Ashley always looked forward to the holiday season. All of it. Some might people argue the build up to Christmas is the best bit; the anticipation and expectation is usually better than a day of being uncomfortable from overeating, having a slight cold or are having to put up with a mildly irritating relative who gives socks as presents every single year. But Ashley didn’t see things that way. She definitely enjoyed the build up, hearing the songs she looked forward to each year playing on the radio again and seeing the town get prettier at night when all the decorations were up. On top of that, business usually picked up for her in the weeks leading up to Christmas, usually meaning she could spend that little bit extra on the turkey and stocking fillers for the kids. Then there was the big day itself, she loved seeing family members she wished she could see more of during the year, but never quite had the time to. It was so rewarding to see the looks on their faces when they opened their presents, especially when one of those presents had been a piece of her own glass jewellery she made. Ashley looked forward to the post-Christmas sales, not just as a keen shopper but also as the owner of her own small business.
People always seemed to be after a little something new they could wear to their New Year parties. December was nearly always her busiest month as she sold her homemade jewellery at markets and craft fairs in the area. In the few years Ashley had been trading she had seen her business grow steadily and her business was starting to make an online presence. As the business grew she had stopped her other part time work and the income of her business became her sole source of income and vital to her everyday living. When her insurance policy for the business was up for renewal she decided to upgrade her policy. A basic policy covering her for public liability and online sales once seemed adequate but she knew there wasn’t much protection should something happen to her stock. Ashley didn’t make all of her own stock – a fair portion of it was bought in from wholesalers – but some of the stock was costly and the hours required to make some of her jewellery was far from insignificant. On an expectedly cold December 30th, just as sales at the market were starting to slow down for Ashley and her business, it rained all afternoon.
The weather was miserable and the market appeared to empty. All this felt so typical on a day where she had all the most expensive items at the stall. Knowing the day was all but over, Ashley started to clear her stall and box all the remaining stock ready to take back to her car. Ensuring everything was in the car, Ashley noted that the temperature had dropped quickly and severely, a thick mist appearing in front of her face every time she exhaled. She got in the car and drove towards home, but she didn’t make it far. Within just a mile of the market Ashley was approaching a corner when an oncoming car slid around it, swerving onto her side of the road. Ashley swerved to try and prevent the crash, but it was in vain and the cars slammed into one another although luckily not at high speed. The noise of the impact was made even louder by the sound of glass smashing in the boot and the back of the car. Remarkably, neither Ashley or the other driver was hurt but glass littered the back of the car like a carpet of broken jewellery and barely a piece looked to be intact. It was too early to be sure of the exact figure of the stock that would need replacing but Ashley ensured it was done as a matter of urgency. In the following days, Ashley was horrified to discover the replacement value of all the destroyed jewellery would be close to three thousand pounds. She dreaded the phone call to the insurance company following the incident, as she was uncertain how helpful they would be or if it would even be covered by her policy.
The claims handler pointed out to her how lucky she was that she had upgraded her policy to include cover for Goods in Transit and Ashley sighed in relief when they said she was eligible to claim on this occasion. Over the next few weeks Ashley had to work hard making new stock, but she got there. Eventually, the claim was processed and as Ashley was not to blame for the incident she received payment from the insurance company that covered her losses and made up for her slow start to the New Year. With protection from her comprehensive policy, what seemed like a horrible start to the new year turned out to be just a minor blip and Ashley’s business went on to have its most successful year yet.