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Badvertising: Insurance Doesn’t Pay You For Your Feelings

November 12, 2010

This ad on the subway has been bothering me for some time.

The ad is for renters insurance, and it is supposed to replicate a number of small “lost and found” ads posted by individuals. ART PORTFOLIO STOLEN. Or, LOST CAMERA WITH ALL OUR HONEYMOON PICTURES. The “black portfolio” part of the ad in the photograph above actually specifies that the portfolio contains artwork that isn’t worth anything “except to me.”

So … everybody realizes that, if your renters insurance reimbursed you for your art portfolio, you’d just get back the cost of the actual portfolio itself, and maybe some sheets of blank paper? They don’t pay you for your labor (or the value to you of your honeymoon pictures).

Renters insurance is certainly a good idea. I have some. I have, in fact, photographed nearly everything I own, and I keep the photos on a CD at my parents’ house, just in case my apartment floods or catches on fire. This is why people have renters insurance. Not to replace their precious memories/paintings.

So, this is the worst ad for renters insurance, ever. What it says to me, basically, is: if you lose your most valued possessions, no one will help you!

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