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25 June 2017
Evening Sedition

"Cigarson"

Art Deco Cigar Ad

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

— Sigmund Freud, attributed

I heard a story and instantly knew it for what it was; it took only a few minutes with Google to confirm my first impressions. To begin, here's the jist of the story:

A man bought several boxes of cigars and had them insured against fire. When he had smoked them, he put in a claim against the insurance company that they had been destroyed by fire.

The company refused to pay, and the man sued. The judge ruled that the company had given the man a policy protecting against fire, and must pay.

As soon as the man accepted the money, the company had him arrested on a charge of arson.

"Cigarson", Snopes.com

This is, of course, an urban legend that's been debunked:

Insurance policies are generally written so that deliberate actions on the part of the policyholders cannot trigger payouts. Furthermore, destroying your own property isn't arson, as long as the act isn't intended to defraud anyone. If a court had already ruled that the insurance company was required to pay, then obviously no fraud was committed, and thus the burning could not be considered arson.

"Cigarson", Snopes.com

Sometimes an urban legend is just an urban legend.

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