Column: Roger's Soapbox

Perspective | Dear Adjuster, I Need to File a Hedgehog Claim

By: | August 30, 2018

Roger Crombie is a United Kingdom-based columnist for Risk & Insurance®. He can be reached at [email protected]

Modern journalism means lists. Rather than provide facts, newspapers offer ‘listicles’ of the ‘10 Best Places to Eat Pigeons’ or ‘Actors You Didn’t Know Were Fat.’

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Insurance has a branch of this nonsense all its own, one which predates the Internet: the endless lists of supposedly true “funny” insurance claims. Motorists have always provided the bulk of the material.

You know the sort of thing. “Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.” Or “A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”

Real claims are funnier. To make a point, a lawyer set fire to his pants (claim denied). A tourist in Athens ran helter-skelter into a bus shelter after ogling some women in bikinis (50 percent paid). Last week, I fell over a hedgehog.

Yes, I fell over a hedgehog. In my own living room. I’m not usually that close to nature; I live in an apartment on the 99th floor of my block.

(Well, the 9th. But still.)

Having recovered from the trauma and removed the blood from the carpet, I sat down to decide where the all-risks policy might be. I have an immaculate filing system. Without exception, everything is somewhere at all times.

Where was I? Oh yes, the hedgehog. It’s ceramic but looks convincingly like an actual hedgehog. I use it as a doorstop. It makes the place look kooky.

I had occasion to move the hedgehog one day, to stop another door from closing automatically. For insurance reasons, all my internal doors are fire doors, which slam shut whether you want them to or not — the original closed-door policy.

On the first possible occasion, I damaged my toe on the hedgehog. Fell over the bloody thing. It was painful. The irony didn’t help. There I was saving the planet for the hedgehogs, in my own way, and the damn thing tore a hole in my pinky toe, the one that went wee-wee-wee all the way home.

Mine went squelch, squelch, squelch all the way to the bathroom, and when I had stanched the wound, I discovered that I had bled at intervals on the new hall carpet. Being middle-class can be so very stressful.

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Having recovered from the trauma and removed the blood from the carpet, I sat down to decide where the all-risks policy might be. I have an immaculate filing system. Without exception, everything is somewhere at all times.

On that basis, I have every piece of paper that’s ever come my way, such as expired vacuum cleaner warranties for vacuums I no longer have. I’d have to wade through cabinets full of paper I was sure I’d never need to look at again, but kept because, in Fats Waller’s words, “one never know, do one?”

Luckily, at the last possible moment before I had to start the equally time-consuming search for the keys to the filing cabinets, I remembered that I didn’t need the policy after all. I had opted for a $100,000 deductible on my hedgehog coverage. After all, how likely is it that I would suffer a hedgehog-related injury in an apartment in the sky?

Let this be many lessons to you. Buy doors that stay open, even if they kill you in the end. Take smaller deductibles. Buy child-proof doorstops. Be kind to hedgehogs. You’re welcome. &

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]