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Vol. 7, Iss. 2
March 7, 2018

Postscript: Domino’s Pizza Carryout Insurance

In the last issue of Coverage Opinions I poked fun at Domino’s Pizza’s “Carryout Insurance Program.” As the pizza chain has been touting in television ads of late, it will replace a carryout customer’s pizza that is somehow damaged on the way home.

It’s a silly idea, of course. But that’s the point. It’s a fun gimmick. But, apparently, not everyone got that. Cathy O’Neill, founder of an algorithmic auditing company (whatever that means) had this to say about the Domino’s offer in a Bloomberg “Viewpoint” piece titled “No, Thank You, I Don’t Want to Insure My Pizza”: “The winner of my personal stupid prize [for recent television commercials that she has seen]: Domino’s ‘pizza carryout insurance,’ which offers a free replacement if you somehow manage to destroy your pizza on the way home. This is just the latest in a long line of products that distort people’s understanding of what insurance should be. Somebody has to put their foot down, and that somebody is me. Let’s remind ourselves what insurance actually is. It’s protection against calamity. It’s something that pays out only in unusual circumstances — and sometimes never — but definitely only when you would not be able to afford the loss.”

Jeez Louise, take it easy Cath. [Can I call you Cath?] It’s a joke. A PR stunt. And it worked. Domino’s got me to talk about their pizza. And you. And now me again.

Ms. O’Neill goes on to rail against what she calls “so called insurance” -- products where the premium is too high relative to the risk transferred, such as for an iPhone. Maybe she’s right about some of that. But she lost me at “[i]f you can buy a pizza, pretty much by definition you can afford the loss of a pizza. You don’t need insurance.”

Get a slice, Cath.


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