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Remember when you were young and action filled movies of the great god Zeus, the ferocious Thor, and the serpent Loch Ness Monster would dance around in your head as your parents read to you? Those were all what are known as urban legends (except for Nessie…Nessie is real). Urban legends are marvelous stories pieced together allowing one to conceptualize the mysteries of the world in a more rational manner. In insurance, you have to bet that they will be absolutely ludicrous and positively funny! Here we have given you three stories of which are either true or false. Read them and try to catch if they are real or just an Urban Legend (we tell you at the end though)!!!
“I am writing in response to your request for additional information, for block number 3 of the workers compensation accident reporting form. I put ‘poor planning’ as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following detail will be sufficient. I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of the accident, I was working alone on the top section of my new 80-foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now unneeded tools and material down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small barrel by using the pulley attached to the gin pole at the top of the tower. Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools and material into the barrel. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow decent of the 300 pounds of tools. You will note in block number 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the tools, in pain, unable to stand and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind. I let go of the rope…”(Courtesy of Darwin Awards).
This is quite obviously false; a man who has enough money to own an 80-foot tower can obviously afford to pay somebody else to work on it. Also, he fell 80 feet onto a pile of tools…he is still awake enough to see a barrel land on top of his tattered body, and he was able to recount this story? Nice.
“A Charlotte, North Carolina man, having purchased a case of rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against (get this) fire! Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of fabulous cigars, and having yet to make a single premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that he had lost the cigars “in a series of small fires.” The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion. The man sued — and won! In delivering his ruling, the judge stated that since the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that the cigars would be insured against fire, without defining what it considered to be unacceptable fire, it was obligated to compensate the insured for his loss. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company grudgingly accepted the judge’s ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in the fires. After the man cashed his check, however, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used as evidence against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms.” (Courtesy of Urban Legends).
As clever a tactic this is, it is—unfortunately—false. It is said this legend is a slight variant of a tale told in the 1960’s.
The final story is the shortest:
“A house hit my car.” (Courtesy of Business).
This was the way a man filled out his insurance claim and it was absolutely true! What happened was a house was being moved by a large truck and a man had his car parked on the side of the road correctly. The house on the truck began to tilt, fell off and landed on the man’s car. After a rather long explanation and the moving company confirming the story, the insurance was paid. We are not sure when exactly this happened, but we are sure it was sometime in the early 2000’s.
Feel free to send this around to your friends and family; give them something to laugh about at work, and have a nice day!