Bill Imber – The Voorhees Nightmares

It was winter and Sean Voorhees was daydreaming about being on holiday. He couldn’t help but think about being somewhere hot and warm as he shivered in his living room debating whether or not to put the heating on. A year ago, he wouldn’t have had to think about the cost of heating, but the bills were adding up and he thought it best to avoid any unnecessary costs.

His stall selling gloves and scarves was going well, but he knew that this was seasonal work. Those things just weren’t going to sell the way he’d like when the temperature started to rise. That’s when it hit him. He would shift to products more related to summer. His wife Pamela had started to sell her homemade parasols online and they’d been doing okay. Again, it was seasonal demand that was preventing them from selling better, so he spoke to his wife Pam about combining their efforts and selling her parasols when the weather improved.

They agreed it would be worthwhile, so when spring came around, Sean spoke to his insurers and let them know that he and his wife wanted to add new types of products to their policy. This was arranged without a fuss and as spring came around Pam started to accompany John to the market. Pam enjoyed the social side of the market and was soon insisting they should join their friends at local car boot sales.

As Pam’s sales grew, she started to expand the types of parasol she sold. She started with small ones and eventually began selling slightly larger ones with metal parts. The only downside to selling parasols was that customers liked to be hands-on when they had a look at them, constantly opening them up and lifting them off the table and stands.

One day in June, at one of the car boots sales, a customer wanted a better look at a handheld parasol with a particularly fetching design. The customer picked it up out of a box on the table and without looking around, opened it up. The expanding parasol nearly caught a passer-by in the face but the potential victim had spotted what was going to happen just in time and managed to avoid injury.

Unfortunately, the customer sadly wasn’t the most observant or aware and as they put the parasol back in the box they pushed it dangerously close to the edge.

Neither Pam or Sean noticed the precarious position of the box until it was too late. Sean accidentally bumped the table while reaching to a customer to give them change and the upright box containing the parasols fell off the table, causing some of them to crash out and into the car belonging to the neighbouring stall. With some of the parasols having metallic parts, they clattered into the car and left several nasty scratches across the door and bonnet of the car.

The owner of the neighbouring stall was obviously not impressed and when they got a bill for several hundred pounds to repair the damaged panels on the vehicle, they made a claim. Luckily, Sean and Pam had the appropriate public liability insurance. They called their insurers who resolved the claim in a speedy manner, with Sean and Pam only having to pay about a third of the cost with their excess. It was an inconvenience and something they knew to keep an eye on in future, but at least the insurance prevented their bill from being close to a thousand pounds, a sum which would surely have a knock-on effect with their finances. After the minor inconvenience, their insurance meant they didn’t have to hold back with their heating when winter came around again.