5 minutes and half a pizza
I have always grudged paying insurance. Building, contents, car, life, travel.
If I am going to be a customer then I want the choice of buying the product in the first place.
With many being mandatory, a tax if you like, our only choice is to pay or break the law. I understand the responsibility to financially protect others. That makes sense. It is the expense and lack of value attached to fulfilling that responsibility that grates on me. I have always given them my money but under duress.
If I can sidestep an optional insurance then I will. Rather than handing over money to an insurance company I would ‘hide it under the mattress’. That way if I don’t need it, it is still mine. If I end up with a big bill then I will just…. well…. it doesn’t matter. I won’t.
Travel insurance didn’t have a look in with me. What is going to go wrong? The odds of breaking my arm or needing stitches for a cut were so low I was happy with the risk. Worse case scenario I would just pay the expense. A lifetime of holidaying without paying for insurance would balance the cost.
How flawed my logic was!
I had decided arranging insurance for a weekend in Spain was more hassle than it was worth.
The night before leaving we had a party at my house to kick start the weekend. It came to light that one of my friends had paid more than double everyone else for his insurance. We are not talking much money but he was still the butt of a few jokes and wisecracks. Not a big deal, he took it on the chin and it was forgotten.
The party finished at about 6 AM and lying in my bed I decided to quickly check and find the cheapest quote on the Internet. Curiosity more than anything. After all, it is a rip-off anyway.
My pizza during the party cost double that. I would pay more for a drink at the airport. Seemed like decent value and wasn’t any hassle so why the hell not. I put my details through the system and had a certificate of insurance e-mailed to me within 5 minutes. Job done, time to sleep for a couple of hours before going on our holiday.
If you have read about the accident then you will appreciate the importance of that decision.
We have discussed how one apparently minor decision, like when I jumped in the pool, can go on to shape your life. I still get chills when I think about the consequences had I fallen asleep 5 minutes earlier that night.
By the time I was back in Glasgow they estimated the cost of my treatment in Spain and the specialist flight home to be just over £85,000 ($130,000). Covered for £3.90. Suddenly insurance didn’t look like such a rip-off after all.
I could not have covered that cost. My parents who had just moved to their dream house would have had to remortgage. Friends and family would have begged, borrowed and stole just to get me back in the country. I would have been in Spain for weeks receiving the basic level of care until funds were arranged.
The financial ramifications for my family would have been too great for me to accept. The guilt would have eaten away at me and who knows how much damage it would do.
Talk about learning a lesson. Talk about a close call. Maybe even talk about fate.
Multiple holidays every year for many many years and this was the ONLY time I bought travel insurance. It doesn’t seem like too crazy a notion to consider that fate intervened (replace fate with God or luck if so inclined).
So many optional insurance products seem pointless. It would never happen to you, would it?
Was I wrong all those years? £3.90 to cover £85,000 worth of life-saving treatment, I have never been so wrong in my life.