This week's lesson...

... is in the art of organisation, marking down important dates on the calendar and being nice to those you meet.

Wednesday was my day in the office and my colleague, A, asked me to go out with her to put a couple of temporary signs out, advertising an event we were holding at the weekend.  So off we popped. We decided where to go and as we pulled in to the layby, A got out of the car to be greeted by a police car that had pulled up behind us.  The back door was open and a policeman asked us what we were up to so we explained what we were doing. He stood there for a moment and informed me that my car was showing up as being uninsured. Since AUGUST!  I remember looking at him for a moment before A piped up that it would be an error.  

I phoned D and put the policeman on the phone to him.  He checked the emails and couldn't see anything on there from the insurance company so he asked if they would be happy for him to phone them and then phone us back, which they allowed.  It felt like an absolute lifetime but he phoned back and confirmed that they were right, we were uninsured. The insurance company initially told him that they had tried to take payment but the card was refused. They then told him that an email had been sent to us to say it needed renewing.  Needless to say, no email was received from them to say renewal was needed or that payment hadn't gone through, despite the policy being on auto-renewal.  In fact, nothing has been received from them at all in terms of correspondence. The colour drained from my face and I was absolutely mortified.  Luckily, the policeman was happy for D to phone up and get a new insurance policy set up whilst they waited. D hung up on us to sort it out whilst the police spoke to me, asking for my details and his and details of where we worked.  

After what felt like at least an hour but was more like 15-20 minutes, D phoned back and gave the details of our new policy to the police and I was then made to wait in my car whilst they came to speak to me.  When they returned to me they informed me that driving without insurance carried a £300 fine and 6 points on my licence. 


And then came the moment for which I am beyond grateful.  They then said "however" and went on to tell me that they could see it was a genuine administrative error and were confident after speaking to myself and D that it would never happen again. We had both been polite, co-operative and honest. They then said that a colleague in the force had spoken very highly of the business and us and a favour we had done for them and they were using their discretion to waive it.  You can imagine just how relieved - and grateful - I felt and I told them so.  The first thing I did when I got home was to put the date on the calendar to remind us that next November our car insurance needs renewing.  

I can't tell you how horrified I was to hear that we had been driving around without insurance since August. August!  I live less than a few minutes away from a police station. I have a police car driving behind me most days through town.  I've been doing the school run and driving to and from work. We even took a road trip to my hometown, in a journey that took 5 hours there!  The thought that I could have had an accident in that time or a child could have run out in front of me on the school run (it happens), that just terrifies me.

Whilst I know a handful of people in our local force, I don't know who the colleague was that they were referring to as they wouldn't give me a name.  Was it H, the custody sergeant, who I have known since E started nursery?  My colleague's husband, the detective? M, from the traffic team? Or could it have been the detective we had at ours one Friday night whilst we trawled through hours of CCTV footage to help with a distraction burglary? 

Regardless of who it was, another lesson to take from this is to always try to be kind, genuine and helpful. No matter what.  Because it is the right thing to do. And because you never know when you are going to need the same back.  

8 comments

  1. Wow, I am glad you were not fined and I am glad that you did not need to use the insurance in the meantime. That would have been costly! Why didn't your insurance company pick up the phone and call you? #TwinklyTuesday

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  2. I got done but they made me pay $1200 and loss of points. It HURT as I always pay rego and insurance on the day - the insurnace had gone thru but the rego hadn't (and unregistered voids your insurance, even if you paid.) I think what happened was in the 3 day lag while Bpaying it, we had to cancel the cards due to skimming...but there was nothing for me to prove it. It took a long time to recover from that - and the funniest part, I'd pulled over to let the police pass, not realising the siren was on for me. Then I said "Did I not indicate?" because that was the only thing I thought it could possibly be, though I was sure I had (and I had). Glad you were luckier than me! #TwinklyTuesday

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  3. I’m so glad that everything worked out. You would have thought if the insurance company couldn’t get in touch with you via e-mail they would have sent a letter I I the post. Kindness is the number one thing I tried to impress upon my daughters while they were growing up. Even if someone is not kind in return you will always be happier and healthier if you are kind.

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  4. I have made lots of administrative errors since arriving in the UK and becoming a mum. I'm normally so organised but there are lots of little things in this country which are different to Australia, and with a newborn in tow I have been oblivious to some payments, rules etc. I'm glad to hear this worked out for you in the end, and I couldn't agree more that you should always be kind and helpful. #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. What a relief that they were sensible and waved things for you. a little kindness goes a long way when it's a genuine mistake. #Twinklytuesday

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  6. Those are steep fines and penalties! Wow! That is wonderful that the officers responded with kindness when they knew it was a genuine mistake. 🙂

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  7. Glad they understood your situation and waived it. Insurance...won't say more. I neglectfully paid my house twice in the same month thinking I had paid the auto. Even though the insurance could clearly see they received two payments and no auto that month, they held it against me and threatened to cancel my auto ins. and even though I asked them to move it over to the correct policy, they wouldn't. The policeman was nice. Here in Ohio USA, we sometimes get random letters to prove insurance and when we got one, had to go back and prove 3 years prior..not the current year or penalties and loss of license plates, etc. Have a happy week.

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  8. Oh my I can just imagine how you felt! We recently completely forgot to renew our home insurance, it's something that usually goes out on direct debit so we don't have to worry about it. It was only when my poor sister's house was flooded recently that it hit both of us that we'd been uninsured for months! Glad it all worked out for you #TwinklyTuesday

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