In May this year I switched on my washing machine in the evening to do the weekly wash. ENEL, (for some people the initials stand for Entirely Noxious Entity of Lousiness – actually I find them quite good), my electricity supply company, offers a “”bi-orario” option whereby cheaper rates apply between the hours of 7 pm and 8 am and at week-ends.
A little later, while retiring to the bedroom, I smelt a strange plasticky whiff. Did it come from an external source or my house? I checked the usual things: gas etc. and finally thought of going to the cantina which, in our case, is just behind the house and built against a rock face.
I opened the metal door leading into the cantina and, shock horror, it revealed metre-high flames emanating from my washing machine stationed there. In the cantina were also one of our free-wheeling ducks and two of our (pet) rabbits. I thought “fire extinguisher” but that was behind the flaming washing-machine! What must I do? Panic mode was entered into and overcome – I switched off all the electric from the mains, connected a hose to the tap and washed the sweltering machine down, killing the fire.
The right upper part of the unhappy apparatus had melted around the control panel which selects whites, coloureds, cottons etc, the tray on the machine containing soap powder and some garden tools had liquefied into a sticky mess, the pipes feeding the unfortunate item had dissolved and all the stone walls around had been blackened by the noxious fumes.
On reflection I realised I had got off lightly. What if the washing machine were in the kitchen encased by wooden cabinets? What if I had fallen asleep or worse still, gone out? What if the animals had tried to get away (in fact, they seemed singularly unperturbed by the whole incident)? Then the house itself might literally have been a wash-out and I would have just had roast duck or rabbit to miserably feed upon…
I also realised that I had house insurance – not something that everyone has in this part of the world. Within two days not only did I have a new washing machine installed and correctly plumbed but the insurance claim had been started and, unlike car insurance, any claim or “sinistro” does not necessarily up your premium.
A few days later the loss adjuster arrived, took some dramatic pictures and at this moment in time my claim is almost complete.
For all the positive things about the accident I have to thank not just the Eletronova shop in Fornoli for supplying my new machine and the plumber for replacing the pipes and connecting it but, above all, my insurance broker who, throughout the eight years I have lived here has shown a professionalism and friendliness sometimes rare to encounter.
I have, therefore, no reservations in recommending him to anyone else who is looking, not only for house, but for car insurance. Here are Giancarlo’s business details:
It’s funny how every year in one’s life is characterised by a particular peculiarity. I call my first year of residence in Italy the “wow” year because that was the word I most often used when coming newly across so many exceptionally fantastic things in this wonderful country. Last year was both good and bad and I can only label it the “gain through pain” year. This year has been mostly good to me and I would definitely call it “the value of insurance” year!
I only hope that the earth’s fiery central core does not get unduly to my house, as it so sadly has done in many places in Minucciano and north of it. My house insurance terms earthquakes as Acts of God. (Why? are we to be punished so severely for our misdeeds?) and my policy does not cover those. Perhaps I should take the insurance policy (covering redemption wonderfully) with my local church more seriously than I am at present apt to do.