We have a class of people amongst that certainly are different, they don’t follow normal patterns of behaviour, and are inclined to reject our way of thinking, as weak. Through our eyes they seem to live dangerously, and tempt fate. They also consider themselves bulletproof, and amongst their other negative traits, one thing that is noticeable, they never bother to insure their property. However when they do get caught out, which they do. They are not slow in calling for a handouts. I can remember many years ago, my brother being annoyed when being asked to contribute to a financial list, assisting someone living his area, who hadn’t bothered to insure their home. They had suffered a fire, and needed money for a fresh start.


If you don’t give, you are a miserable sod, and lacking in empathy. But then again, why should you dig into your own slender resources, to keep on helping these lame ducks? When you yourself have had to go without something, to buy your insurance. These people are always with us, and sure as sure, they are always busy making their own bad luck. Everyday we have here, the picture of some unfortunate featured in the Press, they are broke, destitute, and their home has been destroyed by the earthquakes, of course they are uninsured. You have to feel sorry for them. But how do you protect these people from their own folly?


Our current system is that our earthquake insurance, is linked to the Fire Insurance premium. Payment is automatic when you pay your fire premium, and insurance companies therefore, are only the collecting agency. So if you don’t have fire insurance, you don’t have any earthquake cover either. We are very lucky to have this facility where you can insure land. I think too, we are unique in the world with this. However unique or not, in one area I heard in an interview, that there are unfortunately 50 completely uninsured families that have surfaced so far, and have made themselves known to the authorities. Up until recently the premium for this service was a very small sum.


As a country we have another area of concern, we have hundreds, possibly thousands of people driving on our roads uninsured. Should they have an accident, and they are at fault. They can now be sued by the other party or their insurance company. When it comes to the recovery their damage costs. Murphy’s law seems to prevail here too. It is always a Mercedes or a BMW that they collide with, never an old clapped out banger. These folk generally also seem to have a very casual attitude to other driving requirements. No Warrant of Fitness, Drivers licence, or Registration for their car, so immediately, these social misfits are in even more trouble with the law.


I wonder sometimes what’s missing with these people, and perhaps they need to be taught at school a course called ‘common sense’. The sort of things that your Granny thought you should know, before you went out alone into the wide world. Some graduates from colleges today, are ill prepared for what life will throw at them, too many come under the heading of being, complete bunnies.


Helping the unfortunate sometimes has another twist, that’s often played on unsuspecting fellow travellers. Too many times in group travel, someone pops up with the story that he has been robbed, they have taken of all his money, now his holiday is ruined. He has saved for many years to enjoy this break, and the thieves have taken his camera too. Of course he isn’t insured. At this point, up jumps a companion. ‘let’s take up an collection to help this poor soul, this will ease his pain’. In my case I’m too cynical to swallow that nonsense. If it’s travellers cheques lost, the Bank will ‘Stop” payment and replace same.


The Government has just announced that they are now prepared to buy whole suburbs(Up to 5,000 homes) and push them over. They will pay out on the 2007 valuations for the land, and then it’s up to their insurance company to pick up the tab after the Earthquake commission pays out their maximum of $100,000 for each home. This act will create an interesting situation, as some when this formula is applied, they will find by the time they buy new land, they are deeply in debt. It gets worse for some who have a replacement policy, the company will only pay out enough to repair the home. The fact that it’s sitting on condemned land is not their problem.


We live in interesting times.





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