Next up will be the battle between insurers and those businesses ruined by Covid-19 red

Empty streets. Business has suffered. Let’s hope they don’t suffer more

Insurance companies.

They’re bookies really, aren’t they?

You place a bet which you win if something bad happens.

They take your money and hope nothing bad actually does happen to you.

But there’s a difference.

If you back the winner of the 3.30 at Leopardstown, you present your docket to the bookie and pick up your winnings.

It should be just as simple if something bad, say a burglary, happens to you. Present your policy and pick up your compensation.


…only if insurance companies actually DID take bets on horse racing and your horse won, it wouldn’t be quite as simple as just presenting them with your winning docket.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” they might say. “I’m afraid your bet wasn’t covered if the race was held after 4.00pm on a Tuesday. It’s in the small print.”

You explain that it was the 3.30 race.

“Right. So it’s a shame you didn’t take out Blinkers Cover.”

You ask what that is. And they tell you that your bet isn’t valid if the horse was wearing blinkers.

“But it wasn’t wearing blinkers,” you tell them.

“Grand so. We’d be paying out immediately if it wasn’t for one other small detail.”

You ask what that is.

“Unfortunately, horses with four legs are excluded from your bets.”

You point out that ALL horses have four legs.

“Yes,” he said, “that may be so. But Section 45 Subsection 12 Paragraph B of your policy excludes them from your bet. I’m so sorry. We do urge our clients to read the policies carefully and in detail. As a gesture of goodwill, we will reduce your premium by €1.50 next year.”

I have twice claims after being burgled. In fairness, they paid up more or less without complaint. The sums were relatively small.

But on the second occasion, when we were cleaned out a week or two before Christmas a few years ago, our insurer sent an assessor out to us.

He went through everything in detail.

We had claimed, among all the other stuff like CD players and jewellery, for eight bottles of spirits which we had received as gifts.

He asked if all the bottles were full.

My wife told him that, on recollection, her sister had had one glass of Bacardi from that bottle.

He asked how much a glass of Bacardi would be in a pub.

She told him that, at the time, it would have been around €3.

When our payment arrived, €3 had been deducted from the total.

I hope the businesses hit by this virus are treated fairly by their insurers.

I would hate it if I ended up cheering on a man who secured €50,000 in damages after his unfortunate 15th rear ending, this time by a car driven by his cousin, just because insurance companies annoy me.

But it’s entirely possible.



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