Insuring against bad boyfriends

I was recently invited by my bank to go into the local branch for a ‘free financial review’. Of course what they actually mean is ‘please come in so we can try and sell you things’, but it was a slow week, and working at home makes you a little desperate for adult company, so I thought I’d give it a go. Needless to say I left the review with even fewer products than I started with.

Generally I’m one of life’s risk takers. It almost seems to be a self-destructive thing sometimes – I will deliberately be late back for the car park, always have that extra shot of sambuca, and occasionally I even leave my front door wide open when I go out, just to see what happens. Don’t tell anyone that though – I don’t want burglars.

There are a wealth of insurance products which, in my eyes, are a complete waste of money. Take critical illness cover for example. This would apparently cover me in the event of an accident or illness that left me unable to work. OK, sounds useful you might think, although to be honest there are quite a few diseases I feel I could work through – you don’t even actually need your legs to sit and type to you? Hands though – they’re more crucial, although the fact that I am typing this one-handed whilst holding a piece of toast and marmite shows I could probably get by if a freak yachting accident or similar severed just my left hand.

Read the small print though and you find things have to be pretty dire before they will pay out. Take the hands for instance – if I get them trapped in a spinning jenny or such like, and get them chopped off just above the wrist, I may have to soldier on, bashing out blog posts with my bloody stumps. I’m only covered if I stick my arms right into the machinery and get them severed right up above the elbow…

There are of course some things you really do need – car insurance is a legal requirement, and building and contents insurance are always worth a punt too. I don’t own my house, so I only have to insure the contents, but the basic package is so cheap I know I wouldn’t forgive myself if the house burnt down and I was forced to move in with my mother.

In a world where every event is apparently insurable, I have managed to identify some clear gaps in the market. These are my kinds of insurance, the type of thing you really do want to take precautions against:

Bad date insurance – dating is always a risky business, and you never know when you might find yourself having lunch with someone who twiddles the hair on their mole as they speak. Similarly, there is always the danger you’ll end up doing something mortifyingly embarrassing like pouring red wine in your lap or throwing up in someone’s face. (It’s a long shot I know…) Other than travelling back in time, there is little you can do to get back the precious lost hours, but this policy would try to take the pain away with a giant chocolate chip cookie, large glass of wine and £50 Marks and Spencer voucher, payable immediately at the end of the date, as you sit in the car with your head in your hands.

The next step up would then be Full Boyfriend Insurance – when you first meet he seems like Mr Right – charming, considerate, self-assured. You decide to take a chance, and over the initial months, maybe years, you lay out a considerable emotional investment. When he turns out to be a cheat/lazy good-for-nothing/conman you feel rightly let down. In the event of being dumped/having to dump, this policy would pay out one tub of Ben and Jerry’s per night, a subscription to Love Film and two cases of Chardonnay, with payments reducing incrementally over the recovery period.

Unwanted Christmas present insurance – I thought this would be a fantastic idea – a policy that would replace Body Shop White Musk gift sets and tasteless jewellery with Green and Blacks hampers. But then I told Bee about it – “I think that’s called a receipt,” she said. D’oh!



  1. 13 September, 2010 / 11:49 am

    Dude this is a feature. Pitch it!

    • 14 September, 2010 / 6:46 pm

      Lol – maybe I could write it for an insurance mag? :-)

  2. 13 September, 2010 / 11:51 am

    Great post Jo. My husband’s got life insurance, but that’s only cos i’ve got every intention of bumping him off one of these days. ;<)


    • 14 September, 2010 / 6:45 pm

      Well that sounds like a very sensible plan. Does he have a big pension? Size IS everything you know.

  3. 13 September, 2010 / 1:03 pm

    One of my female friends dates a LOT, and I mean seriously a LOT, of guys. She’s looking for the elusive “Mr Right” sadly her “list” of “must haves” for any potential guy (or victim depending on how you want to look at it) is so long and ridiculously difficult to achieve that the chance of her having a successful date is more or less zero. Imagine how much her insurance premiums for date or boyfriend insurance would be …. It’d probably bankrupt Direct Line, lol :D

    And Jo are you suggesting this insurance would be only for women ? After all you did state BOYFRIEND insurance. Imagine if a guy had written a similar post from the male perspective, some women would be screaming “sexism !” etc.

