# “You should be worried about all the things that can go wrong!” says insurance company

It’s not uncommon that the Daily Mail features worrying news, but it’s relatively rare that that their worrying news is specifically about worrying:

How much does your worry WEIGH? Quiz allows you to determine if your stress is the equivalent of a feather, a pig or a bear

Ever wanted to know much worry you’re carrying on your shoulders? Well now you can.

From a 100g feather to a 78st grizzly bear, a new interactive tool allows users to get a rough calculation of how much their stresses weigh.

Created using a formula, the ‘weight of worry’ calculator asks people how often they fret about various factors in their life.

Source: Daily Mail, 3rd March 2017

That’s right, this astonishing new interactive tool can actually tell you the weight of your worries! Like that’s a real thing, and like worries are measured by the gram! It’s amazing what they can do with nonsensical marketing science these days, isn’t it?

How might they calculate the weight of your worries, you may well ask? Well, you see, it’s simple: they ask you to rank a range of issues on a scale of 1 to 10:

Then they ask entirely-quantifiable questions, like:

How much time you spend worrying about money / finances each day, in minutes?

How much time you spend worrying about PERSONAL ISSUES each day, in minutes?

How much time you spend worrying about FAMILY each day, in minutes?

If you can’t spot the problem here, consider precisely how anybody is meant to quantify what “time spent worrying” means – do you add up the duration of every thought? Or do you only count time where you’re sitting down actively fretting? What if your mind wanders to money woes while you’re driving – is that counted as time worrying, or time driving? If you have two thoughts lasting 10 seconds, two minutes apart, is that two minutes of worrying or just 20 seconds?

None of these questions are answerable, because time isn’t a meaningful measure of worry, especially in self-reported studies. This is meaningless, non-data.

Still, once they have your meaningless data, they need to do *something* with it – which is why they use a specially-derived (aka ‘made up’) formula to turn your numbers into a weight:

HOW THE WEIGHT WAS CALCULATED

The researchers used the formula 5a+Y+T = X to determine how much someone’s stress may physically weigh,

a = general worry level across all areas of life

Y= total level of other worries in each area of life (family, money, etc.)

T= total time spent worrying

X= weight

And then, obviously, they turn that weight into an equivalent-sized animal:

So that’s obviously bulletproof and rigorous research, and well-worthy of this story’s inclusion in the Daily Mail Health section.

Needless to say, this is not legitimate research, and is merely an advert disguised as science, created by insurance firm LV=:

Politics, economics and social affairs are just three of the potential concern factors in the tool developed by LV=.

The British car, home and life insurance firm has concluded the average weight of worry to be 496lbs (225kg) – similar to that of a panda bear, pig or lion.

Effectively, this spurious and nonsensical stress calculator is just a way of saying, “Hey, people, aren’t you worried that something bad will happen and you won’t be able to afford to pay for it? Get some insurance from us!”.

# “Your house is a ticking timebomb of maintenance costs!” says insurance company

WARNING over YOUR home: Almost one in five are maintenance ‘timebombs’ this winter

ALMOST one in five homes are maintenance ‘timebombs’ as the winter months approach according to a new survey.

Leaking roofs, broken boilers, blocked guttering, blown electrics and rising damp are only a taster of the problems hitting owners in the pocket as they strive to keep their home in good condition.

In fact, for 18 per cent, owners of 3.2m properties, their dream home has turned into a maintenance nightmare which they lose sleep over, according to a new survey.

Source: Express, 8th November 2016

With winter upon us, the Express took the time to highlight that our ailing and ageing homes are just one step away from a costly catastrophe as maintenance fees threaten to bite. The Express highlighted this on behalf of an insurance company:

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the 1,800 owners questioned by insurers LV= admit they do not have the knowledge or skills to do their own maintenance work around the house.

In fact, the Express highlighted this specifically on behalf of an insurance company who has launched a new ‘property MOT’ service, to help you identify what maintenance fees might be around the corner:

Selwyn Fernandes, of LV=, which has just launched a free online property MOT service, said: “Keeping up with home maintenance can be a tough and time-consuming job, so it’s understandable that many homeowners might ignore problems or put off important work.

“However, it’s important to keep on top of maintenance and ignoring problems in the home can lead to more serious issues developing and could jeopardise the validity of your home insurance.”

# “You should do something different on holiday this year!” says holiday insurance company

Boomerang Britons: Two thirds of holidaymakers visit the same resort within five years of their last trip

When it comes to holidays, some Britons know what they like as 2million return to the same resort and do the same thing year after year.

It seems Britons are creatures of habit as nearly two thirds will visit the same resort within five years of their last visit.

And a staggering third have been to the same resort more than three times – and one in 20 have been back more than ten times over the years.

Source: Daily Mail, 28th June 2014

Say what you like about the term ‘boomerang Britains’ (personally, I choose to say it’s an annoying piece of made-up marketing nonsense designed to placate the papers), but it seems we’re all terrible predictable when it comes to our holiday destinations.

What’s worse, our confidence in our relaxing resort means we may start to cut corners that travel insurance companies don’t want us to cut:

But LV= travel insurance, who commissioned the poll, found familiarity stops a third taking out insurance because they feel they know what to expect.

Selwyn Fernandes, from the insurance company, said: ‘Travelling to somewhere you have been to before can make planning a holiday much simpler.

‘It is easy to let your guard down because you already know the destination but things can sometimes go wrong when you’re on holiday.

‘It’s important to make sure you have the right cover in place to protect you on your break so you can relax and just enjoy your holiday.’

I guess the message from LV= is clear – you can be as boring as you like on your holiday, so long as you keep buying insurance from LV=.