November 10, 2010

Like some somnolent, sated and sun-warmed saurian, Bankstone News lolls idly in front of its monitor, one eyelid half-lifted in half-hearted search of some snippet of news to snap up.

But wait! What’s this? Claims: the Cinderella of the Insurance World. How true – how relevant – and how timely with the pantomime season at hand. The perfect excuse, in short, to go off on some extended riff about sexually suspect fairy story sub-plots whilst neglecting to add anything to readers’ knowledge of the supposed subject in hand.

The truth of the proposition is surely not in question. Claims is not just the shop window of the insurance industry, it is the shop inside too, where hardworking professionals smooth and soothe the woes of those with claims to make – not to mention the workshop out back where the unseen exploited toil all hours to put things right.

While ostentacious underwriters deign to load the perils on up front, while gadabout brokers entreprene, Claimarella struggles on to somehow make the whole thing work.

“Keep those costs down, Claimarella!” “What’s all this fraud still doing here, Claimarella?” “Can’t you work any faster/bring these claims to a more timely resolution, Claimarella?” The demands are endless, the thanks unforthcoming. But does Claimarella ever complain? Why, not so much as a whisper.

The Cinderella story, of course, in one form or another, is as old as the proverbial hills. The bit about the slipper goes back at least as far as classical Greece and stories of patient virtue oppressed but finally rewarded abound in many cultures.

The first clearly recognisable version of the story we now know goes back to a work of 1634 by the Neapolitan Giambattista Basile called Lo Cunto de li Cunti which featured the story of Cenerentola, her patient suffering at the hand of a wicked stepmother and her equally wicked daughters, and her final redemption via the prince and missing slipper routine.

Psychoanalysts claim the Cinderella story is all about women and their desires, about how various versions of Cinderella’s mother figure – the dead one, the evil step one, and the fairy god one – restrain or encourage her in the fulfilment of her desires, and how women generally (and step relatives in particular) conspire to thwart the fruition of other women’s heart’s desires.

Hang on a minute though. Bankstone News has just read past the headline and discovered that this story is about life/health insurance: “Medicals Direct has claimed there is a lack of investment in the Claims function within the UK protection industry.” Not exactly within Bankstone News’ general insurance remit.

So no story there, then.

B*gger! Back to saurian repose, I suppose.


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