    As for the guy with the hair, perhaps you could have given him another chance ? On a couple of occasions I’ve dated women who did something at the date I found a bit repulsive but I gave them the benefit of the doubt ….

    • 14 September, 2010 / 6:49 pm

      I really don’t think I would have screamed ‘sexist’ – I wrote about boyfriend insurance because I am a woman. I reckon girlfriend insurance could be just as useful though – what would you want to insure against?

      • 15 September, 2010 / 9:32 am

        It’s not something I’ve really thought about. But there again I never exactly “dated”, most of my relationships have been acquaintances that developed into something else, and that (in my opinion) is the best way to meet someone ….

        My first “serious” partner was at junior school in my class, we lived in the same street, her birthday is the day after mine, she was even born in the same hospital etc, just a day later. We’re both 45 now and despite a number of on/off relationships we’re still very very close. We were also common law man and wife at one point. Second serious relationship was someone in my drama class. My wife I met through unusual circumstances related to university (it’s a bit complicated but basically she was a friend’s landlady). None of these relationships involved “dating” in the traditional sense.

        • 15 September, 2010 / 8:36 pm

          Dating is quite a weird concept I reckon. I’ve never had a serious relationship either as the result of dating.

      • 16 September, 2010 / 7:41 am

        The problem with dating is the whole thing becomes a “controlled” situation, rather than spontaneous “it happens because it just does” type of thing.

  4. 13 September, 2010 / 1:53 pm

    Did the thought ever occur that a slightly frumpy mother of two (with one practically grown up child) is perhaps not thought of as the ideal ‘catch’ by most eligible guys under 40?

    I’m not trying to be horrible but in all your “I am worth it” / “why should I settle for less” bleating you do seem to be living in some kind of alternate reality where you seem to believe that your sparkling personality will come shining through and win over some Brad Pitt type. In your own way you are as deluded as that Steve Antony Williams berk.

    • 13 September, 2010 / 2:02 pm

      That’s alright Sarah I’m just as “special” as you are. I’m not deluded, I know I’m an ugly sod ;-p

      • 13 September, 2010 / 3:09 pm

        “I know I’m an ugly sod”

        Refreshing honesty

    • 13 September, 2010 / 2:36 pm

      Hahaha! That made me laugh :-)

      I really don’t know what you are talking about though. I am clearly a goddess, with amazing wit and charm, and any Hollywood hunk would be proud to have my kids call him Daddy.

      • 13 September, 2010 / 2:43 pm

        Obviously I don’t know you in person but you look like you scrub up well, lol.

    • 13 September, 2010 / 7:21 pm

      You of course have chosen not to show your face, so we have no idea if you’re a looker or a heffer, something to hide, mole with a hair growing out it perhaps ? As for being a Berk, I thought that was a TrapDoor character ?

      “Don’t you open that trapdoor, You’re a fool if you dare…. Stay away from that trapdoor, ‘Cos there’s something down there….”

      TrapDoor, now there’s a blast from the past.

      PS Jo might not be the most stunning “catch” around (I think she looks ok for the record, nice reasonable pleasant looking sort of lady etc) but I’d hardly call her “frumpy”. Optimistic maybe but certainly not frumpy.

      PPS if you want to judge my ugliness etc lol:

      Check the photo albums etc. My dogs are gorgeous though :D

      • 14 September, 2010 / 7:16 pm

        Um… thanks? lol, I will take ‘reasonable pleasant looking sort of lady’ :-)

    • 14 September, 2010 / 6:52 pm

      ‘Sarah’ – for someone ‘not trying to be horrible’, that was pretty horrible. I’m quite happy to have debate, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with each other, but that just seemed to be nastiness for the sake of it. If you don’t like my ‘bleating’ you are quite welcome not to read.

