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Dennis loved computers. He spoke their language fluently. He could converse as easily in Windows, Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, machine language, UNIX and Linux as English. Basic and DOS was a breeze for Dennis.
Computers were his life. Whenever Intel marketed a new chip, Dennis was first in line to buy faster and more complex computers for his personal use.
Dennis could never afford all the computers he wanted to buy. As a programmer for WYSIWYG Enterprises, he earned only $ 60,000 a year. He lived near his work in San Jose. Dennis took the bus from his third-floor apartment to his office. When not working, he modified and upgraded his personal computers and edited software for his own use.
Dennis loved working on his HP desktop with Windows 10 and UNIX. He had available for use a 1200 x 2400-dpi color scanner, a full-color laser printer that printed at 1200 DPI and a 60-inch flat screen. On suitable paper, the printer produced photographs of photographic quality.
“Dennis,” exclaimed Alain, “these are valuable antiques (not to mention your computer systems). How can you live in that miserable, cheap apartment without rental insurance to protect yourself from burglary? ” “
Dennis took his photographs, which apparently deceived his computer-wise friend Alain and which he was sure would deceive any art host, and opened the Yellow Pages under “A” for “Judge”. He found a list of thirty-five different names of art and antiques.
Since Dennis never owned any of the valuable objects depicted in the photographs, he was curious to see the true value of the objects that his photographs seemed to prove were in his house. He took the pictures of the first valuer he found in the phone book. The appraiser, Albert Aisensohn, was the owner of Antique Universe, a store that sold antiques, used furniture and old real estate jewelry.
Aisensohn took the photographs and said: “I can not give you an assessment from just photographs – when can I see the goods?”
When Dennis took out the five hundred dollar bills he had in his wallet, Aisensohn immediately sat down at an old standing typewriter from Underwood and began to print out a valuation of the value of the various objects depicted in the photographs that Dennis gave him. He did not comment but just quietly kept the bills in his pocket.
Since he only had photographs, Aisensohn appreciated age, craftsmanship, and value. The appraiser could usually only provide a range of values such as: Chippendale chair, circa 1890, excellent physical condition, carved in mahogany and covered with a silk jacquard print, valued between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000.
On the 310th day the policy went into effect, one Sunday morning, the day after Intel announced the delivery of 100,000 chips to Dell and HP, Dennis called the San Jose Police Department to report a burglary at his home. He informed the policeman that he was leaving his home for only an hour and a half to go down to the corner to get a café-latte and a sandwich. He drank the café lateness quietly in the café while reading his Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. When he returned, he unlocked his front door and realized that he had failed to lock the window next to his fire escape on the third floor. All his antiques were gone. His HP desk was gone.
He gave the policeman the list of insured items and told him that he had no insurance at the computer workstation. The police officer dutifully noted the descriptions from the insurance policy for each item and, from the invoice, the serial numbers of all HP components. Other valuable computer items were left in the apartment. Dennis and the police could only assume that the burglars heard him coming and were scared away before they could take everything. Dennis was lucky.
Dennis called his friend Alain’s father, reported the burglary, and after a visit from a claims agent, the insurance company delivered a $ 420,000 check to him in exchange for a signed proof of loss.
Dennis now knew that his dearest dream had come true. He deposited the check into his account and paired new Hewlett Packard and Dell computers with 20 new dual-core Intel chips paired. His monitor was two sixty-inch screens with 2400 x 2400 pixels. He had 45 terabytes of internal hard drive, 5 terabytes of flash memory and everything was backed up with equal amounts of optical storage. His system competed with those now used by NASA and the NSA.
Dennis lived happily ever after and occasionally created new photographs as the computer industry created new toys.
If the insurer interviewed the valuer, they would have defeated the claim and Dennis would have been in jail. The insurer did not. Dennis was a happy criminal.
(c) 2022 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.
Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his internship to the position of insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as a lawyer for insurance coverage and claims management and more than 54 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and email@example.com.
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