The Devil is always in the “Detail”

Hmmm nice...our sludgey freezer
We recently went to France and during our absence our electricity tripped off and we were left without power for over a week. When friends informed us we may have a problem with our electricity we were not too concerned as we were “insured”. OK, items such as food in our freezer were covered on our home contents insurance, so why worry? I had to smile, before leaving for France we had taken advantage of a supermarkets 25% promotional discount voucher so both freezers were stacked to capacity. Oh well, not to worry we were insured.

When we returned home yes our fridge/freezer and freezer were full of rotting food and in a right mess; black mold, rotting decaying sludge and the smell, as we opened the doors, was so awful it took your breath away.

Fortunately, our insurance broker’s office was still open so we telephoned immediately to ask their advice. Mr Piglet explained the situation, “No problem” he was told, “Take photos, make a list of the contents including value of all the items lost as a result of the power-failure”. We sent off the details as requested and sat back and waited….and waited…

The insurance brokers also advised us if the fridge and freezer were damaged we would need to get a technician’s report to accompany our claim. Luckily we managed to eradicate the dreadful smell, by using chunks of charcoal so a claim was not necessary.

Several weeks later Mr Piglet chased our claim for all the food we had lost, only to be informed we were not covered! Mr Piglet went BBQ red with anger. Apparently, we were only covered if we could prove the electricity supplier EDP failed to supply electricity for over twelve hours which then resulted in the loss of food. Our electricity supply had tripped due to a power surge and as such needed to be reset – pretty difficult as we were away. Even if it had not tripped how could we prove how long we were without electricity?. The wretched woman at the insurance brokers never told us this when we telephoned her for advice. I had to peel Mr Piglet off the ceiling such was his anger. Does this mean if you are on holiday you are not covered? What WHAT! What!

What’s the point of having insurance?

I sighed; it took me hours to list all the food and work out all the prices for the claim – what a waste of time.

As they say, “The devil is always in the detail, and on this occasion the detail proved to be a devil of a detail…are you still with me?

Am I alone? Please share your “insurance” experience below.

Related posts: An Emotional Rollercoaster

31 thoughts on “The Devil is always in the “Detail”

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  1. This same thing happened to us after Hurricane Katrina. Even though the hurricane pulled the electric meter box clear off the house – the transformer fell down in the street and then subsequently yanked everyone’s meters – we were told that neither the refrigerator or the contents were insured. I could not understand that at all. I agree with the previous comments about insurance- you pay and pay and then roll the dice when you actually need to make a claim.


  2. Having once worked for an insurance company, this does not surprise me. I left in disgust after one year. Wish I could be more encouraging, but I do not trust insurance at all!


  3. I just heard a story very similar to this one from my neighbor yesterday. The man had been paying into his policy for fifty years and when something finally happened they paid, but the same thing happened again a month later (btw, the event wasn’t even a big deal) and they dropped him! After fifty years of paying. What is insurance for if they don’t live up to their end of the bargain, and make you go through all that work? I think they just try to pacify you before they reject your claim. I’m thinking twice about insuring my tail!


  4. Dreadful that they made you go through the rigmarole of documenting it before rejecting it… You should send them a bill for time spent!
    Better things coming your way in June!


  5. Dear me PiP, I think insurance companies are on a par with banks – a law unto themselves and we never know how good they are until we need them.
    Sorry to hear about your claim, is it worth persuing because you were misled/mis-informed? Why not say you’re going to change company – they might meet you half way and give you some form of compensation?
    I agree with the others that even though it’s not been a good situation, you still have a great sense of humour!


  6. That’s terrible-insurance companies !!!~- we can’t live them and we cannot live without them- but, they hold the key !! whether we sink or swim !! Glad to see you could use a little humor !- this is the only way we can survive the bad luck that knocks at our doors !


  7. PiP, So sorry, so sorry to hear of your travails. Start to finish, it sounds like one of those nightmares one has when one has planned to the VERY BEST OF ONE’S ABILITY to be sure things are covered. Only to find they are not. I hope Mr. P is recovering from the rise in his blood pressure and that you are able to find something to laugh at, having gone through such a mess and made such an effort to properly document your purchases. I don’t have a similar story to tell, but my thoughts are with you!


  8. Thanks for the warning PiP and so sorry to hear about your problems. Our power tripped four times the other afternoon during a thunderstorm. The electrician says it is because the law requires the trip to be very sensitive to protect TVs, PCs, etc. from power surge. That’s fine but I can protect those myself thanks. Our big worry now is that next Monday we go away for three weeks and we’re concerned about the deep freeze. No problem, I thought. We have insurance. Now I’m not so sure.


      1. That was a good idea PiP and we did just that, leaving the key with our neighbour opposite. We left a small outside light on so that she could see if the power had tripped but thank goodness she did not have to go in to reset it.


  9. It kind of reminds me my insurance too ! I’ve called them about a water damaged in my bathroon, and guess what instead of sending me a plumber to get to see where the problems come, they told me to find by myself, to ask to my neighbours ! Hummm I’m not a plumber !! How should I know where it comes from ?! So well, for now my file is still open but nothing have done and seriously, paid with my money for something who’s not my faults… euhhhh I know the water damage is coming from a neighbour but which one ?
    Insurance are the worst thieves… We paid so much for so few back…


  10. I’d say that, in this case, the devil was working for the insurance company!

    Was it the same person you dealt with both times then? Or did you have the misfortune to deal with some jobsworth second time?

    Not nice though. Especially after returning from such a happy life event


  11. I’m sorry to hear this. I was hoping you all could recoup your losses. It’s a darn shame that the Insurance company pulled that on you all. That woman should’ve told you the day ya’ll first called. Bless your hearts.


    1. Hi EC, if she’d have done that we would not have been so cross. The last thing we wanted to do after 2days travelling was sit and sort through decaying food to mak an itemized list. grrrr


  12. That’s terrible, PiP:

    First, that you lost the food.
    Second, that they told you to itemize your losses (creating false hope).
    Third, that they ended up denying coverage.

    Glad that you’re keeping your sense of humor about it.


    1. Hi NR, yes she done a complete about turn on the coverage. Mr P would not have been so angry if she had been honest on our first conversation, or even if she’d contacted us after receiving the claim, and then she realised she had made a mistake on the phone.
      It’s the silence that gets to me…
      Oh well life’s a bitch and on a positive note I’ve been meaning to rundown and go through all the food in both frezers for the last year.
      PiP 🙂


    1. Hi Jan,
      BBQ red and the steam coming out of his ears 😳
      I do hope you never have to test your insurance policies – it’s so furstrating, especially when you telephone for advice .
      Hey ho! Brad and water for Mr Piglet and I for the next month …
      PiP 🙂


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