Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Piffling Assurance Company

Have you ever woken up next to a lady who looked like this? Annoying, isn't it? Here's how to insure against such minor but appalling calamities...

Trivial Insurance Claims

It occurs to me, amidst these days of major disasters, of bombs and tsunamis and wars and, er, other stuff - that most people's lives aren't actually afflicted by this kind of catastrophe. Rather, the things that most people suffer and endure are the truly minor disasters, the utterly trivial cataclysms, the piffling little screw-ups that make us look up at the Heavens and say: thanks, asshole.
In that light, I suddenly thought - why can't you insure against this stuff? The titchy stuff? The picayune enormities?

So I rang up some insurance companies to check out the deal. And see how much it would cost.

Ten of Life's Little Annoyances - and the Cost of Insuring Against Them

1. You did it. You met this amazing bird. You persuaded her back to your place. Then she took off her kit and.... nothing. Nada. You couldn't get it up 'cause you were too drunk.
Insurer's quote. 'To offer insurance against brewer's droop we'd have to know if there was any history of impotence. Get a medical report. For an averagely healthy young man we'd charge a premium of about £20 a year, on a payout of, say, £500.'

2. What's worse then a bad pint? Apart from cancer? And genocide?
'For this we'd have to know what and how much you drink. Real ale is obviously more likely to go off than keg lager, for instance. I reckon £20 a year premium, putative payout: £30.'

3. We've all been there. The pounding headache. The ashtray mouth. The inexplicable bruises. And the nameless partner across the pillow who looks like a sea monster in a wig...
'Waking up with an ugly woman is a very subjective grievance to insure against. Who or what is ugly? And of course there's the fact that you did get laid, so the agony wouldn't be that bad. £150 a year premium. Payout about £200.'

4. It's new. It's by your favourite band. You've been waiting for weeks and when you rip off the plastic and slap it in the hi-fi every track sucks.
'What makes a bad movie, or a boring record? Again, very subjective. Say £80 a year premium, payout £200.'

5. The hair is gelled. The strides are ironed. Then you get to the party and it consists of three punchy prop-forwards and some mad bint with a 'tache.
'A boring party should be insurable. How much did you spend on preparations? The emotional distress might be mitigated by the fact that you got pissed anyway. I'd say a premium of about £20 a year, payout £50.'

6. You're tired and hungover and it's 3 am and it's raining. Hey, guess what? - no taxis.
'We'd need an actuarial report on the amount of taxis in your area. This is insurable, but expensive - it happens a lot. Annual premium £500, payout £600.'

7. Remember that time when the barber held the mirror up and you nodded and mumbled 'yes, that's great' and then you went home and stayed in for three months?
'We'd take this very seriously - there have been cases of people suing their hairdressers for incompetent haircuts. A really bad haircut can affect your social standing, your job, your overall confidence. Premium £3000 a year, payout £10,000?'

8. It was your favourite shirt. The white cotton one. Then your nan went and put it in the wash with a Man United sock.
'Ruined clothes are easily insured against. How much was the shirt worth? Say £5 a year premium, £100 payout for the shirt and the annoyance.'

9. Oh God, the horror. The terror. The utter ego-reducing awfulness of hearing the prettiest girl in the club say "piss off, grandad."
'Insuring against a "knockback" would depend on how attractive you are. How likely to be rejected. £300 a year premium, £2000 payout.'

10. You follow your team through the ups and downs, hells and high-waters of cup competition - then the useless tossers go and lose in the final.
'Emotional pain is very arguable. We'd want a big premium if you were a major fan: £400 a year, perhaps. With a possible payout of £2000.'

With thanks to Lloyds of London

1 comment:

Tim Worstall said...

Very good. But what worries me is you probably spoke to half the people I went to school with to get those quotes.