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Too Afraid to Claim

27 January 2014, 10:08

Your household items and car are now insured and you pay your monthly premiums faithfully by debit order.

The insurance company has acknowledged you as an esteemed client.  Your have completed the inventory form and to the best of your knowledge you are adequately insured to avoid the dreaded usually under or over insured gotcha terms and conditions.

Your have filed the receipts and serial numbers of your hard earned items.

The albatross has been lifted off your shoulders and you can now relax.

Then, one day your arrive home and notice a broken window.

You have been burgled.

You feel ill as you survey the tornado that has ripped through your home.

You call the cops who take fingerprints, a quick inventory and issue a case number.

You then 'phone your insurance company to lodge the claim and are warned that all calls are recorded.  This is to trip you up.

The call centre agent should commiserate with you and say: "Don't worry, we are here for you, and once you have managed to straighten things up, fill out the form online.  Give yourself a day to two to make sure."

This is what they advertise, after all.

Instead, the agent says:  "So what was taken?  And, remember this call is being recorded."

If you um or ah, or hesitate in any way, you are stuffed.

You may say: "Definitely the TV, my laptop and microwave.  And meat from the freezer.  I haven't really had the chance to check properly."

You are busy and want the claim to be expedited.  To replace the items takes time and you just want to get back to normal.

You then discover your child's bicycle is missing and other smaller items, maybe jewellery and DVD's.  You notify the agent again and then submit the claim.  You are certain that this is now complete.

Enter the Assessor, who introduces himself as Mr Gestapo.  A Person of Prominence and One to be Feared.  He has ways of making you talk.  According to Him, you are now a Criminal.

We are all aware of those who inflate claims for state of the art equipment, while their remaining items are clearly not, and the child who says:  But, I never had a PlayStation or TV in my bedroom."

But, there are those of us who are honest although you, Mr Gestapo, is trained to believe this is not possible.

Is this fair, Mr Gestapo? Are you unable to read people and their situation?

You are then subjected to a three hour interrogation with  his bullying tactics which involve the following demeaning questions:

"Who did you 'phone after you say you were burgled?  What did you say and what did they say?  Give me their contact numbers. I'll 'phone them now."

"I have the recording.  In this you seemed very doubtful.  You hesitated a lot.  The first time you said a watch had been stolen.  Then you said you had found it, but a ring had gone and some money.  Did you find this as well?  Do your realise that if you change your mind all the time, we can throw out the entire claim?"

When a friend was rear ended in an accident and the third party admitted the blame, Mr Gestapo 'phoned me to describe exactly what happened.

I was not there at the time, Mr Gestapo.

Were you?


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