Specialist insurance broker Adrian Fax has noticed something odd about the ABI’s official list of professions against which motor insurance ratings may be calculated and which are used as the basis of many online quotation systems.

In fact, they’ve noticed quite a few odd things.

Not least the fact that obsolete occupations such as almoners, ostlers and agisters continue to feature, whilst contemporary professions such as vlogger, twitter ninja, SEO rockstar, social marketing maven, infographicist, tumblerazzo, and next gen e-vangelist are nowhere to be found.

What on earth is going on? Could it really be that the ABI has been caught out by the rapid rise of new professions (see above) and slow to register the decline of almoning, ostling, agisting and the like? It very possibly could, Dear Readers.

Maybe it’s partly that ABI statisticians are reluctant to jettison centuries of data on the claim making propensities of almoners, ostlers, agisters and the many other ancient professions still included among the 2,100 currently on the ABI’s list.

And, who knows, maybe if the oil runs out, or there’s a massive pandemic, nuclear holocaust, zombie apocalypse or whatever, we’ll once again need up to date data on ostlers (people who provide hospitality services for horses), agisters (people who take in other people’s animals and feed them for a fee), and almoners (people who distribute nuts on special occasions and public holidays).

In the meantime, however, the ABI clearly needs to bring itself up to date and add several hundred new varieties of (mostly internet-related) role to its list. What, after all, could be more inappropriate than rating a vlogger like a blogger, a infographicist like an old school graphic designer, a buzzfeeder like a journalist!

It’s exactly this sort of thing that really gets the goat of social media manager Damien Cross, quoted in a press release issued by Hadrian Flex, who demands to know whether “a bank clerk would be happy to describe him or herself as a shop assistant?”

Happily for Mr Cross and fellow members of the social media managing fraternity, Adrain Flax have added a whole bunch of new roles to their quotation system, so Damien’s days of being lumped in with regular marketing people (who’d want to be tarred with that revolting old brush!) are at an end.

Other weird professions still lurking on the ABI list include:

Sumner, an exponent of tantric lute playing
Lector, a person who reads things written on paper (usually aloud, occasionally with an unsettling “wine-tasting noise” thrown in for effect)
Diggler, a swordsman
Salinger, a kind of hermit, originally one dwelling in the salt caves of the Seine Maritime region of North West France, and
Thatcher, a person who brings harmony where there is discord.


The Wessex Almoner at work



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