Hi gang, run into a problem this evening and hoping for some advice.
Passed a Police car going the other way earlier, two minutes later it was behind me and pulled me over. My car had flagged up on their ANPR as not insured. I was not unduly concerned at this point as I could remember changing my insurance on the regular date of Jan 7th. Whilst the people on the other end of the officers phone were liasing with Hastings Direct, I told them how I distinctly remembered them asking for a 'proof of no-claims discount' and how i had signed a declaration form with my previous insurers details and posted it back to them. This is where alarm bells started to ring.
It seems that they (The insurers) cancelled the policy on February 5th as apparently this never reached them or never got to the right department. After initially returning the dclaration I heard no more and as a result thought no more about it.
I would like to state that at no point have I received any notification that this had happened. I spoke with my (former) insurers once I got home. The lady on the phone said that their records showed a letter was sent on January 29th giving me 7 days notice of cancellation if they never heard from me, another on February 5th advising me that it had been cancelled and a refund to my bank account. As I said above, I received neither of these letters. However I checked my online banking and a refund was paid into my bank on February 24th which was 20 days after the cancellation, I admit that I missed this at the time and have no excuse for that.
Having gone through all my policy paperwork, it has a form stating my preferred methods of contact. It clearly states I can be contacted by letter, e-mail, telephone or SMS. I was told of the cancellation by none of these methods.
Also in the policy documents it states that the proof of no claims is required 'for their records'. Nowhere does it state that cover is issued subject to this being provided and may otherwise be cancelled.
Back to this evening, my car has been impounded at a cost of £20 per day plus a £150 release fee. This is obviously on top of the £200+6 points fixed penalty. The officers, about whom I have to say I have no complaints or argument with, were very sympathetic however their hands were tied as no insurance is a very black and white affair at the scene.
Has anybody had experience of anything like this, and what action I could possibly take? Also am I better off taking a gamble on going to court to explain the circumstances or will it make things worse? Do I have a case against the insurers and would it help clear my name?
Any help or advice would be extremely well received, many thanks in advance.