Extending my coverage


The letters arrive every so often.

Not on any regular schedule or pattern. But frequently enough that they have become recognizable envelope in the mailbox.

Letter itself is offering me a deal on extended vehicle coverage for service and repairs. Claims that my vehicle is about to move into the expensive and costly and horrendous zone of no coverage, and… well…

Does anyone respond to this stuff?

I’m just wondering. Because I kind of always knew I might be (and likely was) responsible for the cost of repairs to my vehicle. It never really occurred to me that such a thought should be as scary and shocking as the letter attempts to convey.

Honestly, for all I know, the company involved is actually a reputable and solid organization. I doubt it, but I have no evidence one way or another. I also don’t plan on looking them up. In fact, I’m not even going to identify them further since this is more of a sweeping question about what makes us react in certain ways. Instead… just from a quick review…

The letter wants to me act quickly, act now… no, act yesterday… because my vehicle is no longer covered for service, Warranty is done. I’m on the hook for repair costs.

But the letter doesn’t tell me what kind of vehicle is involved. Just says it’s my current vehicle. Plenty of get moving and call this number moments on the form, with fonts italicized and words in bold and even red letters. They even tell me multiple times that my status is “Approved” – which sounds pretty official and legitimate to me.

Mail like this upsets me. I think part of the annoyance is that I even have to go through the effort to shred the materials since they managed to obtain my name and address, and of course, better safe than sorry. But there’s more…

Do you ever take some time to look over junk mail? Something beyond the quick read that tells you to place it with the bills, toss it in the trash, or add it to a pile for a more attentive reading later?

Sometimes, I do.

Most of the time, it’s nothing. Local business looking to get my attention with a contest or giveaway. Maybe a company I ordered something from that is reaching out with an offer to try and get me shopping for more. Possibly a fundraising organization of some type looking for a donation.

Normal stuff.

But then there’s mail like this offer. Asking for money and promising something, but if you even slightly arch an eyebrow and look for details you end up with more questions and fewer answers.

There was no return address listed. Not on the envelope. Not in the main parts of the letter. Only if you went to the end of page two, into the smaller font section set aside from everything else, would you see a reference to a different doing-business-as situation.

What company offers me blank vehicle coverage without knowing what kind of vehicle they’d be covering? Not to put too much thought into this, but it feels a bit like giving your address, social security number and mother’s maiden name to someone that you weren’t expecting a call from that registered as a blocked number on your phone but you answered it anyway. (But hey, they sounded awfully nice and trustworthy.)

A few weeks ago, a somewhat close to me car dealership sent out mailings and it arrived at our home. Offered me a guaranteed winner situation with items like cash, a television, or a laptop just for stopping in and taking a test drive. I looked that letter over up, down and sideways, and debated using a mirror to check it for backwards statements. It seemed to me like the worst I could do was $200 for stopping in. I didn’t go. Felt like I had to be missing something. And if I wasn’t, the idea of the sales pitch I would be getting before $200 was placed in my hand didn’t seem all that appealing. Too good to be true generally is.

The end result is simple… I’m nearing a point where the mail I get that I need is outnumbered by the pieces of mail that I unquestionably don’t. I remember being overseas once and seeing a “no junk mail” sign attached to home mailboxes. I wonder if there’s some sort of coverage like that for us. Chances are there could be, but just my luck, my status for it isn’t approved.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com