Let’s just call it a Y.D.W!? moment. Short for ‘You Did What?!’ For much as I’d like the math behind my biggest insurance claim to be the sum of 0% negligence + 100% bad luck… it isn’t.

So, this isn’t a story about my nearly 8 years as overprotective owner of a Canon 7D camera – nor its new addition, a Canon Powershot. Nor is it about the 3 months of doting ownership of the shiny new MacBook Pro on which important parts of my decision to finally “go freelance” after 13 years of newsroom employment was built.  

This is the story of the morning I left said cameras, laptop and a sleeping bag in the back of a friend’s bakkie. One of those plaas bakkies with the easy-to-force-open canopy’s. All together now: a Y.D.W!?

At least I tried to cover the would-be loot with a sleeping bag I had recently bought in Kathmandu after nearly pulling a Rageltjie de Beer on a hike in the Himalayas.

I could note, there had been a clear-eyed car guard (with the typically vague job spec that makes that profession so charming) on the scene that morning.

I could add that we planned to really just nip out and be back with our race numbers for the Two Oceans Marathon – normally a slick operation. But then I wouldn’t be guest blogging for an insurance app would I?

I clearly rolled the dice on fate that morning. And lost. Canopy handle broken. Car guard missing. CCTV cameras, miles off in the distance, staring at their own feet like school boys in the headmaster’s office.

Off to the police station …Y.D.W!? The prospecting for insurance money was made easier by the chilling knowledge that “Insure new MacBookPro” was still lingering somewhere on my To Do list. (Strike off!)   

The camera was insured, but not all the subsequent purchases (camera bag, extra battery, 2 x SD cards, external hard drives. And not the nifty PowerShot. And the sleeping bag? Who steals a sleeping bag?

But the moral of this cautionary tale is not simply “insure everything – even against your own lapses in judgement wherever possible”. It is also:

  • Start with keeping better track of what is in fact covered
  • And pair purchase with insurance, rather than letting it drift off into the sunset of “To Do”.

If this app in any way helps me learn and / or unlearn behaviours that left me with thousands of Rands out of pocket with this traumatic episode, then I’m all ears.

Le Roux Schoeman is a journalist from Cape Town & a leisure runner.

Get the app that turns your “To Do” into “Done”.

Available now on