Complete Invasion of Privacy!

They really DO NOT like what we're doing in the backyard -- but how did they even find out?  Complete invasion of privacy!  #funny #they'rewatching #humor

So then…I answer the phone and a voice says, “Do you have a trampoline in your backyard?”

Actually, I do. But now that someone’s asking, I’m suddenly, inexplicably nervous about admitting it.

“Who is this?” I ask.

“This is Jean at Harry’s office. You asked us to re-quote your car and home insurance.”

“Oh, right, right.” I recall now that I asked our insurance broker to check for lower premiums.

“It’s still out to bid,” she says. “But one of the insurance companies asked me if that’s a trampoline in your backyard.”

“Um, why are they asking?” I ask suspiciously.

“Some insurance companies charge higher premiums for that – and some won’t even write policies for homes with trampolines because they’re so dangerous,” she explains.

Suddenly I feel guilty that I’ve allowed my kids to gleefully jump, flip, roll, and twirl on that trampoline for years. It has a huge netting enclosure so I think it’s pretty safe – and so far, no injuries. Plus they’ve enjoyed lots of bouncing, laughing, exercise-filled fun in the great outdoors, so that assuages my guilt a bit.

But the mildly accusatory tone of the question makes me uneasy about admitting it, especially now that I’ve learned it may affect my premiums.

I ask a bit defensively, “Why do they suspect I have a trampoline anyway?”

She says, “Oh, they Google-mapped your house. On the computer, they looked at an aerial view of your backyard, front yard, the house, driveway, everything.”

“What? Are you kidding me? They’re looking at aerial photos of my home? That’s an invasion of privacy!” I object.

“Oh, all the insurance companies do that now. Aerial photos make it easy for them to spot any trouble before they write policies. They typically do a drive-by in person too, but the aerial photos save a lot of time to eliminate bad prospects right away.”

I’m outraged! This is sounding very Big Brother-y to me.

Now I have to worry about what we happen to be doing outside when the satellite cameras pass overhead?

What’s next? Will the insurance companies ask me:

Hey, are those your kids playing with matches on the front steps? Fire Insurance: denied.

Are you chasing a bee swarm with a blowtorch? Insurance denied.

Is that you skinny-dipping in the pool? Insurance denied.

Are those beer bottles strewn around your backyard while you and your friends try to build a tree house in a palm tree? Insurance denied.

Why is there a motorcycle in the pool? Insurance denied.

I’m not saying these things happened – but if they did happen, that’s MY business!

I’m just totally freaked out by the idea that someone can be sitting miles away in a little office watching what’s going on in my backyard on their computer screen. And how can they not be super judgy? Are they sitting there saying things like:

Darcy, is that your third glass of wine?

Do you really need to spend that much time “training” the cute new pool guy?

That honeysuckle bush needs watering.

And what if they perfect thermal imaging so insurance companies can see what we’re doing INSIDE the house?

Is that you sneaking Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at midnight when we specifically heard on our listening device that you swore to your family there was no ice cream left? Insurance denied.

Is that you giving us the finger? Insurance denied.

“So,” Jean says, bringing me back to the present. “DO you have a trampoline?”

“That’s what they think, huh?” I hedge.

“Yeah, they said they saw a big dark circle on the aerial photo of the backyard, so they figured it was a trampoline,” she says.

“Maybe it’s a moon crater.”

“Huh?” she says.

“Or like a really big black round blanket I’m knitting for an orphanage.”

“Darcy–,” she says.

“Yeah, OK, it’s a trampoline, dammit. And yes, I will get rid of the trampoline. If that will make them happy! It won’t make my kids happy, I’ll tell you that. And I’m totally blaming it on the insurance company!”

So I break the news to the kids, but they’re not too upset since they’ve had several good years on the trampoline and have started to outgrow it anyway.

I then explain to them in elaborate detail how insurance companies can basically see anything that’s happening in our yard and driveway and possibly home – and that they’ll report back to me any suspicious behavior perpetrated by my children.

They don’t believe me. Rubes.

Meanwhile I consider thwarting the thermal imaging sensors when I dip into my secret Ben & Jerry’s stash by wearing a tinfoil suit.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Can you share a related story about invasion of privacy or something that seems Big Brother-ish? Any funny stories about Google maps, satellite photos, insurance, tinfoil suits?)


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13 replies on “Complete Invasion of Privacy!

  1. Judy said:

    I always figure a couple good photos of my pulling my underwear out of my butt or hubby digging for treasure in his nose will keep people from surveying us for long.

    That said, my favorite Google Maps story is anytime I want to head in a northwest direction, Google suggests I take a street just south of me over to the next major street. The street level photo even shows the closed locked gate with the “PRIVATE DRIVE NO ENTRY” sign at the beginning of that street.

  2. Mark said:

    It’s not a trampoline… it’s a SINKHOLE! That’s why I’m trying to re-quote the insurance… because I’m going to need it!

  3. I agree with you completely! Can’t you sue them for stuff like that. I mean if they want to look around, they can always drop by and do it the proper way, right? But of course not! It’s not convenient for them >:/
    I love the thoughts that go through your head. I tend to over-dramatize scenarios in my head too!
    Xae recently posted..Believe Me, This Makes Me H.A.P.P.YMy Profile

  4. Hmm… yeah, that definitely would make me uneasy. I’ve no experience with it first hand, but I heard of a woman who found out her husband was cheating on her with her best friend because she Google-Earthed her friend’s house for whatever reason and saw his car parked outside. Not sure how true it is, but still…

    Moral of the story is borrow someone else’s car when you’re cheating with your best friend’s wife. :p

    • Jasmine said:

      not true there’s a time frame between the mapping and what you see. They only remap every few years so maybe he was cheating on her a few years ago lol

  5. Thanks for the laugh. I am lying here with the flu and the thought of a moon crater in your backyard or a motorcycle in your pool made me smile for the first time in days. Thanks!

  6. Chloe said:

    I remember when I was younger, I had a trampoline in my backyard. My brother and I had tons of fun on it from learning how to do see-saws to getting it really close to the basketball hoop so I was tall enough to “dunk” the ball. It was probably the most fun thing I had as a 6 year old. But then, one day my mom said that the insurance company wouldn’t allow us to have a trampoline. I was devastated.

  7. Had a good laugh. Hmmm, Big Brother watching my every move… denied!

  8. Lynn Marie said:

    In the small town that I live in, we reside fairly close to a group home. It’s in the center of town and it’s an assisted living facility where the residents come and go as they please. There is one man in particular that thinks he’s a police officer and has a decked-out Barney Fife bicycle that he rides around complete with a very loud bike horn. He wears tinfoil all the time on his head because he believes the aliens are after him. This post leaves me wondering if the group home insurance is high because of the tinfoil they see from the sky or if it’s a lower premium because of the “police bike” sitting in the front yard of the property…..hmmm