Do You Know Your Own Home?

Customer called up today asking for boiler cover. Nothing unusual about that. It’s one of our main policies.

‘Is it natural gas from the metre?’ I asked.

‘I don’t know.’

I changed the format of the question. ‘Do you get the gas piped in from the mains? Or is the boiler LPG or oil?’

‘Oh. I don’t know.’

I tried again. ‘Do you have a gas metre on the property?’

‘I don’t know. A man comes to read a metre.’

‘Is it a gas metre?’

‘I really don’t know.’

At this point I lost my patience. ‘Surely you know if you have a gas metre in your own home?’

‘I didn’t realise this was going to be so difficult,’ she said. ‘Just leave it. I’ll phone back another time.’

How can people not know what metres they have in their own home, or what type of boiler they have? Surely this is simple information that a homeowner would find out before moving into a property? Surely people know what type of bills they are paying and what they are for?

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that there are a few people, often women, who allow their partner to deal with everything in the home, utility wise, to such an extent that they have no idea of what’s going on. They are completely ignorant of paying the bills, what kind of insurance they have, where they get the energy from, etc. This is an outlook from the Middle Ages that sometimes raises it’s ugly head in the 21st century.

It’s an extremely outdated view of how a partnership or marriage should work. What happens if the partner is unable to sort things out for whatever reason? The other person is then left struggling without a clue. When will this type of pathetic, bigoted attitude cease? Surely it would be better for everyone to take responsibility in the home, not just one person?

Alternatively, wouldn’t it be so nice to have so much money that you could just pay bills and not care about what they are or how many they are?

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