It has long been said that you MUST read the small print. Always! Now a campaign has been launched called Spare Us The Small Print to tackle the incomprehensible terms and conditions as well as policy documents produced by banks and insurers.
According to a recent survey only 27% of people claim they have read the terms and conditions and policy documents in full. Of those brave souls who say they have read the T's & C's, only 17% said they could understand it! 73% of people simply felt that these small printed and hard to read clauses were just too long. They may well be right.
Of the UK’s largest banks, HSBC topped the table for long winded jargon with terms and conditions for its bank account being just over 34,000 words long – that’s almost 5,000 words more than John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”.
In the car insurance sector, one of the longest T's & C's came out at over 30,000 words – which is longer than George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. The award though goes to a company who managed to write 37,600+ words - which is only a few short of the novel “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad. It seems that if you want a lengthy read, the ‘small print’ is longer than your average novel!
One company has managed to keep things fairly short and sweet and wrote in 6,901 words what their ‘wordier’ rivals took tens of thousands to achieve!
Of course, people need to be aware of what is involved in their insurance policies, and if in any doubt make sure you clear up any worries you may have. If you do not, you could find yourself in a situation where you are not insured as you thought, and that means the company will not pay out. Always look through your insurance policy carefully – including the small print and ask if you have any queries at all. Our friendly team will listen to any insurance problems you want to discuss and will advise you where necessary. Small print on document is there, essentially, to protect everyone involved in the document – but that doesn’t mean it is right for you. Not reading it is not an excuse in the eyes of the law for either with-holding information requested, or for not abiding by certain terms and conditions. If in doubt – call us and get the matter cleared up. That way you can get back to reading something you really enjoy!