Sorry, but it's not our policy to answer your questions

Click to follow
The Independent Online
A glimpse into the workings of the insurance business is afforded by this unusual exchange of letters, which has recently come my way . . .

Dear Miss Nuttall,

I recently went away on holiday and set up my video recorder to tape my favourite serials. When I returned I found that none of the programmes had been recorded and I wonder if I am covered for this under my household insurance policy with you.

Yours etc,

Dear Policyholder,

I am afraid that the malfunctioning of a VCR does not come under the heading of household insurance but is covered by the guarantee from the manufacturers of your machine, and it is to them that you should apply for redress. I wish you luck.

Yours etc,

Dear Miss Nuttall,

It was not, in fact, because of a malfunctioning of the VCR that my programmes were not recorded. It was because I had failed to take into account the fact that the clocks were to be put forward an hour the day after I left, and therefore my tapes are now full of the programmes that were shown in the 60 minutes preceding the programmes I really wanted to watch. I wonder if this is covered by my household insurance.

Yours etc,

Dear Policyholder,

The contents of your household are covered by the policy you refer to, and the contents only. In this case, the accident was caused by the malfunctioning of a resident (yourself) and you as a human being are not covered by household insurance.

Incidentally, I think you will find that if you failed to put the clock in your VCR forward an hour, then you will have recorded the programmes that were shown an hour after your favourite programmes, and not an hour before.

Yours etc,

Dear Miss Nuttall,

You were absolutely right about the programmes I recorded by accident. They were all an hour later] Of course, I didn't necessarily want to see all the missing episodes of my favourite soaps, I just wanted to find out what happened in the different plot-lines, and it occurs to me that among the many employees of your insurance company there must be some who watch the same programmes as me. I have made a list of the relevant programmes, and I would be very grateful if you could pass them around the staff for their notes. You might mention to your colleagues that if any of them recently missed any programme that was recorded an hour after any the programmes that I missed, I have a copy to make available to them]

Yours etc,

Dear Policyholder,

While I appreciate your offer, I am afraid we cannot enter into individual correspondence about cases that are not covered by our policies. I hope you understand.

Yours etc,

Dear Miss Nuttall,

I quite understand. I shall not return to the subject again.

However, may I ask your advice on another topic? I read the other day that an artist who had submitted some 'controversial' photographs of herself in the nude to Boots the Chemist for developing had been told that they were filth and could not be handled by them.

Well, I am about to take my holiday snaps to our local firm for developing and seem to remember that in the fierce sunshine at Lanzarote my costume may have on occasion been conspicuous by its absence, and that my friend Sheila may well have snapped me in what Boots would call a compromising condition.

If they refuse to handle the developing, and even confiscate the negatives, would I be covered for this under my household insurance policy?

Yours etc,

Dear Policyholder,

If you consult Clause 17, sub-section C, you will see that you are not insured against any legal or quasi-legal seizure, and a confiscation by the chemist would be classed as a quasi-legal action.

Yours etc,

Dear Miss Nuttall,

I see what you mean. Now I am not sure if I ought to take these photos to be developed. I wonder if I could send them to you for your opinion on whether they are indecent and likely to be seized?

Yours etc,

Dear Policyholder,

I am afraid I cannot enter into further correspondence on this matter, as the artistic and ethical nature of artwork lies beyond the brief of this insurance company.

Yours etc,

Dear Miss Nuttall,

Well done] The letters you have been receiving about TV soap operas, holiday snaps etc, were not in fact genuine letters but one of our regular random company checks. The way you never admitted liability for anything and offered advice on no subject was well up to our company's normal high standards. Thank you]

Yours etc,

Comments