it is not the length of life that matters, but the depth of it
There is nothing much in the news these days except the effects, implications, and horror stories concerning the coronavirus, or to give it it’s more sinister name COVID-19. There is no doubt that there is an outbreak of illness involving a couple of varieties of this nasty little bugger. According to some organisations, (WHO), the death rate from coronavirus is about 3.4%, (in comparison to a death rate of 0.1% from your average influenza). But will I let that change my life ~ the hell I will.
In little while I should be heading off for an extended vacation ~ first stop California. My journey to the warm sunshine should take me about 24 hours, elapsed time. During my journey I will likely pass through 5 different airport terminals and sit in 3 different aircraft for a total of maybe 15 hours. I will be in close proximity to hundreds, thousands, of people who could have come from just about anywhere in the world. Was I of a nervous disposition then that’s the last kind of ordeal I’d put myself through during this present medical emergency. But then, by that token I should never leave the garret at all ~ ever.
However, I will be taking some sensible precautions ~ in essence these will be no different whatsoever to the precautions I always take when travelling long-distances.
- Do not go to or through some disease-ridden hell-hole like Africa, or India, or China, or right now Northern Italy.
- Organise myself aisle seats on all flights, which usually costs extra in coach. An aisle seat because if I’m sitting near someone I don’t like, for example someone coughing and sneezing, then I can always get up and find someplace else to spend most of a long flight. It also gives me a chance to stretch my legs.
- Carry and use cleansing wipes. It’s bloody terrible carrying stuff like a hand sanitiser through airport security, but I will buy one in the departure area.
- Don’t eat any food or drink any liquid that’s of dubious origins.
- Thoroughly wash my hands and face as often as possible.
- Never, ever touch anyone, and touch mucky looking surfaces as little as possible.
- Have comprehensive health cover included in my travel insurance, (£10 million + £10 million repatriation).
- Carry a list of emergency contact numbers.
You’ve seen news footage of people wearing masks ~ that’s bloody pointless. A virus is so small it will just go right through anything you can breathe through.
Some say that it’s better to be safe than sorry. And that they don’t want to get near to anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. All I know is that normal life has a 100% mortality rate and I intend to make the most of every moment I have left in mine.
better to cash out going backwards off a cliff than forted-up in the garret
Before we go any further to talk about the most common types on insurance ~ and do you need them or not? ~ there is something you should know about insurance agreements. Any contract of insurance is a contract uberrimae fidei ~ a contract of utmost good faith. This means that you must tell your insurance company everything and anything which may have a bearing on the risk they are taking on. If you keep any significant information back, the chances are you are not insured at all.
For example, if you have put bigger wheels and tyres than standard on your car, you should tell your car insurance company. If you’re an alcoholic / drug addict / smoker / overweight / pyromaniac, you should tell your Life Assurance company. If you have ever been refused insurance, you should tell your insurance company. And when you advise your insurance company of something pertinent, do it in writing.
All insurance companies love to collect premiums. All insurance companies hate to pay out for any claims, and will do anything and everything to avoid paying a claim. For example, you not telling your car insurance company that you have recently been found guilty of driving while intoxicated will most likely void your insurance entirely, and they will not pay out under any circumstances. So if in doubt, tell all, in writing ~ else you’re probably not insured at all. And, always pay your insurance premiums by automated bank transfer / direct debit / ACH transfer.
Your best friends when it comes to making a claim are photographs. Always take plenty of pictures of everything, including your home / car / self as it is right now, before anything bad happens. Store these pictures in a cloud, on your blog, in social media… so you can always get at them if the worst happens.
The five most common and necessary types of insurance are;
- Motor / car / vehicle / driver’s cover. In civilised countries it is a legal requirement for you to be insured for the exact car you are driving. The penalties for driving while uninsured are severe. In the small print of your insurance policy it probably says that you should not drive while you are incapable, and that includes driving after drinking. Have an accident drink driving and the chances are you are uninsured.
- Home and contents insurance. Because of the inflexible nature of the laws of probability, you should have your home and its contents fully insured, or face a life on the streets. Maybe add a margin of 10% in excess of the estimated values, to account for unexpected expenses while you put your life back together after your home has burned down, blown up due to a gas leak, been destroyed in an earthquake, flooded…
- Travel insurance. When travelling abroad you may, or probably may not, be entitled to medical services in the country you are visiting. You may have an accident, lose your luggage, get hijacked, robbed… any number of disasters may happen. Travel is by its very nature hazardous and stressful. Things which would be a minor inconvenience at home may become a catastrophe if they happen in a foreign country, or even a different state. If you are travelling abroad, or a very long way, you need comprehensive travel insurance. Only idiots don’t buy travel insurance.
- Medical / health insurance. I’m English and I don’t have any medical insurance, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, (for reasons that are too complicated to go into here I do have dental). In the United Kingdom we have a National Health Service, (NHS), which provides free treatment at the point of care. The NHS is paid for out of taxation. Canada has a similar system. If you live anywhere else you really, really need comprehensive medical cover. But remember, you must tell your insurer everything there is to know about your degenerate lifestyle.
- Life Assurance. (not life insurance, you are going to die, you can’t insure against it). A whole life policy pays out a sum of money when you die. You don’t need this. However, if you have a dependant family, then you may want to look after them when you’re dead, therefore most heads of households buy one or more life policies. You don’t actually need to do this. It’s actually much more cost-effective to just save the money you would have paid in premiums. But nobody has that much self-discipline. I have no dependants, therefore my life assurance policies are utterly pointless, except to pay for my funeral.
Getting life insurance is like making a bet you can’t win. If you live, you don’t get the money. If you die, you don’t get to enjoy the money. ~ Oliver Gaspirtz
There are many, many other common forms of insurance, and some really esoteric insurance policies. Lloyds of London will insure against just about anything. You could probably have got insured at Lloyds against Donald Trump being the 45th President of the United States. After all, insurance is really just a bet.
Even Life Assurance is just a bet. The bet isn’t about if you’re going to die or not ~ no matter how much you pray you are going to die. With life assurance the bet is about when you are going to die, not if. And, if you think about it, that’s just creepy.
these opinions are mine and mine alone