Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

Never add up your insurance premiums. I just did and the annual cost of all of them came to more than the cost of most man-made or natural disasters. That means there really isn't any point to any of them, statistically speaking.

The problem is I'm an insurance junkie. I'm a born cynic, a pessimist, a worrier. Someone only has to ask if I have ever thought what would happen if... (insert improbable but horrendous mishap: the dog ingesting a rare kind of lungworm, Russian separatists misfiring a rocket at eastern Ukraine that lands on my roof) ...and I'm ready to sign on the dotted line of any kind of lunacy. I'm a sucker for the promise of safety, security 'and the peace of mind of knowing that in an emergency you and your loved ones...'

Of course, it's hooey. The small print clearly states: 'In the event of you and your loved ones actually needing any of the help outlined in this policy, Royal Sod You Alliance reserves the right to deny all liability because you've got the wrong kind of window locks. Ha! Didn't read that bit earlier, did ya?'

I once took out a very strange policy insuring my keys after my credit card company informed me I was dangerously uncovered for losing my handbag while on holiday and/or not being able to get my locks changed in a hurry if I was burgled.

After years of paying for this particular piece of peace of mind, I had my bag snatched and rang the helpline. 'Oh no. You would have to call the locksmith yourself and then apply to us to reimburse you. We often do, once we have reviewed all the evidence, although it does take six months. And we don't pay out unless you can prove you lost the keys during a full moon. You did lose the keys during a full moon, didn't you? Would you like the forms sent out? They're only 17 pages long.'

I know all this and yet still I fall for it. But what chance does a neurotic like me have of saying no when a salesman tells me that, unless I pay him an extra £11 a month on top of whatever I have paid for the appliance he has just sold me, said item will inevitably break down and in the ensuing fallout I will end up on the streets, destitute and alone.

Also, did you know that insurances breed? …

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