The Mob Takes Over Insurance Certificates

It is well known (well known, at least, by those who know) that organizedcrime takes in over $100 billion a year. This is quite a large sum, especiallywhen you consider that the Mafia (known affectionately to its friends as "TheMob") spends very little on office supplies or insurance. At one time,their interest was piqued by what they heard was a "Crime" policy, butwhen they heard it excluded dishonest acts, their interest faded.

Organized crime is a serious problem. To gauge how bad it is, I asked threeattorneys about it, and they sent me bills totalling $67,000. That will give youan idea of just how serious the problem is.

But crimeland has its own problems. Mob leader Luigi (The Butcher) Locatelloput out a contract (one with no "hold harmless" clause) on Gino (TheExecutioner) Giacopetto, but was quickly gunned down by Giacopetto's henchmenbecause he thought it was a contract of adhesion. This childish display ofvexation led to a falling-out of the top hoods. Mario (The Underwriter) Macaroniwas left out in the cold and forced to seek a new source of income. Hissolution: insurance certificates.

What a great untapped source to shake down! Insurance certificates go out bythe millions; all it takes is one dollar from each certificate and you canretire from the world of godfathers and concrete boots. But how to tap it? Thatwas the question. Finally, a light went on in Mario's mind. He would shake downevery insurance agent and broker in the country.

His scheme was simplicity itself. The word would go out that every producerwho supplied insurance certificates must use the Macaroni form. Failure to do sowould result in members of the Sicilian Music Mafia showing up with accordiansin the producer's lobby, playing "Lady of Spain" over and over untilthe Macaroni forms were used or all the workers went berserk, whichever camefirst.

Actually, the Macaroni form was comparable to the old Acord form except forone great improvement. Where the Acord form said "This certificate isissued as a matter of information only and confers no rights upon thecertificate holder," the Macaroni form said "Failure of the insurersto respond to the certificate-holder will lead to prompt demolition of theinsurer's home office."

"At last," said the producers, "we have a certificate thatmeans something." They bought the Macaroni forms by the millions, accordianplayers were not needed, and Mario Macaroni retired to the quiet life in Sicily.

Copyright © 1996 by David Warren
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