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Strange Truths

If you've ever wondered how insurance works, then you need look no further than the jolly time I've had with my car insurance. In June, our car was sandwiched between the front wheels of a Hackney Parking Patrol Van, travelling too fast or too wonkily, and the back end of a skip. In other words, the Hackney Patrol Van came round the corner, lost control and drove into the back of our stationary car and shunted it into the skip parked in front of it. Result: one squashed car which was written off.

In that lazy, curious way, I wondered if this meant that once the car had gone to the breakers yard, (that's to say, it had ceased to exist, it was an un-car, a late car, an ex-vehicle) that it would no longer need to be insured. Would I, I wondered, not have to pay any money to the insurance company in order to insure a car that wasn't a car? Common sense tells us, of course not. Why should I or you have to pay money to an insurance company to insure a vehicle that wasn't going to crash or be crashed into? In other words, there wasn't a vehicle that posed any kind of risk to my insurance company. But no no no, the insurance company will go on deducting my monthly insurance premium from my account to cover a car that doesn't exist. Hey, that's insurance!

I imagine a scene where I go into the offices of an insurance company and ask to take out a policy on a house I  don't own. Excuse me, could I insure my house? Of course, sir - where is it? It isn't anywhere. I just want to insure it pretending that it  was somewhere...




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