September 29, 2014

One of the very first things they teach at journalism school, right after shorthand, how to hack a mobile, and looking good in a trench coat and trilby, is how to write a story inside out.

Basically, this involves presenting facts, figures, intimate pap shots or whatever as if they indicated precisely the opposite of what they actually indicate. The object of the game is simply to see how long you can keep it up for before you get bored, somebody notices and objects, and/or it’s pub time.

A somewhat half-hearted attempt at an ‘inside out story’ (also sometimes know as a ‘back to front’ story, a ‘wrong way round’ story, or, very occasionally, a ‘reverse missionary’) appeared in the latest edition of Issuance Times under the provocative heading “UK insurers’ claims bill jumped by £1.5 billion in 2013.”

Boredom appears to have set in early on this one, however, as the paper let slip almost immediately that the visceral impact experienced by the insurance community from this unprecedented deluge of claims was considerably diminished by a corresponding £3.4 billion increase in gross written premiums. This had the happy effect, not only of rescuing insurers from the maw of a claims avalanche, but also of improving the industry’s overall claims ratio.

The figures thus toyed with emanated from revered industry body the Association of Brutish Insurers (AIB), who confirmed everybody’s very worst fears as to the intolerable extent of motor insurance fraud, with the revelation that motor claims (most of them probably more or less dodgy) cost insurers £17.1m a day during 2013, compared with £11.1m spent daily on property claims, and £6.8m a day on liability claims.



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