Like a carelessly experimental person with a speech impediment, the ABI this week provided the FT with a handy list of its top insurance hints and myths.

Along with pointing out that you’ll get the cost of replacement, rather than the cost of purchase if your car gets totalled – and that you should always tell your insurer everything – the ABI has ruffled a few feathers with its flat denial of the existence of Acts of God exclusions in insurance policies.

Where others doubters take a less confrontational line and state merely that they remain to be convinced of the existence of Acts of God exclusions, the ABI is adamant, describing the idea as a myth. “Insurance policies do not contain such an exclusion,” the insurers’ organisation told the FT.

But Brian Salaud of the Society for Objective Documentation believes the ABI is in denial. “These guys are living on another planet,” he claims. “A couple of minutes on the internet is all it took me to find dozens of policy wordings that mention Acts of God in the exclusion section. The ABI needs to get real and stop denying the undeniable.”

The official Church Council on Causality maintains that unforeseeable events of the kind termed Acts of God by lawyers (but not by insurers, if we believe the ABI) should better be described simply as unforeseeable events. “God has better things to do than confound insurers’ expectations,” a spokesman said.

Ironically, Post Magazine this week reported that God-friendly insurer Ecclesiastical “has attributed its pre-tax loss of £9.9m for first half of 2010 to a string of exceptional weather events.”

The Islamic scholar Rashid ad-Din Sinan, however, argues that the whole issue is a red herring and that nothing happens without God willing it, hence any distinction based on whether or not an event is divinely actuated is meaningless.

Christian theologian R. C. Sprawler agrees, but goes further: “In a universe governed by God, there are no chance events. Purchasing an insurance policy is tantamount to second guessing God or seeking to escape his implacably righteous ire. Insurance is the Devil’s work and should be shunned by true believers.”

Seems pretty clear.


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