I’m always surprised when I learn someone doesn’t have insurance for their car or house.
When I was all pimply and lean I got my first car and the first thing I did was complain about having to pay the huge insurance premium. I remember my Dad pulled me aside.
“If you can’t afford to insure it, you can’t afford to buy it,” he told me.
This was not what I wanted to hear, and I believe my response was to stomp off in a huff.
Insurance just seemed like such a waste of money.
And here I am thirty years later, living proof it isn’t. I’ve owned nine cars in my life and only sold one on as a registered concern. I haven’t smashed so many of them that I’m blacklisted as an insurance risk, but they sure as metal rusts haven’t ended up in auto museums in pristine condition either.
With building and contents insurance it seems even more unlikely you’d need insurance, doesn’t it? I mean, with your home, the whole thing just sits there on the block of land looking solid. It’s not like we run the chance of leaving the handbrake off our house.
I went for a drive the other day and, with some fancy finger work and lots of mumbling of numbers, discovered there are 96 homes in the two and a half kilometers between my home and work. In the twenty years I’ve lived in my house and driven that route I’ve seen two houses destroyed in fires and one with a roof removed in a storm. I’ve also seen a car smashed through a fence and another into a shop front. I’m not saying this is a typical sort of rundown of claims for that many homes, it’s just what I’ve seen through my front windscreen. What I haven’t any clue about, of course, is how many smaller claims people along my route have made.
Although it pains my eighteen year old self to admit it, my Dad was right. What’s more, I’m glad I listened, because although I made no claims in my first ten years in this house, in the last ten I’ve really made up for that.
Let’s see… I’ve had my television replaced after it got fried in a storm, my laundry cupboard rebuilt after I didn’t screw a new washing machine in properly, a camera replaced because it didn’t bounce, a similarly not-bouncy laptop replaced, new prescription glasses that survived the bounce test but did less well after I stood on them, another laptop replaced which didn’t take well to being used as a stepladder by a three year old, and my marriage saved (by which I mean a missing diamond in my wife’s engagement ring reinstated).
But you know what? Even if I didn’t have all those claims I’d still be paying my premiums, because while most months I could probably afford to replace the odd camera I sure as summer cyclones couldn’t afford to rebuild my house. Or even just the laundry cabinet. Or the diamond in my wife’s ring. Or a laptop. Or even just my glasses.
So I guess it’s high time I said that thing I should have said years ago but didn’t:
Thanks for the great advice, Dad.
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It really does make a difference. Thanks.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”