Ever wonder what someone would think if they watched TV commercials in the US and had no idea that insurance companies have long since given up trying to promote actual products to consumers? Step back and look at the messages we get from insurance companies today.

Car-Babies are creepy. The guy washes his giant baby in the driveway with a garden hose, which, you know, is how doofus-dads wash their babies. But at least he didn’t lock his kid in the car - Because his kid IS the car! But that shopping-cart-to-the-groin joke never gets old.

Yeti attacks are covered. Insurance is great to cover against contingencies which - although not a daily occurrence - might actually happen to you. So it is a good thing that Farmers covers against Yeti attack. And not just that, but if one attacks your car with a giant snowball. Trust me: I tried filing a claim like that with my previous insurer and those bastards denied me. That’s what I get for not noticing the “Mythical creature exclusions.”

Mayhem is funny. Do you know what the word mayhem means? In the law, it is wilfully maiming or disfiguring someone. Ah, good times. Well, Mayhem is also the star of a series of commercials where this indestructible guy goes out and wrecks cars in the most unlikely ways. Hibachi accidents in the parking lot? Alma mater flags ripped off trucks? Yup, they cover that. Run-of-the-mill claims? Who has those?

Geico has given up. Geico has gotten to the point where its wall-to-wall ad coverage has required it to make that the theme of its commercials. As in, “Everyone knows” what their ad says. So, they just punt and put in something ridiculous. Yes, I know what is supposedly happening at the deli counter but all it ever reminds me of is that the crazy person at the supermarket might actually be a former NFLer who’s fallen on such hard times he has to appear in Geico ads to make ends meet.

You are what you wear. Finally, we have to address what a cool place State Farm is to work at. If you are the one who drew the short straw (i.e., you get to answer phones at 3 AM), they will let you wear khakis to work. Yes, KHAKIS. And not just on Fridays. Every day you work at 3 AM you can wear them. Or not, if the guy in the next cuible isn’t looking. But, do they pay valid claims? Who cares! The guy you are talking to might be wearing khakis!

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Meanwhile, an insurance company could run an ad with the message: “We investigate claims promptly and then pay them when valid.” Why don’t they?

Yes, that was rhetorical.

Follow me on Twitter: @stevelehto

Hear my podcast on iTunes: Lehto’s Law

Steve Lehto has been practicing law for 23 years, almost exclusively in consumer protection and Michigan lemon law. He wrote The Lemon Law Bible and Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation.

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