15 November 2020 (Sunday) - Insurance

A combination of the noise of the rain and Fudge’s whinging woke me at four o’clock. I didn’t think he’d want to go out in the rain, but he did, and for some odd reason he didn’t want to come back in. I had to chase him back inside; he really did want to play silly beggars in the dark and in the rain.

We went back to bed where I slept until after nine o’clock.

As I went to let the dogs out I saw a puddle by the back door. Had one of the dogs been taken short? And then I felt a drip. I looked up. There were drips of water on the ceiling. The roof was leaking. That was a pain in the glass. I made toast, and waited for the insurance people’s office to open.


I eventually got through to some woman who claimed to be called “Marshanay” (!) who seemed to be under the impression that my insurance company (Hastings Direct) didn’t offer insurance, and wondered if I might like to be put through to someone else. That “someone else” being either a “premier account”, an “underwriter” or an “agent”. From what “Marshanay” was saying it would seem that Hastings Direct aren’t actually what I would call an insurer. She implied that they act as a middleman, taking my money and getting someone else to do the insuring. After a lot of arguing I told her to stop using technical terms and to connect me with someone who could fix the roof. This seemed to be beyond her ability to comprehend and she said she would put me through to Hastings Direct. I thought that was who I’d dialled in the first place; apparently not. Apparently I’d dialled some call centre which forwards calls out to people working at home.

I got through to someone who actually did work for Hastings Direct and she put me through to “Nick” in the home emergency department. He assured me that page one hundred and nine of my policy said that flat roofs weren’t covered. I can distinctly remember telling them that up to thirty per cent of the house had a flat roof.

Oh well…

I went outside and had a little look-see at the roof. I can’t see what the problem is, but then I’m not a roofer. Fortunately one of the family is. Hopefully we can hold out until Elliott can get to us.


Ironically I had a letter from Hastings Direct yesterday telling me that the house and contents insurance was up for renewal. Bearing in mind that earlier in the year they flatly refused to help when the front door lock was playing up, and that today they said my flat roof wasn’t covered I thought I might shop around. After eight minutes on confused dot com I got a quote from Sainsburys Bank which offered all that I had from Hastings Direct, which *does* cover locksmiths and flat roofs, and was one hundred and fifty quid cheaper than what I was currently paying.

I took great pleasure in phoning Hastings Direct and telling them to get bent. When the chap asked why I was leaving I told him about the lock and the flat roof. He then insisted that we were covered for both and put me through to someone who could supposedly sort the roof. After another ten minutes I got through to someone who took my details and said they would be in touch tomorrow. I quibbled with her and got put through to the home emergency line. The nice lady there too my details for seemingly the millionth time and put me on hold whilst she looked up the flat roof bit. She was insistent I wasn’t covered.

After three and a half hours of being passed from one incompetent to another I gave up.


"er indoors TM" made coffee and served up the last of the buns that Maria had sent us. It was something of a novelty to have "er indoors TM" make the coffee – ever since she started working from home I’ve been the tea boy.


Seeing how the forecast monsoon had fizzled out and that the weather had chirped up we took the dogs out. Bearing in mind how wet the beach or the woods would have been, we went round the park. In retrospect I would rather have gone to the woods and bathed the dogs afterwards. The park was awash with people who were treating their dogs as “precious princesses” and were glaring at us as we passed and didn’t understand that dogs like to play. There were no end of people who made strange noises (for no explicable reason) as we passed which upset the dogs. It was all rather hard work.

As we walked past the toilets we saw someone had painted a rather pretty mural which Pogo barked at quite vociferously. Cynically I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before the thug element defaces it.

As I walked I kept up a constant grumble about how wonderful life must be working in insurance or meteorology. “Yes you are covered, no you are not, who knows? – I don’t!”. “Rain, shine, what’s the difference?” Life must be so easy for them, as opposed to what I do where an error can be the difference between life and death. Again I can’t help but wonder if I made the right career choice. Again I wish I’d done something where I could stuff it up beyond all belief, no one would care, and I’d get far more money. Not that I’m bitter…


We came home where "er indoors TM" boiled up some cheese on toast. She enjoyed hers in peace and tranquillity; I found myself with a canine audience who were intently watching my every move. The dogs know who is the soft touch, and had far too much of what was supposed to be my lunch. They didn’t go scrounging round anyone else today. Odd, that (!)


With lunch scoffed I got out the ironing bord and spent the afternoon doing the ironing. As I slaved away I watched a DVD. “Doctor Who and the Daleks” was one of the first films I ever saw at the cinema. I think it is fair to say the film hasn’t stood the test of time. Had the goodie-aliens not been so camp and had Roy Castle’s character not been so slapstick then just maybe it might have been better. 

I wasn’t expecting to lose a tooth on Friday. I wasn’t expecting a leaking roof today. It is common knowledge that disasters come in threes… I wonder what tomorrow holds?

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