The insurance claim game is all about winning and losing. Who wins and who loses is represented financially; the potential claimant is dealt an initial losing hand in the form of damage, theft or destruction and must try to ‘win’ by getting turning that hand back on the dealer.
Playing for Hearts
Making an insurance claim could very well be compared to entering into a particularly frustrating game of Hearts. The points you hold in hand are your damage costs, theft costs and loss of earnings and your purpose is to offload these points onto their rightful owner, lest you get stuck with them at the end and lose the game.
Insurance is partly about protecting yourself, partly about assigning blame. Brokers who are willing to insure you against theft may stipulate that theft needs to have occurred as a result of forced entry, to ensure that the theft was not your fault in some way (for example, as an occurrence of you forgetting to lock your door). So making an insurance claim will always involve some need to prove that the incident in question was not your fault – to assign the blame to someone else and thereby pass the cards in the hope of that person getting stuck with the points.
Of course, the person with the most points, or blame, at the end of the game will be the person who incurs the most costs when it comes to making an insurance claim. A good game, in which your initial ‘hand’ is low and you aren’t passed any additional points during play, will result in a successful insurance claim game in which your costs are either minimal or non-existent. A bad hand or ignorance of the game rules will result in your claim being unsuccessful, either partially or fully.
The Rules of the Game
The first part of preparing yourself for the possibility of having to make an insurance claim is to acquaint yourself with the rules of claiming, which means finding a good insurance broker who will be able to explain your coverage and provide you with the best deals. When searching for competitive shop insurance quotes, for example, you will need to speak to an experienced shop insurance provider who can provide you with all the information and resources you’ll need to compile a comprehensive insurance cover package.
Black Maria is the Queen of Spades. She’s the 26-point card which no-one wants to get stuck with, and in this analogy she’s the cost of not obtaining the right insurance policy for your particular cover needs. Only by conducting the most thorough risk-assessment possible can you guard yourself against getting stuck with the dark Queen of inadequate insurance protection, thereby lumbering yourself with expensive payouts because you haven’t thought properly about what your insurance needs might be. The most important part of purchasing insurance, therefore, is to always read the fine print about what is and isn’t included in your cover package.
Photo from Flickr: jbcurio