“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 
― Confucius

Today, I received some good news that I already gave up on over a month ago. But I still kept poking it each week, and now, I am 172.15 GBP richer, which inspired me to this quick dump of thoughts.

It´s about my insurance claim. I was robbed in Quito, Ecuador, had my passport and all other documents stolen, my good camera, with a gorillapod, an expensive multitool and other things, that added up to about 300 GBP, and some cash too.

I filled the claim in August, just to receive a wake up call a few weeks later – they were trying to get me on the small print, which said, my claim is only valid, if I started my trip from the UK, but my proof of travel – the airplane ticket, was from Krakow, because I hitchhiked from the UK to Slovakia first and Krakow is the nearest international airport.

They wouldn´t accept the fact that you don´t get a receipt for hitchhiking and kept saying “computer says no”.

computer says no, little britain

This was when I kind of gave up on the money, but still thought – at least I´ll make them work for it.

So I emailed them every week, asking for an update or escalation, that didn´t cost me much, a short email every time. After banging my head against a wall, I mentioned a third party that oversees insurance companies (kind of a watch dog, an ombudsman) and they offered me an internal audit of the “claim about a claim” by a different department.

OK, I thought, still not hoping to get anything back.

The response was better than I thought – if you can give us a receipt from you crossing from Dover to Calais, you´re good.

Hm, I thought, ok, can I get a receipt from May this year? I didn´t even remember which company I crossed with. But hey, there´s not many of them, so I emailed all of them with a short version of my story and some details they can search by.

In a week, I received a response from P&O, (btw, P&O and DFDS Seaways were very helpful in this direction), confirming my crossing on the 19th of May, which I forwarded to the insurance company, and they now confirmed I´ll be getting 172.15 GBP  (the value of all the stuff and money, less excess and depreciation), in five working days.

I was first angry about the insurance company Aria Insurances Limited, who I got through buying insurance from Down Under, wanted to email their CEO and stuff, but I kept my head cool, every email was as professional as I could keep it (some emotion and puppy eyes were included…), and mainly, polite to the person talking to me, and I think that contributed to the fact, that they are processing it so quickly now. So overall, it took longer, but they had their ground to stand on (small print and missing receipt) and I had my ground too, which I have proven later, so fair play to both.

Not a bad result for a bunch of emails I sent (works out somewhere in the range of 17 GBP per email earning 🙂 ).

And the best thing isn´t the money – it´s the fact that before getting this sorted, I thought – ok, now I don´t have travel insurance (if this claim doesn´t go through, none will). But now, I have a travel insurance again, and I have all the receipts to proceed with any future claim that could happen (I hope it won´t of course!).

This scenario happens a lot in our life. Something goes wrong, or we´re in front of a challenge (we might have picked or not) and we have three options:

  • give up straight away, forget about it
  • try a bit, see if it´s a dead end or not, then maybe give up
  • persevere, succeed

Each of these makes sense in different situatios. We just need to evaluate what´s the best strategy for the scenario we´re in. Low value, won´t change my life much scenarios deserve #1, whereas high in value, life altering scenarios deserve #3.

Sometimes we get into fighter mode for low value things, just because we want to prove our point – it´s good to stop yourself and recognize this – stop wasting your time just to prove a point. If it won´t fill your wallet or make a difference to your life, spend that time on something more worthwhile. Sometimes, the wiser man is the one who walks away.

But if it´s about more money, or about protecting your life values or

chimborazo peak, ecuador
The top will feel much better, after a challenging path to it.

something that means a lot to you – Stick to it. 

Whether it´s chasing an insurance claim, finally learning french, getting that career change you always wanted, saving money for something you always wanted or training for a marathon – if it´s worth to you, persevere. You´ll enjoy the result more, the harder the journey to achieve it.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” 
― Thomas A. Edison

Even if it´s slow progress, keep poking it, one day, you may find yourself reaping the fruit of your perseverance.


By Lukas Cech

I quit a career in a 9-5 job to pursue my real values in life: help animals, learn and discover the world. Live the life I want, not what´s expected of me. Currently travelling across South America, learning about life, from endangered monkeys, through salsa to channeling stocks trading.

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