3 men (and a woman) walk into an Irish bar…..November 10, 2009
……one of the men was me. We were in Limerick to play in our band. After the Guinness had settled sufficiently to sip, the conversation turned to insurance for the band to cover the risk of injury to people not only dancing in the moonlight but also tripping over a cable or being smacked on the head by an over zealous bass player wielding his instrument in their direction. The band does in fact have such insurance through the auspices of the Musicians Union. Then I was told a story about a young guitarist friend of a friend who was killed when he suffered an electric shock through his amplifier caused by some faulty wiring at a pub music venue. Apparently at the inquest the Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. I asked if the parents had considered making a compensation claim and was told they had contacted the insurers for the venue who had told them that in view of the Coroners verdict “no claim was possible”. The parents did not pursue the matter further.
Next I was told about another friend of a friend who had broken his back when falling off a ladder when working as a painter on a private residence. The ladder (which was too short for the job) had been supplied by the owner of the residence and was unsecured. The painter had contacted the insurers for the owner and had been informed that because he had chosen to use the ladder, the accident was his own fault and therefore no compensation would be paid. The claim was not pursued.
I asked whether those concerned had consulted a solicitor; neither had done so. I asked why not and was told that they had taken the view that (1) there is no point in arguing with insurance companies because “they always win” and (2) legal fees are far too expensive. It seemed to me that the insurers sustained publicity campaigns on TV might actually be working for them and, if so, we may be in for yet another long winter of propaganda mouthed by small furry animals
I ordered another round of Guinness and ( I hope) made some small progress in re programming their insurer friendly minds; simples.