Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 6 July 2017
I was told recently that I needed to have current Public Liability insurance if I was to be allowed anywhere near my main client's house, so I bought some. £5 million will be more than enough if I accidentally kill one of his servants, but nowhere near enough if I kill him or a family member. I must continue to take care.
One of the many chargeable extras offered to anyone who takes out insurance these days is 'legal cover'. I never take them up on the offer, especially for motor insurance. Why would I pay them an extra £20 a year to cover myself for legal fees if they refuse to pay out on an accident and it has to go to court?
All the brokers have made a deal with each other that almost all car accidents are the equal fault of both parties, so split 50-50. For them, this is a 'swings and roundabouts' situation which saves them money in the long run. For us, it is an increase on next years premium - for both parties.
The insurance companies now say that they will honour any protected no-claims bonus schemes, but reserve the right to increase the premium if you make a claim. It sounds ridiculous when they tell you, but they are legally obliged to tell you, which is somewhat embarrassing for the brokers.
When you think about it, insurers are really professional gamblers. They can't control the odds, but they can control the terms and conditions. All those wealthy pensioners who lost their life savings when Lloyds Shipping went wrong learned that the terms and conditions can be drastically changed without notice, just like it says in the small print. It isn't always win/win.
I have never been much of a gambler in the traditional sense. I really don't see the fun in it. Having said that, the closest I get to gambling is buying something for, say, £20 which I believe is worth more to someone else, then putting it up for auction at 99 pence and waiting to see if I make on it, lose on it or break even.