Friday, July 26, 2013

An atypical letter to my son's school

Dear Mrs Teacher,

I write on a very serious matter regarding my son, David.  He appears to have contracted the highly debilitating condition known as HARS (Homework Allergic Reaction Syndrome).  This condition manifests itself, as I’m sure you’re aware, in extreme behaviours when presented with homework.  David is willing to do almost anything to avoid doing homework; with the exception of other work I have noticed – I kindly offered to write him a note if he agreed to tidy up the garden but this treatment programme did not appeal and was unsuccessful (and the garden is still a mess).

David is, as you know, a very lazy hard-working boy so I, naturally, believe his statements regarding the palpitations, sweaty palms and extreme psychic shock that he suffers when presented with homework.  I have, indeed, observed the local contact dermatitis which makes him unable to sit still whilst working on his homework.

I would therefore request that you assist me in employing a highly intensive form of aversion therapy; I would like you to make sure that he is completely overwhelmed with homework, every day.  Our counsellor (also known as his Mum) thinks that five hours per day should be sufficient to make the treatment effective.

Yours sincerely,

David’s Dad

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Swiftcover Dishonourable

Am, right now, burning with indignation. 

After five years with Swiftcover, during which I have paid thousands in premiums and never claimed for a single thing, I finally had cause to require insurance.

My car was stolen just before Christmas ... the house broken into to secure the car keys ... and the car then driven away.

Hiscox and Barclays, the two companies covering damage to the house and contents, were fantastic.  Helpful, reassuring and they got things fixed fast and efficiently.  I was impressed and it certainly made a stressful situation much easier.

Swiftcover, on the other hand, referred me to a company called Sims Claims who, it now appears, fulfill the function of trying to help Swiftcover avoid paying out by any means.

Their story has changed repeatedly, but always with the aim of trying to manipulate different clauses of the contract to try and reject the claim.  I'm referring them to the Financial Services Ombudsman and will blog on further developments as they occur.

However, I still can't really believe that a major insurer (they are part of the AXA group) would think this an appropriate way to behave.  No one wants to pay out money, of course, but the paroxysms and contortions they have employed to try and evade their liability reminds me of the very worst of shyster lawyers.  If it was on TV people would think it too incredible.

I am, unfortunately, stuck with them since I have a protected No Claims Bonus and don't think I can migrate this to another insurer having now made a claim.  However, failing this, I would be cancelling and off somewhere else.  I would strongly recommend anyone NOT to deal with Swiftcover.  The online service and ease of use is good; but what use is that if they won't actually pay out when you need them ??  Beware !!!