You know when you go to a museum, and you’re not watching what you’re doing and you accidentally trip a child who falls on a glass sculpture and destroys it? Me neither, but that’s the sort of thing liability insurance covers.
You know when you toss your friend a beach ball but it’s actually a bowling ball and it hits them in the knees and breaks their legs? If I had a euro for every time I’d done that, plus two more euros, I’d have enough to pay for liability insurance. It’s not very expensive, and supposedly 90% of Dutch people have it. My guess is 90% of Dutch people can’t be wrong, and if everyone around me is concerned about spilling syrup on a stranger’s cell phone just as they are sending an important message, I’ll pay 2 euro a month to be ready in case it happens.
But the agent at our bank won’t take yes for an answer and insisted on explaining more benefits of the insurance before I could sign up.
“Say you’re on a bike, and it’s a bit rainy, and you collide with another cyclist and really, really injure them.”
“Say you are drinking some quite hot water and you spill it on a stranger or friend and the water burns their face and their arms because it’s too hot.”
“SAY, you adopt a dog or a cat and maybe it is biting a child. Because here the liability insurance also applies.”
“Or say you start a small accidental fire the dining area of a restaurant or bar because you are too close to the candles.”
There is no potential situation so far-fetched or bizarre that it will not be covered by liability insurance. Why just say it covers accident, injury, or damage when you can describe a problem so detailed it sounds like it was written by a personal injury lawyer using Mad Libs to craft the script of Home Alone 4?
The website for liability insurance picks up where my agent left off. Boaz and I will now be safe in the beyond-extremely-unlikely event of “damage caused by a leaking washing machine (if it is your own)” “you knock down an antique vase or tablet” and a vague allusion to the possibility that I might “hurt someone while working around the house.” It seems obvious they got this list from a poster that described things that surprisingly are more common than shark attacks.
My coworker explained to me that Dutch people love to be insured, just in case. “We’re insurance fanatics.” she said. I like the idea of insurance fanatics, of all the things to be fanatical about, and I like the idea of a nation-wide agreement to all be insurance fanatics.
There are lots of things individuals love to be fanatical about and here’s where I’ll list some. Knitting, skiing, antiques, the beach, and maybe sports unfortunately. But if 90% of the country is going to be into something, it might as well be insurance.
What are 90% of Americans fanatic about? I’ve been too busy using antique platters for target practice to think much about it, but it might be bulk shopping, which is its own kind of insurance.