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Thread: How can anyone be so stupid?

  1. #1
    Northerner Guest

    How can anyone be so stupid?



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    A couple in Wales have just lost everything in a house fire. The husband has been burned, but not badly I believe, and whilst my heart goes out to them I couldn't believe that their house wasn't insured!

    However, he had three vintage MGs and it was whilst he was working on one of them that the fire started. So how can a man who can afford to run three vintage MGs not have the 150 pounds per year or whatever it would have cost to insure what looks to me like a fairly modest home?

    Is it sheer stupidity, although from his background he seems to have been an intelligent person? Is is utter meanness and an aversion to spending money? Whatever the reason the chances are that the state is now going to have to rehouse them and the taxpayers will fork out as usual.

    MG enthusiast, 73, accidentally torched his beloved car starting blaze which destroyed his uninsured home | Mail Online
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  2. #2
    Funky Farmer Guest
    It certainly does seem stupid on the face of it. He probably just forgot to renew. Forgetfulness is a curse of growing old I'm afraid. Our daughter makes sure we are up together with insurance ans a multitude of other things since my stroke. If it were left to me probably nothing would get done.

  3. #3
    krizteen Guest
    I bet his cars where insured. Some people don't think it's worth the money to insure with some of the clauses insurance put in the policy. He might live on a flood plain...
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  4. #4

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    Even if the house was insured, it would be null and void, this is due to having acetylene in his garage. 73 year old and playing with that stuff is just stupid! I've seen what happens when a cylinder goes hot, you don't want to hang around.

    Oxy-Acetylene Cylinder explosion in a van - YouTube
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  5. #5
    Northerner Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Funky Farmer View Post
    It certainly does seem stupid on the face of it. He probably just forgot to renew. Forgetfulness is a curse of growing old I'm afraid. Our daughter makes sure we are up together with insurance ans a multitude of other things since my stroke. If it were left to me probably nothing would get done.
    I don't think that's the case. His son said: "They didn't have a mortgage and they didn't have insurance." That seems pretty definite to me, other wise I think he'd have said: "Dad must have forgotten to renew his policy."

    I would bet money that it's all down to a bit of meanness and assuming that it would never happen to him! Apart from which you always get reminded when your policy is about to expire. I've just gone through the exercise and I had my renewal reminder a month before it expired.

    Here's a tip by the way. I realised that claiming on insurance for modest amounts simply isn't worth it as it then blights your record and you may a lose a no claims bonus. I have decided to treat my insurance as cover for major disasters. We've never made a claim on household insurance for over twenty years and hopefully, we won't make a claim for another twenty, but of course I'm not going to be daft enough to cancel it.

    Anyway, I spoke to my insurer and asked them to tell me what raising the excess from 50 to 500 would do. It reduces the policy from over 600 to just over 400! If I had an accident at home that would cost me about two or three hundred pounds I'd be reluctant to claim anyway for fear of losing my NCB so I thought, what the hell, try a higher excess. I was very surprised at the size of the reduction.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by runnach View Post
    Even if the house was insured, it would be null and void, this is due to having acetylene in his garage. 73 year old and playing with that stuff is just stupid! I've seen what happens when a cylinder goes hot, you don't want to hang around.

    Oxy-Acetylene Cylinder explosion in a van - YouTube
    A standing joke when I attended manchester College of Building was; Q, What steps would you take if you had a blow back on an acetylene bottle? A. Bloody big ones.

  7. #7

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    I was always surprised at just how many people didn't have house insurance following a devastating fire such as this (they don't all make the national press). Usually the owners just assumed that it would never happen to them, or they saw it as a way of saving money, especially when money was tight. It is certainly not as rare as you may think!

    Even those who were insured hadn't realised how irreplacable some of their possessions were, such as family heirlooms, old photo's and childrens keepsakes etc (not including people and pets of course).

    Talking of gas cylinders.... although acetylene is one of the more dangerous (due to its' wider than usual flammable and explosive range, but also because it can continue to self-heat even whilst you're cooling it!), your everyday LPG cylinder can also easily explode and cause the whole house to become engulfed in flames when it's involved in a fire. So be careful when you're storing, using or handling them.

    And even though smoke alarms may not have helped much in this particular incident, now could be a good time to check that yours are working, and maybe fit new batteries while you're at it! Even fires such as this one don't always develop until after the person has finished tinkering for the day, and the family are all in bed. Then working smoke alarms really can become life-savers!
    Last edited by scampa; 28-07-2012 at 00:50.
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  8. #8
    Smaug Guest
    I have sometimes not had contents insurance on the basis that I would replace them as I got them in the first place; bit by bit over the years & from second hand shops!

    But I have always had buildings insurance as initially, when we had a mortgage it was required by the mortgage company, but even once paid for, the cost of rebuild would be more than I could manage. Very sad at their time of life when the rebuilding challenge could well be beyond them.

    I think I would make sure the M/H was safe so at least we could camp on the site of our home for the rest of our lives!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by runnach View Post
    73 year old and playing with that stuff is just stupid! I've seen what happens when a cylinder goes hot, you don't want to hang around.

    Oxy-Acetylene Cylinder explosion in a van - YouTube
    Good grief!

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