The basic premise of insurance is that you pay a fixed premium which will entitle you to a reasonable level of compensation for the consequences of unforeseen events over which you have no control. For insurance companies, the basic premise is that you’re not entitled to anything, whatever happens.

Irrespective of the type of insurance you take out, you won’t be covered against acts of God, acts of war or acts of the apostles, and in the majority of cases, an unjustifiably high excess will be imposed which makes it pointless to claim anyway.

The time taken to settle claims is directly proportional to the amount involved and in general, any claim for more than £100 will outlast the claimant and be settled, without prejudice, with one of the claimant’s surviving great-great grandchildren.

The most protracted claim on record is that of Joseph Pobjoy, an itinerant clog maker, who fell off a stage-coach between Oundle and Leicester in 1827.  Despite having the most comprehensive travel, health and unexpected descent from a horse-drawn vehicle insurance available at the time, his claim was not settled until 1958, when his great-great-granddaughter, Naomi Skiffney, was awarded one shilling and a replacement Gladstone bag in full and final settlement.