Standard Life insurance ????

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😀

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5 Responses to Standard Life insurance ????

  1. Witchdoctor?
    Your piece John on ‘Standard Life’ Insurance, brought back a few memories of those ‘Door to door’ Insurance salesmen, before the days of company pension funds/ For Instance at the same price, but sightly different conditions of what one received, at the demise of the ‘AS INSURED TERM in the said LIfe Policy’? There was the ‘Pearl’ and the other fly in the ointment ‘Prudential’, plus the mutuals such as the ‘Royal London’ and then many more, some traded in the names of their different ‘Faiths’ { Wesleyian comes to mind}?
    As a young apprentice in the marine industry, and standing by in a British Drydock, one of the most loyal visitors was that ‘Insurance Guy from Colonial and Mutual Insurance Company[ { from Auzz-named on the London Stock exchange}. The travelling salesman [various salesmen in the different drydock ports, or visiting the local ‘Mission to seamen’ aptly named the ‘’FLYING ANGEL’’] would trade stories, a cuppa, or in the evening one beer only for that personal chat!
    Hey! were like the proverbial ‘port said fly’! they never gave in: If one had sercomed to a policy which was as you noted, carefully pitched a a modest percentage of ones pay-allowing one to keep the majority of ones pay to commit to an allotment/payment made home to family for family upkeep?
    You were game for these ‘gentlemen’?
    These salesmen where very wise and never made one commit ones self other than in the confidence one was doing the ‘RIGHT THING’ for that unseen future such as death, marriage, children, and possible house purchase, and the the absolute ‘Goal’ security in the knowledge of a pension at 65/70 years was the the term being sold some 40/5 years insurance, and the possible pensionable return?
    Now that’s not the end, if one got promotion, married, or both they the salesmen came back, again charming as the seductress in a ‘skipper strasser window’ and offered again at a most modest premium a new/another life policy which would again see one corseted from financial hardships of future life.
    All this in my years at sea in the 1960’s I took out a term insurance with Colonial and Mutual for 40 years, which covered death within that period, but paid a lump sum on its 40th anniversary if I was alive. This was as the salesman at the time suggested, as I would not commit great funds to his personal percentage commission-we shook hands as gentlemen and parted on good terms.
    The insurance industry through out my life has served me well, and covered my anticipated ‘’risks’’, BUT not at the alleged returns of the date of issue of the policy.
    Later in shore based, married life and children, house owner, I had to think of mortgage protection, and health, in terms of early death? Here was a conundrum did I rely on the, state pension and company pension? For ‘LIFE’ or did I in consultation with my wife take out ‘TERM Only’ I? ‘ insurance covering the risks of death, unemployment and health. One had to weigh up the premiums expectedly very carefully, and come to a sensible agreement. I was led by an uncle in Guardian Royal Assurance, and my father that for a home mortgage and insurance should not exceed a quarter of ones income after tax!!! This I found good advice.
    Back to the ‘Term and Life Insurance policies’? I/we my wife and I only paid for a mortgage with term insurance, to end on my date when I was 60 years old,and certainly not after 65 years of age in my pensionable years. This proved to serve us well.
    Again we trod in later life on a ‘hot potato? Up until later in life we paid a mortgage by repayments, and not by ‘endowment mortgage- interest only. However we wished a short term mortgage and the lenders, ‘Building Societies and Banks were offering what appeared a lower risk by ‘endowment mortgage for the term we wished for? WE were cannon fodder, at the end of the term for the mortgage which was the anniversaries for our mortgage and term, and endowment mortgage we paid our debits, with a small reserve to by a piece of furniture, and not the ‘original – and as promised manner from the gods? Riches beyond avarice? A profound lesson to learn, but the the financial markets can be fickle and like the ‘Girl in Skipper Strasser’ a Stripper?
    Before I leave I did buy a death policy, for a small sum initially ‘Johns £2.80p or so?’ and it was based on premiums, and one had the choice after 20 years to cease payments, and just receive the as guaranteed premiums returned, on death only. Here the premiums were the same as the insured valued. So being a tight fisted geek I made the choice to convert it to a policy on death policy, and the insurance company until death then run around with my as paid up premiums? Who is the wiser? The insurance company has been swallowed up by a new financial provider? I will not see the proceeds, maybe the new provider will pay out?
    Nothing is for certain in this life, and money has its own code of honour, ‘’A’’ and ‘tin god?’ it is certainly not my moneybox?

  2. Hi! above the conversation has been the insurance industry: however this afternoon I have been watching channel 88 on TV ‘freeview’ and a programme entitled the ‘Yorkshire Dales and Lakes’, and the ‘Hardrow Force Adventure Ladies’! They were planning an expedition and potholing/caving outing in Ribbledale. The youngest on the outing was 67, the oldest 82 and some 8 ladies in total ages between these two limits?
    They descended the cavern/pot by rope descent and harness some 30 feet? unaided by a companion to its floor, then walked away through narrowing tunnels, and into vast cavernous spaces: they then retraced their steps and ascended to an upper level by way of a rope ladder and harness and safety rope, again unaided by a companion, At the upper level had a picnic all underground, and then through the entry tunnel/tube to the outside world, their place of starting.
    MY eyes were drawn to their personal feats, and they have my deepest admiration.
    I like John am drawn to the antics, and activities that some of the oldies pursue, without insurance, and only the gratitude and admiration for ‘guts’ and true en-devour. Good on yer! you oldies/ Show us what we can do, not do??

  3. One of the many insurance associations, I contemplate is ‘AUNTIE of the UK’ and her National Insurance scheme and the National Health SErvice. Both schemes from the elected UK Parliament do us as nation credit, and all though they may need a ‘tweak’ now and again, I am grateful, and thankful for the support and service they have provided me during my life time as a UK citizen.
    One of the more aspirational political thoughts in their time, and still relevant today.

  4. Romeo
    Where for art thou romeo? God of magnificence? It is the 1st of March 2020 and all those welshmen, and persons called David, whether they are honest persons or just ‘scallywags’ to the proceedings.
    Your website Smiles and Grumbles John graham at 09.00 is full of emptiness, concerning the welsh national day? I just wondered if you had gone to church or the ‘bush baptish chapel’ to indulge in a prayer or two for forgiveness?
    Maybe we have to wait for the 17th. March the ‘IDES’ to read your contribution, by then, you may have had time to reconsider all your past writing’s, and uttering s’ onto the website, especially those from the ‘last Laugh Loonie Party’ [lllp].
    BODJ has done the wonderful thing, and paused for a pregnant silence, and maybe by September when the new arrival has come, we may have clarity and an answer to ‘BREXIT’ and a christening party at Number 10 as to whether Bodj has managed to conceive a solution to all the UK’s problems, and announce a budget off massive proportions in the October 2020 speech for the year 2021 [April], he may be buying new rattles, or is that toys for us Brits to play with, while he attends to his nursery requirements for his personal family, and the good of the Conservative Party? Does one know is it a blue or pink? [Boy or girl]?. -northern constituencies of southern constituencies, carry the vote or the UK as a nation?
    Does it matter it will be a party, for us all???

  5. It is monday?] 2nd March] are we on holiday, or do we all have ”windy pops”= A lot of hot air with no subject matter?? maybe a case for LLLP? absent without leave and permission???

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