A former policeman’s daughter who had to stump up £150 to get her car back after an insurance company blunder is to get a double payout – after her case was highlighted in the Telegraph & Argus.
Debbie Pickford, 45, of Cullingworth, was left out of pocket when her insurers failed to update police computer records after she reinsured her Peugeot 206.
The car was seized by police in Leeds Road, Barkerend, Bradford, when an Automatic Number Plate Recognition check suggested she was uninsured, as she drove her daughter home from a trip to the cinema, and she did not have her insurance certificate with her.
West Yorkshire Police said it appeared Miss Pickford’s insurers “had not transmitted this information to the Police National Computer enabling it to be updated accurately”.
Chief Inspector Neil Hunter, said: “In view of this reasonable doubt the officers arranged for a recovery agent to attend and seize Miss Pickford’s vehicle on the basis of the information that they had at that time, that it was uninsured.”
But yesterday, her insurance brokers, Swinton Insurance, offered to refund Miss Pickford’s £150 – and pay her a further £150 by way of compensation.
Miss Pickard said: “I am delighted, and surprised, that they have offered compensation. But it doesn’t solve the problem that this could happen again to somebody else and something needs to be done about that. I still feel the police should be flexible. I offered to go home, get my insurance certificate and take it at once to the nearest police station, but I was told I could not do that.”
A spokesman for Swinton Insurance said: “Swinton renewed Miss Pickford’s policy on January 15. The insurer, Highway, was also informed of the renewal confirmation on this day via an overnight process. Highway then presented the information to the Motor Insurance Database which in turn updated the central records. The update within the Motor Insurance Database can take up to 24 hours to process. As Miss Pickford had been declined reimbursement by the police even though she had proof of her insurance, Swinton have reimbursed Miss Pickford with the impound fee of £150 and a further £150 compensation as a gesture of goodwill.”