Lessons from the man on the Clapham omnibus

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In a charming eccentricity of the English legal system there’s a hypothetical set of characters entrenched in statute that play the part of ordinary — and not so ordinary — people when a court comes to weigh up cases.

Among them is the ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’, who’s neither too smart nor too stupid. In the best tradition of Goldilocks he’s just right: a reasonable man.

The idea is that in court the defendant can be measured against the man on the Clapham omnibus who is there to stand for what any ordinary, reasonable man would’ve done in the same circumstance.

Another of these characters is the ‘moron in a hurry’ who is used to decide on, for example, cases of copyright infringement: i.e. could two similar logos be reasonably differentiated by a moron in a hurry?

The idea of a base standard of reasonableness is an interesting one. With so much going on in our lives it’s easy to go from day-to-day feeling like a moron in a hurry — and sometimes we all cut corners.

But with things like insurance it pays to take a little longer when looking for the right cover. Don’t rush into things like a moron in a hurry — especially if you end up confusing price with value

Don’t be a “moron in a hurry” when choosing insurance

Take Professional Indemnity Insurance as an example, of which there are two main types: Civil Liability; and Negligence, Errors and Omissions. To put it simply Civil Liability offers you more cover, with the latter largely based on negligence you show when your business sells knowledge, advice, design, specification or supervision.

Civil Liability, on the other hand, covers you for the same things as Negligence, Errors and Omissions, as well as extras like defamation; and privacy and copyright infringements.

Broader Civil Liability insurance products — like the one offered by Jelf Professions — can be given short shrift when compared on price alone, despite us all knowing that price and value aren’t the same thing. But when measured alongside Negligence, Errors and Omissions products, it’s clear that Civil Liability offers more.

[Tweet “When it comes to your #Insurance, what would the man on the Clapham omnibus do?”]

So, when it comes to your Professional Indemnity Insurance, just think: what would the man on the Clapham omnibus do? He’d be reasonable as ever, take his time and have a proper look at what’s in front of him. It’s not complicated; it just requires a bit more thought than the moron in a hurry is prepared to give.

Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re getting a bargain, when you’re actually wasting money on a false economy. Think about the cover you need, and remember that when you’re looking for the best value, it’s not always about spending less.

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About the author

Passionate about all things digital, Dani is a specialist in digital transformation for businesses of all shapes and sizes.