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Cartoon man (Andy Avatar) waving - How to make a phone call in EnglishHi, it’s Andy here. Now, we’re going to do a bit of listening practice. Good luck!

When your insurance cover isn’t enough!

Listening 1
You are going to listen to a conversation between an insurance company representative and a man (Mr Powell) who has put in a claim for damage to his home. Listen once without pausing or stopping the audio. Which statement is true?

a) He probably won’t get any compensation.        b) He’ll get everything he asks for.
c) He’ll get 50% of the value of his house.

Listening 2
Now, listen again and answer these questions. This time, you can pause the audio whenever you want.

  1. What’s the insurance company slogan?
  2. Where is Mr Powell?
  3. How much has Mr Powell put in a claim for?
  4. What is £3 million of that claim for?
  5. What’s left of the man’s house?
  6. What caused the damage?
  7. How long has he been in the hospital?
  8. How long has Mr Powell been a Super Premium Policy policyholder for?

Listening 3
Now listen again while you read the script at the same time. This is great for your listening skills. If you find any words you aren’t sure of, look them up in a dictionary.

Audio script
Insurance company representative: Good afternoon. It’s Mr Powell, isn’t it?
Mr Powell: Yes, that’s right.
I: My name’s Frobisher. I represent the Happy Life Insurance Company.
P: Oh, thank goodness.
I: “Life is always happy at Happy Life.”
P: I beg your pardon?
I: That’s our slogan… “Life is always happy at Happy Life.”
P: Oh, yes, I see. Can we please get on? This is urgent. As you can see, I’m in hospital.
I: Absolutely. Now, Mr Powell, you’ve made rather a large insurance claim.
P: Yes, I know.
I: £8 million, in fact.
P: That’s right.
I: Well, let’s have a look. There’s £2 million for damage to your house. A further £2 million for loss of possessions.
P: That’s right. The contents of the house have been destroyed.
I: Then there’s £1 million for healthcare. And finally, £3 million for loss of earnings.
P: Yes, that’s everything. When will I get the money?
I: Well, I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that, Mr Powell.
P: What do you mean?
I: Well, first of all we have to assess how accurate your claims are, and then assess whether your insurance policy covers these claims. After all, we can’t give out money to everybody can we? Life wouldn’t be very happy if Happy Life Insurance went bankrupt, would it? We wouldn’t be able to help our clients who are in real trouble.
P: For God’s sake. Look at me.
I: One thing at a time. One thing at a time. OK, so first of all, let’s talk about your house. What’s the problem there exactly?
P: There was a gas explosion and the house blew up and was completely destroyed.
Haven’t you seen the photos I sent you? I haven’t got anywhere to live.
I: Well, there is a large hole in the ground, Mr Powell. As far as I’m aware you are the owner of that hole and have every right to live in it.
P: It’s a hole in the ground, not a house.
I: Many people would be glad of a hole in the ground, Mr Powell. Let’s not be greedy.
P: What?
I: Then there are your possessions. You claim that they all need to be replaced.
P: That’s correct. Everything was destroyed in the explosion.
I: Have you considered, Mr Powell, where you are going to put your possessions? You can hardly keep three flat screen televisions in a hole in the ground, can you?
P: What are you talking about? I’ve lost everything I own.
I: And what about these health bills, Mr Powell. £1 million is a lot of money.
P: I’ve been in this hospital for three months. They’re still doing tests.
I: So, nothing too serious. When will you be back at work? We need to get you earning some money. Your insurance bills are going to be massive.
P: Look, are you going to give me my money?
I: Erm, the thing is Mr Powell, I don’t think your policy covers this accident.
P: What! I’ve had a Super Premium Policy since I was 18. I’ve been paying my insurance bills every year since then. I’ve paid thousands of pounds.
I: Alas, if only you had the Super Premium Plus Policy, you’d be covered for unexpected gas explosions.
P: This is outrageous.
I: I’m sorry, Mr Powell. But as we say at Happy Life, “Don’t get angry, get happy.” Good afternoon. [She leaves.]
P: Doctor, doctor. Stop that woman! Call the police!


Listening 1
Option a = he probably won’t get any compensation.

Very good! Now do the quiz to check your answers to exercise 2!

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