I hate starting posts like this, but it really was many years ago. My father was a big name in a small community, but was controversial and still is, years following his tenure and even in his semi-retirement (he likes to keep busy).
The town next door was reveling in its first and still only traffic light. It had one insurance broker, with an assistant.
Always short on cash, I was a new analyst for the Speaker of the Assembly, filling in on insurance because the real analyst was on maternity leave. Pre-internet, pre bill-pay I was concerned to get my car insurance payment in on the first, the due date so sent it by certified mail three days in advance, return receipt.
My agent indeed received the payment on the 1st of the month, waited until the 2nd to go to the only bank in this little town, and told his secretary (they were not called Admins back then) to cancel my policy. On the 3rd I received confirmation of my payment on the 1st from both the bank and postal service and a letter stating that my policy had been cancelled (after they took the funds).
I tried to call my agent and his secretary kept saying he was out. Was he at the bank, the diner or the school or the bar or only hotel. There were only a half dozen buildings on the main street. Where could he have been all day? And why wouldn’t he talk to me.
Knowing enough insurance law in a few weeks to know that even if the customer messes up a payment (I had proof I did not do so) there is a 15 day grace period. I told that to his secretary. He finally called me back and said I was late and there is no grace period in state law.
That evening my roommate and I attended an insurance function. Of course, who was there but the new Insurance Commissioner, a former lobbyist we knew from work and other events. He asked why I was so down. I told him I no longer had insurance on my ancient VW and told him the story.
He told me to call his secretary first thing in the morning with my agent’s phone number and asked if he could take care of this issue himself because it would remind him of the old days and be “SO MUCH FUN!!!!!” I messengered over copies of relevant documents.
He called and asked why the agent cancelled my policy. I swear the agent soiled his trousers in this tiny town where he was a big Muskie about to be swallowed by a whale. Of course, sir, her policy is in force and we did receive her payment on time. Why would you think we would ever cancel her policy? Fun, yeah.
Lesson learned. I kept him on until deciding my family would get multiple auto, homeowners insurance et al elsewhere and I kept mine wherever I lived until there were Internet and bill pay options from our bank. We’ve had the same auto insurance for nearly 20 years now and just change cars and prices. They treat us professionally and still, I (I pay the bills) pay them on time every month. It’s always nice to have a whale in one’s pocket. Message here is don’t mess with Dee. Cheers! Dee