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Today's quote:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Plain English Insurance Cover

NEW SIMPLIFIED, PLAIN ENGLISH
HOMEOWNERS POLICY
SPECIAL FORM


The ______________Insurance Company has issued this policy to ________________________ for a period of _____ year(s) ending promptly at midnight, standard time on ___________.

Property Location: ____________________________________.

Amount of Insurance you bought: $_________ , on your house, all the accumulated furniture and shit inside your house, your garage (the one where you park your car, not Al's Body Shop) and any other small building on the lot, and what it costs to live when your house is burned down or something like that happens, for so long as we say it's okay.

We also will defend you in court if some sonuvabitch makes a claim against you, or pay his damages, and we'll pay the medical bills of some people who get hurt accidentally at your place, or some other places.

(We could spell it out in detail, but you wouldn't understand one F***ing word of it anyway--shit--we had to hire ten lawyers just to figure THIS out after we wrote it).

CONDITIONS:

  1. If anything happens and it looks like it's going to cost you money, call us right away and we'll tell you if we're apt to pay for it.

  2. Our agent has already told you that this is the new "ALL RISK" policy. He was correct as far as he went, but he doesn't even know what the F*** he's selling. So, if you have any questions, call or write to us, not some jackoff insurance salesman.

  3. Don't lie to us about what happened or how much something cost or how godawful new it is or how it never leaked before. If you try to shit us, we'll not only cancel this F***er so fast it'll make your head swim; we'll pass the word around and you won't ever be able to get an insurance policy again, short of Hong Kong Mutual. There's so much F***ing regulation, and an Insurance Commissioner who thinks he's Jesus Christ, that we CAN'T LIE to YOU--It'd be our ass. So, don't give us any song and dance or we'll land on your ass hard.

  4. Replacement Cost: F***ing forget it! You don't need it. We'll pay what is fair, with or without any goddam Replacement Cost Coverage. And, we don't give a shit what your goddam neighbour's policy has on it.

  5. The Amount of Insurance You Bought, listed above, is the absolute most we will pay no matter what your house and other shit is worth or however many people sue your ass for any one accident. So, you'd better be goddam sure you've bought enough to cover the worst F***ing disaster you can imagine. Don't depend on your agent for this!!! If he had any imagination, he'd find an HONEST occupation.

  6. Don't bother us with a lot of questions about what is and isn't covered by this insurance. We'll tell you when you need to know. If we told you now, you'd forget it in an hour--if you ever understood it in the first place.

  7. YOUR DUTIES: (1) Pay the F***ing premium and (2) Call us right away when you think something's happened (don't try to analyze it, just call in); that's all you gotta do. Don't try to get cute--see item (3) above in case you forgot already (which doesn't surprise us).

  8. If we think of any additional conditions, we'll let you know. By the way, if what happens involves a vehicle, airplane or boat or has something to do with your job--forget it! Don't call us; we couldn't care less!

 By: ______________________________ Dated _______________

 

 

Not the most elegant wording but honest, isn't it? More honest than the small print in most insurance policies (how many have actually read that bit?), especially when it comes to the definition of "flood", a subject close to my heart and always close at hand.

Many insurance companies have had their fancy lawyers draft definitions of “flood” which don’t actually pay out on a flood situation. A general rule of thumb is that if the flood damage is caused from the sky above (a storm), then you’re covered. If the flood damage is caused from below (like from a swollen river, creek or stormwater drain) then you’re not covered. How crazy is that? And don’t argue about how the river and creek were swollen from above. That logic won’t wash with the insurance companies and their lawyers.

Ordinary, hard-working Aussies doing the right thing, paying their insurance premiums for years thinking they have protection are left in the lurch. Dudded at a time of disaster. To make matters worse, insurance companies are excluded from Federal laws covering unfair contracts. Which means insurance companies can get away with contract murder.

Since 2003 the Federal Government has been negotiating with the Insurance Council of Australia to work out the issue and have yet to reach an agreement. Nine years of negotiation! Come on, give me a break and agree on a simple standard definition of a flood. None of this fancy lawyers jargon aimed at finding as many loopholes as possible.

My own insurers, the NRMA, who for years and years had me covered for "flood" - however they define it in their small print - have just sent me their renewal notice which announces in bold print,

"Your policy now includes flood cover. On the right panel you will see two premiums listed - one with flood and one without. You can choose which you'd prefer. To remove flood cover, you must contact us on 1300 137 593."

And here's the 'right panel':

What a lot of spin! I have always had flood cover which was always included in my annual premium of around a thousand dollars. Without a single word of apology, they removed the "old" flood cover and repackaged it as "new" flood cover for an extra $4,538.89 - yes, that's right, AN EXTRA FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS AND EIGHTY-NINE CENTS.

Given this huge increase in premium, I think they don't really want my business. I think they are just telling me to EFF OFF! It doesn't get much plainer than that!