I need to speak my truth about insurance company mascots

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After 2+ years of the pandemic, it’s time to acknowledge some truths we’ve all been avoiding. I’ll go first: I think insurance company mascots are really irritating. In particular, I don’t care for Flo from Progressive. As they say in the south, SHE DILLS MY PICKLE! 

It wasn’t always this way. When Flo debuted back in 2008, she was sweet and uber-positive, like a goofy aunt or one of your mom’s friends. Today, she’s edgy and cynical, and her enthusiasm for property insurance is manic. She’s also been joined by a gaggle of coworkers who hang out with her constantly but don’t like her very much. They spend their time making passive-aggressive wisecracks like, “Uh, you know we’ll be working again tomorrow, right, Flo?” 


Flo isn’t the only insurance mascot I find troubling, though. She’s part of a larger trend. For years, the insurance industry has unleashed a smorgasbord of annoying mascots on the world that include:

Doug and LiMu, the Emu from Liberty Mutual

Doug will meet with you to go over your policy, but that meeting will probably (judging by his appearance) be in an alley next to a dumpster. 

The Geico Gecko

Yes, I’m talking about the reptile that has a British accent. Fun fact: “Do geckos carry diseases” is a Google auto-search suggestion. The answer? Yes, they do. Salmonella! 

The duck from Afflack Insurance 

Completely unprompted, it screams “AFFLACK” all the time. WTF? Also, do you think ducks are innocent? Then you’ve never heard of anatidaephobia, the irrational fear that you’re being watched by a duck. It’s a real thing, and you tell me which came first, the “AFFLACK!” duck or the psychological disorder? 

So there is no shortage of disturbing, joke-making insurance company mascots, and consumer research says there’s a reason for that. Apparently, information about insurance coverage is so boring, humorous characters are the only way to make people listen to the details. Hence all the jokey mascots, to which I say, “Yuck!”

It feels good to finally speak my truth about this. But I also agree with old-timey former president, Teddy Roosevelt, that “complaining about a problem without posing a solution is whining,” therefore, I’ve come to this blog armed with a solution.

The Solution

Insurance company mascots should be required to gather annually and engage in a competition for survival. It would be called

The Hunger Claims will be held in an arena just as annoying and chaotic as the mascots themselves. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. 


Imagine competing for your life while these circus performers, who are soaked in tuberculosis, shriek confusing lyrics at you.


Some Breaking News

Contestants for the first annual Hunger Claims have been selected. They include the aforementioned Flo, Doug & LiMu, and the Geico Gecko. In addition, a mascot from Allstate Insurance will also join the competition (for reasons that will become obvious in a moment.) And because I know many of you will be interested in placing bets on the outcome (who wouldn’t?), I want to share my predictions for what might go down at the first annual Hunger Claims.

You probably remember this mascot from Allstate Insurance but don’t know his name. That’s because Allstate never told us what it was, which I’m sure is because he spends his time sidling up to people and quietly asking them, “Are you in good hands?” He’s done that for years with no repercussions, and I’m sure the behavior will continue during the competition. However, I also think the other contestants will become so creeped out they will eventually join forces and eliminate him. Good for them, I say. My proximity to ‘good hands’ is not your business, Allstate!

Sensitive content warning: The Moulin Rouge Arena™ does not contain food, and the concessions are prohibitively expensive. (Mainly because everything is topped with opium.) That means the contestants will quickly become very hungry and look for sources of food. Do I need to fill in the blanks here? The gecko will be an appetizer by the end of the first day. And he’ll be delicious.

On the surface, Flo doesn’t seem particularly strong or cunning, but that is what makes her a threat. Flo is a wild card who’s ok until she isn’t, at which point she loses her $#@. Think that sounds unlikely? Then I submit this recent documentary that followed Flo and her coworkers as they gathered for a day of relaxation on the beach. Unexpectedly, the camera captured a moment when another beachgoer admitted to not bundling his automotive and home insurance coverage. Upon overhearing this, Flo flew into a rage. The filmmakers did not share the footage of Flo confronting the non-bundling beachgoers, which indicates it must have been harrowing. 

My point: Flo should not be underestimated (or invited to the beach, apparently).


Emus are easily fooled and not very intelligent. (The same is true for Doug.) In fact, scientists say that emus are among the dumbest birds in existence, less intelligent than crows but more intelligent than turkeys. (Sidebar: Who sounds less intelligent? A bird with a small brain, or a person who spends their career assessing whether the bird recognizes itself in the mirror and then publishes academic articles calling the bird a moron?)

Anyway, LiMu might be dumb, but I think he’s smart enough to take his huge foot and shove Doug into whatever threat approaches. So Doug, who, let’s be honest, looks really anemic, will go down early. The emu, however, will be a-ok, given that it’s 6 feet tall (making it the 2nd tallest bird in existence) and has a serrated beak and powerful reptilian-like legs. Emus are also omnivores, by the way, who sometimes eat OTHER BIRDS!

Good lord.

My conclusion

It’s going to be a tossup between Flo and the emu, but I kind of feel like LiMu has the edge, and…I’m ok with that, I think? Maybe the Hunger Claims will be one of those nature-taking-back-the-earth moments?

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