Lawlessly Yours: Always read the small print

Bill Lawless
Bill Lawless
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The next time you consider taking out any insurance policy hire an electron microscope to scrutinise the small print.

This is based on personal experience –nothing big enough to ring the Lutine Bell at Lloyds or bring the Names to their knees but of some fiscal significance to a peasant like moi.

Also get a good lawyer to inspect the printout because the terms and conditions will certainly have been written by a better lawyer. This is because insurance companies can afford a better lawyer than you can.

Then it would be useful to get a third lawyer involved to explain the interpretation of the second lawyer to the conditions set out by the original lawyer. Is that clear? No? Then seek advice from a lawyer.

Alternatively, it will be far less expensive to get a man in to put a new roof on the outside lavvie.

This apparently was classed as an Act of God –in the small print, naturally, although what God had against our crapper was beyond my comprehension. Possibly he didn’t like the view through the missing slates when gazing down from above.

It is quite possible that the closest scrutiny will reveal an exclusion clause like this: “we reserve the right without prejudice to dismiss any claim for reasons we do not have to reveal to any persons living or dead and/or their heirs and successors, so go and get stuffed.”

What the insurance trade likes above all else is a bum claim. For instance, if you have many previous convictions for dangerous driving, drunken driving and speeding and in the box marked ‘previous convictions’ you say ‘none’ they will willingly sell you fully comp on your new Porsche 911S, gratefully accept your astronomic premiums and gleefully tell you to piddle off when you wrap the car round a tree and make a claim.

Equally pregnant with diabolic consequences is the little matter of travel insurance. Knock 30 years off your age and tick the box stating that your health is perfect when in reality you have a gastric ulcer, an ancient pacemaker, a cracked glass eye, two previous coronaries and terminal piles, your premium will be accepted with gratitude.

But when the Benidorm sun and several gallons of sangria plus the flamenco you performed at the

hotel’s talent night trigger the inevitable stroke, an air ambulance to whisk you home courtesy of the Benevolent Insurance Travel Company will be unlikely. Your wife will have to borrow a wheelbarrow from the nearby building site, stick you in it and get shoving back to the hotel where you must wait for an Act of God to work in your favour for a change.