Quickly dashed off e-mail sent from hand-held devices whilst we are listening to voices on speaker phones in “other matters” seem par for the multitasking that efficiency gurus mandate in our business lives. Sometimes, when one reads what one wrote a year ago, one gets the queasy feeling that it did not convey exactly what one had intended. The operative word here is “exactly” as, most times, linguistic imprecision does not lead to business disaster. Other times, doom comes knocking.

In the insurance world, words are important. There is a tension in our industry between using too many words and using too few to convey meaning or record agreements. So-called standard forms are said by some to be the easiest way to avoid misunderstandings. Even with the use of those instruments, there are times when the agreement between insurer and broker (representing the insured) is not fully or accurately conveyed.

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