      • 14 September, 2010 / 6:56 pm

        I think Sarah just missed off LOL and ;<) at the end of her comment which would have admonished her from any nastiness.
        Personally i think you're well hot, but you know that already.


        • 14 September, 2010 / 7:28 pm

          Hmm… perhaps that was it. Frumpy though? That stung! *scowls frumpily*

      • 14 September, 2010 / 7:42 pm

        ok so a) you’ve obviously missed the banter on one of my posts recently about this and b) i was friggin’ joking. The comment is totally out of order, and no amount of smilies, acronyms or post comment arse lickin’ could sweeten it. Frumpy is a total insult. And that, my dear, you are most def not.


        • 15 September, 2010 / 8:43 pm

          Ah right…sorry, I was being a bit slow yesterday! (#iblamethesoup)

          Frumpy indeed.

  5. Topbloke
    13 September, 2010 / 2:07 pm

    Speaking as an ex-insurance broker of 17 years, anyone in the industry knows it’s not so much what the policy covers, it’s what it doesn’t cover thats vital… policy exclusions !

    The main policy exclusion for bad boyfriend/girlfriend insurance would have to be potential partners met through dating websites. Whilst insurance companies generally aim to cover the unexpected, arguably it can’t be that unexpected that we meet ‘mole-hair twiddling’ blokes or in my case, a woman whose feet had the stench of a decomposing corpse through such an impersonal and haphazard medium.

    Also, whilst underwriting such a policy the previous claims history of the insured would have to be taken into account. Insurers would be looking for the insured to learn from his/her previous dating disasters. A recurring pattern of dating blunders would naturally lead to higher premiums.

    I expect to pay a high premium for some time to come. A direct debit form please !


    • 14 September, 2010 / 6:54 pm

      I love this metaphor!

      I actually trained as an actuary after university, so maybe I could finally put those skills to good use and between us we could design a range of partner insurance :-)

      • Topbloke
        14 September, 2010 / 7:26 pm

        Don’t be dangling a joint collaboration in front of me…..As one who reads your dating exploits I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind as to what it would be like to get the attention of the great Jo Middleton ;-)

        However, I might also add that I much prefer to be in the comments section of your blog, rather than the blog itself…….


        • 15 September, 2010 / 8:44 pm

          Oh dear, so you wouldn’t be prepared to date me, and have me talk in detail about you to the world in the name of ‘journalism’?? Well that’s just selfish :-)

  6. 13 September, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    Love your posts – as always! x

  7. 13 September, 2010 / 5:04 pm

    OMG, Jo … this is why I love your blog (and the comments) so much! (And why I’ve learned not to be drinking any liquids, hot or cold, while I’m perusing it.)

    • 14 September, 2010 / 7:13 pm

      It’s the comments that make it Jane :-)

  8. maryfclark
    13 September, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    I was with you until Marmite. And then again after that. I enjoyed this. I really like the idea of boyfriend insurance. Husband insurance would be extremely expensive, I fear….

      • 14 September, 2010 / 7:20 pm

        Hear hear. Marmite is LUSH. Fact.

    • 14 September, 2010 / 7:18 pm

      Husband insurance could be expensive, depending on marriage history. When Topbloke and I set up our scheme though we will obviously want to make policies affordable.

  9. Topbloke
    13 September, 2010 / 7:58 pm

    Perhaps a no claims discount could be built into the policy to financially reward the careful and prudent dater/spouse……..

    • Jonet Middleton
      14 September, 2010 / 9:40 am


      Great article, well written – hope the contents insurance works out in case your Mother can’t fit you in!!

      Love Mummy xx

    • 14 September, 2010 / 7:19 pm

      Definitely. And will it be cheaper if you put one of those steering wheel locks on your partner overnight?

  10. 19 October, 2010 / 9:27 pm

    This is fantastic!

    What about Hangover Insurance? When someone forces us to drink too much, we are given Gravol, Advil, toast, and a bucket the next morning.

    • 20 October, 2010 / 8:43 am

      Ah yes, well I have children for that you see. My helpful eight year old quite likes looking after me, bringing me drinks of water etc. Very useful.

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