Once upon a time, in the days of real people, before the advent of the internet I took out a life insurance. It was fourty six years ago give or take a year or two. I hardly remember what it was for, but I know I did it because I have been paying out £2.68 every month since by direct debit. Still it is such a small sum I have never bothered with it since. Indeed I would still not have thought about it, because bank computers and insurance computers do all the transferring of the money and the only paper record is one line in a bank statement that I only glance at now and again. If I am having my tea at the time it is not surprising that £2 and 68 pence doesn’t grab my full attention.
So when my lovely wife Mo asked me the other day, what exactly had I been wasting £2.68 every month for the last 46 years, I couldn’t actually remember. Was it to cover my secret gambling addiction? Or maybe blackmail pay-off that I hadn’t mentioned to her ? Or perhaps a protection racketeer who had his claws into me over an unpaid parking fine ? Who knows ?
The name “Standard Life” kept coming to mind and then I vaguely remembered I took out a life insurance all those years ago. How much for and why I don’t recall. It was something to do with securing a loan on my first house. I think ? Those were in my rugby playing days and a prop forward called John did it for me over a round of drinks. Signed, sealed, delivered and long forgotten after the next beer !
So, like a dog with a bone or more kindly like Detective Chief inspector Morse on a long lost mystery case, I set out to track down the missing millions 😀🐕🦺 armed only with a name and a policy number.
A quick phone-call to Standard Life connected me to an automatic message system, where I could press 1 for this and 2 for that and 3 for something else, but nothing for 46 year old lost property. Eventually, I did get to speak to a real person called Margaret, unfortunately she only spoke Scottish and I couldn’t understand her. I did gather she wanted to ask me some security questions. So I told her my name, my date of birth, my address, my policy number and what I was phoning about . Then she told me I needed another department and she put me through to another automatic message system 😤
I listened to a lot of music and several apologies for keeping me waiting and then a message about completing a brief survey about their customer service or maybe if I didn’t want to wait any longer I could go on-line to their website. I never did get asked to complete the survey.
Finally after waiting about 20 minutes, which I suppose is not bad after no contact for 46 years, I got to speak to a real person called Ellen who spoke real English. Then a few more security questions, in fact the very same ones as I had given answers to Maggie 20 minutes ago, but perhaps they had got lost in translation. Now at last we were beginning to get somewhere. She found the policy, but couldn’t tell me any more without some more security questions.
Where did I work when I took out the insurance ? So I told her but they had no record of that. How about where did I live at the time I took out the insurance? So I told her but they had no record of that either. I was starting to wonder if I had ever existed. Still I must have been paying £2.68 for something to someone at some time or other. Unless Standard Life is an insurance black hole.
Ellen couldn’t have been nicer and she said she would get someone to look in the archives because they don’t do this type of insurance anymore. Oh and they have changed their name, but they will contact me within 10 days or so.
In the meantime I will keep paying the £2.68 just in case I insured myself for a million pounds all those years ago😀