Mailing the deceased causes distress to the bereaved

An article in the Derby Telegraph reported that a grandfather who passed away following a motorcycle crash has received a notice through the post from the DLVA to insure his vehicle.

Sue Waldron, his grieving widow, said the letter she received before Christmas was a source of considerable distress.

The former nurse is still coming to terms with her husband's death after almost 45 years of marriage.

Speaking to the paper Mrs Waldron said: "He lived for his bikes and his two children and grandchildren. He had a very dry sense of humour and was always polishing his bikes. I could not believe it. I don't always cope with it, it is ongoing, and we have not had an inquest yet."

Four months after his death, on December 11, she received a letter from the DVLA addressed to her husband.

The letter stated that to avoid penalties action must be taken immediately as his insurance details did not appear on their database.

Mrs Waldron confirmed that the DVLA had been informed of her husband's death.

“I am feeling very annoyed and distressed. I think it is very insensitive. It is always reminding me. I have said 'what is up with you people?' I have told you he has passed away. He is not going to get insurance if he is dead. You have sent me this letter out about his motorbike when there is nothing left of him or the bike. The motorbike had been written off."

This incident clearly shows just how upsetting receiving mail in the name of someone that has passed away can be for people that have suffered a bereavement. Dealing with death is already hard enough without the added pain of being reminded of your loss through insensitivities caused by poor data management. It is critical that organisations of all kinds ensure that they have a policy in place to stop such occurrences. There are many solutions available such as Mortascreen which allows organisations to identify people in their database that have passed away quickly and easily. Not only does this mean that those that are grieving are spared added distress but also that organisations are complying with Article 5 of GDPR.