We’ve all heard a woeful story about some fool who let their insurance payments lapse only to come home to a burst pipe and a house submerged by water. A real hard wood floor wouldn’t survive that, nor would an imported sofa and dining table. I know because that fool was me.
I was only five days overdue with my installment (I use “only” here because I feel it somehow makes me sound less of an idiot).
Paying the premium that week was on my to-do list, after nursing my young children though flu (one was up all night for a week), juggling how to best care for them and still get to work, then home in time to make dinner, change sweaty sheets and brew lemon and honey drinks before bed.
It’s not much of an excuse, I guess — but I thought the insurer might want to hear it. They didn’t. And they sure as hell didn’t want to pay.
My temperature surged as I calculated the cost of installing a new floor: no winter holiday, no summer holiday — no holiday ever again as far as I could see. And all for the sake of a few days.
And because sorrows seldom come in single file it was my turn to get the flu.
Dosed up on medication I plucked up the courage to tell my partner about the lapsed payment. He responded in his usual calm manner: “Call the body corporate,” he suggested, ever the optimist.
“Yeah right” I screamed back, pathetically with half a voice. A cynic by nature, I couldn’t see the body corporate busting to pay for my stupidity. But being desperate I was out of options.
From my sick bed I called to ask the ultimate rhetorical question: “Will insurance pay when legally you don’t have to?”
“Sure,” they said. “No problem. It happens all the time. That’s why we have an insurance policy that covers for internal damage to property.”
“You do? You will? Don’t you even want to fight about it?” I whispered in my scariest ready-for-battle voice.
Maybe they didn’t hear me.
Collapsing into a fitful sleep I made two promises to myself: always pay insurance premiums on time and never forget that miracles really do happen.
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