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You could hardly make it up!

I guess every one of us experiences incidents or periods in life when events, other people, instances of bad luck (and/or even the weather) conspire to thwart or flip upside down the most careful of best-laid plans, or even our actions taken after having accepted a modest degree of risk or gamble regarding the likely outcome.

Perhaps inevitably, especially whenever such a run of ill-fortune seems to be continuing almost without an apparent end in sight, I have tendencies both to succumb meekly to a passive acceptance that “stuff just happens” – and, on occasions and only half-jokingly, begin complaining (as an atheist) that I now accept that God exists: he must do, because he’s clearly “got it in for me” – despite the fact I have never done anything unworthy, dishonest or deserving of such treatment – and is the ultimate agent of my misfortune.

Take yesterday for example.

This is against a background in which I completed a six months’ driving disqualification for having amassed 12 speeding points as long ago last February and yet have been unable to obtain insurance to drive again since because of lack of funds and in several cases the unwillingness of insurance brokers to take me on because I am starting with 6 speeding points “carried forward” (the offences concerned having occurred whilst I was waiting to be disqualified). All of the above has left me nursing a proverbial Morton’s Fork – or is it a “Catch-22” – of a dilemma.

My Better Half takes responsibility for a “family” car policy she negotiated under which all our family cars are insured. She has been told by brokers that they will not accept me on their books because I am too big a risk.

I take exception to the notion that I am uninsurable. I regard that as twaddle. Insurers can – and should be able to – insure anyone. What these characters are haggling over is the price for doing so.

I want my Better Half to put them on the spot – for me, the issue is simply what size of premium would they impose in order to insure me for 12 months? £1,000? £1,500? £2,000 …. £7,500 …. £20,000, for Pete’s sake?

Come, on – what premium WOULD they insure me for?

At least then I could consider whether paying it was worth my while.

My Better Half has pointed out that – in another two years’ time – my “outstanding” 6 speeding points will “expire” (and drop off my record).

In other words, in another two years I should easily be able to get insurance at a reasonable price.

My counter-point is this. I shall be 71 in a month’s time – and clearly there is nothing that I can do to prevent my driving ability deteriorating until the point where it would be dangerous for me to get behind a steering wheel at all. Say that happens at 75 or 80.

Given all the above, if I am going to have even a few years of driving safely before I have to give up, it would be best for me – and the entire world at large in fact –  if could begin them NOW … and not in two years’ time, by when I might have gone half-blind or even ga-ga.

I reckon I am as competent a driver as the next man and am always safe behind the wheel of a car. I have just been prone to a bit of bad luck when it comes to speeding restrictions – and/or in the number of times I get “picked up” (by the powers that operate them) for going over the limit.

Currently it is beginning to look to me as if “the authorities” are deliberately treating me unfairly. I am no longer disqualified from driving but I cannot get myself insured to drive. And people are suggesting I should wait two more years until my current 6 speeding points “drop off” before even attempting to get insurance. I might as well accept that “the authorities” have decided to prevent me from ever driving again!

As a postscript, to return to yesterday.

As we jumped  – me as a passenger, of course – into our convertible car to drive to an engagement in Brighton, I noticed that the driver’s side front tyre was effectively flat. We therefore drove gingerly to the nearest garage, only to find a car abandoned and unattended at the air pump facility. We had to wait eight minutes for the driver to return, having apparently done his weekly food shop in the garage building.

Then we didn’t have any change – and the machine didn’t take anything but coins. Having “sorted” that problem – and checked the air in all four tyres – we then decided to give the car a quick wash from the same machine … only we couldn’t because, as we were putting more change into the necessary slot to begin the cycle, a jobsworth emerged from the garage and began using the tap on the wall to wash the garage forecourt beside the machine, therefore preventing the “car wash” machine from working at all for lack of water supply!

As I mentioned close to the top of this piece – when you begin getting a run of bad luck, there is no point in getting aeriated about it. Because the whole world is against you – and you just have to “suck it up” …(!)




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About William Byford

A partner in an international firm of loss adjusters, William is a keen blogger and member of the internet community. More Posts