Driving Psychology and Insurance – Merger Mania

driving psychology and insurance regarding merger mania

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Today our topic is:

Driving Psychology and Insurance – Merger Mania

In our series of articles discussing the idiosyncrasies of the American Driving Public, we bring you the concept of Merger Mania.

There you are sitting in traffic in your comfortable new commuter car, once again! The radio is on and you are listening to the same news you heard an hour ago. Your butt is getting sore from sitting in the same position for over an hour and you are getting irritated. The good news is that you have just crossed over the intersection with Rt.95 and the last of the big merges is just ahead, as you go south in the right hand lane. The psychology of being in the right hand lane approaching a merger is a whole other story, which we will explore in coming articles.

So, you are looking at a long stream of cars on your right, angling toward you on the Rt.95 on ramp and thinking there will be a polite alternate merge convention employed. This is where each car in your lane lets in one car from the on ramp and you all get through this pain with shared sacrifice. You are after all a nice person.

As you creep up to the merge area you are now able to see in some measure whom you will be letting in front of you when you arrive at the appointed merge point. They are in a nice car, not too new not too old, a commuting car. He is driving and maybe that is his wife in the passenger seat. He looks over at you quickly to see if you are the type to employ the standard alternate merge approach and though you miss catching his eye, there is a bond formed between you, that all will be courteous when you two arrive at the appropriate location.

As expected, the merger lane is now touching your lane, though the merger lane continues on for a mile or so, in case at some other point in the day this merger dance is performed at high speeds. This is not the case now as you are moving at barely 2 miles per hour and you all just want to get to work.

Sure enough you let into your lane, the man and woman in the commuter car and if you are lucky he will raise his right hand as a “thank you acknowledgement” so you can see it through their rear window.  Alas no thank you. Ok what did you expect from such an average looking car!

You proceed on now at a few miles per hour faster, and all is right with the world for the moment, as your butt reminds you of the urgency to get out of the car.

Then out of the blue, a speeding car has come up on your right hand side in what remains of the Rt.95 on ramp, can you believe it, where did she come from? In a newer SUV with a dent on the rear bumper and pulling slightly ahead of you as her ramp ends.

She is a commuter who does this road each day you can tell, as you look over and see that there is no acknowledgement that you are even present, nor have the right of way. Then comes the blinker and a slow attempt to squeeze in front of you.

Now the game is on! You have already given your one selfless gesture today to Rt.95 drivers and your butt still hurts; and furthermore, you know that she knew she should have merged way back at the polite alternate merge point. What do you do?

You are almost riding the bumper of the man and woman in front of you, and you can see him looking in the rearview mirror wondering what is happening. He then sees the new player in the merger game and he tightens up his distance with the car in-front of him. It is clearly your move. You know she does this all the time, as she has the aggressive merger technique down and the dent in her bumper to prove it.  She picked you as you have the new car, washed and shiny. You will let her in.

At this point, she is heading closer to the end of the merge lane and all the vagaries that present themselves in the gutter ahead. You are breathing heavy, your heart is pounding and your manhood is threatened as well as your insurance policy.

What do you do?

About David Thompson

David Thompson is President and CEO of eINSURE Services, Inc. Dave is on the Board of Directors of AmerInst Insurance Group, Bermuda and is Chairman of the Underwriting Committee, as well as co-inventors of RINITS, a new insurance securitization product. He has a history of creating successful new ventures in the insurance business.