globe are being increasingly sold through social media and smartphones, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited data showing that auto insurance sold online in South Korea has ballooned since 2006. France is also mentioned by the WSJ as an up-and-comer in online sales.

So it might not be long before Caleb the Camel interrupts your call, telling you in Cantonese that you should buy with GEICO.

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