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NEWHOPE - Insurance information for those with a Criminal Conviction or families of those with criminal convictions

Insurance for reformed offenders - Ex Offenders insurance

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See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

Public liability insurance found for ex-offender - May 2010

New insurance guidance to help 8 million consumers with past criminal convictions - February 2011

October 14th 2009: Seven million warned of insurance trap - Millions of people could be paying for worthless home insurance because of a loophole over past convictions, it was claimed yesterday - jml Insurance Blog

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If you have a criminal conviction or a member of your family has you might find it is difficult to get insurance cover

The following are some examples of cases that a specialist UK Insurance broker has been involved with.

How a simple re-mortgage can lead to homelessness

In late December 2005, just before Christmas, a call was received from a lady who was very distraught & tearful. The client informed the insurance broker that, in arranging a re-mortgage, she had disclosed her husband's conviction as required. Due to this fact, she was now unable to secure the required buildings insurance from the mortgage provider or any other insurance provider she could find. Without the insurance they faced being thrown out onto the street.

The client said that she was "at her wits end" and doubted anyone could help. After contacting a broker who specialised in dealing with ex-offenders and their families, the client was asked to complete and return a proposal form. The form arrived with the broker the next morning. The broker spent a ‘frantic hour' trying track down their underwriter who was enjoying the festivities. The broker rang the client back and as soon as she was informed of a positive result she ‘burst in to tears of joy'. The lady passed the broker on to her husband, who had to assure him five times that cover was ready and waiting for them. The cover was ultimately arranged and Christmas on the streets was avoided.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Reformed offenders not the guilty ones

An older gentleman who had been very senior in the financial services industry called as he urgently needed to arrange household insurance. On release he had raised this issue with his probation officer. At each meeting he raised the question, "Can you recommend any one who will offer insurance to an ex-offender", expecting the Probation Officer to know.

Finally, after several weeks of being uninsured, the client's Probation Officer brushed him off saying, "Well why tell them at all?" Explaining that this would constitute fraud, and focused on doing his best to rehabilitate, the client did not take this advice but kept trying until he found a charity for reformed offenders who recommended a broker who specialized in dealing with ex-offenders and their families Denied this basic information, an ex-offender with lower skills and less knowledge could have been forgiven for simply taking the ‘professional' advice not to disclose.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Keeping business on track

A businessman who ran a go-karting company contacted a charity for reformed offenders via the internet. He had previously not been aware of the need to disclose his conviction, which had occurred some 14 years ago when he was a young man. Now a different person, and keen to do the right thing, he searched for quotes for the necessary insurances. He received quotes which ranged hugely, up to £5000, before securing cover through a broker who specialised in dealing with ex-offenders and their families agency for just over £700.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Public protection

Faced with discrimination in the employment market, a former offender turned to self-employment in order to pay the bills. He quickly discovered that his small window-cleaning business needed Public Liability Insurance, since something as simple as someone tripping over a bucket could result in litigation. (Typical claims might be around £5000 but as the UK becomes more litigious claims of £50,000-£500,000 are becoming more common). He also found that holding appropriate Public Liability cover is a requirement for even tendering for most contracts. He also found that it helps to assure potential customers of the professionalism of his company. He was able to arrange the appropriate cover through a broker who specialised in dealing with ex-offenders and their families.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Innocent employees can be punished

When the Owner/Director of a multi million pound company was sent to prison, the jobs of all his employees were put at risk. The apparent impossibility of securing the insurances required to continue trading took the business to the precipice of collapse. In these situations, insurance has to be secured quickly in order to prevent a cash flow disaster. It also has to available at a reasonable rate, in order for the business to be sustainable. Through working with a broker who specialised in dealing with ex-offenders and their families, the Director was able to save the jobs of his entire workforce. He went on to begin offering work to other former offenders, creating a virtuous circle where a vicious one would have otherwise quickly developed.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Mother rejected by insurer after 22 years, forsupporting her son after prison

My son served 2 years in prison following a sentence of 4 years and since March 2007 has been living with me. The company which manages my buildings insurance contacted me to ask if I wanted a quote for contents insurance and as I was interested they asked me some questions regarding my existing building insurance, one of which was 'has anyone living in your household been convicted of a criminal offence'

I answered honestly and they then asked for details. I refused as I did not see the relevance but they insisted and said that they would report the conversation to their superiors.

Two days later I received a letter asking me for details of my son's conviction as it was a condition of my insurance policy. I complied and received a letter this week cancelling my insurance from 1st January 2008.

I have been paying insurance for my house with the same company since I took out my mortgage 22 years ago and have only made two small claims in all that time. My son lived with me until he was 20, he is now 24 and his conviction was his first offence but the insurance company are not concerned with the details. They have a policy and are just implementing it.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Couple lose their insurance after declaring son's community service

Thank you so much for your support and friendly conversation yesterday. Just to give you the latest developments today, 25th October 2007.

The insurance company called us to say that the underwriters have considered the information given to them about our case and even though it was recommended that they re insure us because of our 10 years custom with only 1 claim on the buildings insurance and 1 claim on the contents (both very small claims) the underwriters say that they will not insure us because of our declaration of my step son's conviction. This is even though the nature of the conviction is no threat to the building or contents. They also realise their refusal to insure us will be noted by other companies who will follow suit. This for the next 5 years and beyond.

As I told you yesterday over the phone our mortgage provider has sent us a letter stating that it is a condition of the mortgage that we insure our house.

There is a possibility if we cannot find an insurer that we will lose our home. We have had a quote but it is incredibly expensive and that company will not take us on until the outstanding work involved in our claim is completed.

The insurance company has told us to contact the Insurance Ombudsman again stating that we feel the decision of the underwriters is unfair as we have been good customers. As I explained before the Ombudsman's office told me that they cannot do anything as the insurance companies are businesses and can pick and choose who they take on as customers. I will of course contact the ombudsman again...but don't expect him to act.

I contacted Jim Dobbin's office (MP) again to update them. They are writing to Jack Straw, Justice Dept. with our case. They are taking the tack of the effect of the insurance company's action on the family of the convicted person and the possibility of losing our home.

All parties involved in this case including the insurance companies have stated and agree that had we not disclosed they would probably have never found out that our son had a conviction. They all agree we are being punished because we were honest!!

I have spoken to my husband and he agrees with me that we have nothing now to lose by taking this case as far as we can to get the decision of the present insurance company's underwriters overturned...or in some way to change the insurance company rules on convictions.

I feel we have been discriminated against because we were honest and disclosed my step son's conviction.

We would appreciate any guidance you can give as to what steps we should take to try and get some sort of result. Even if we take up the really expensive insurance to save our home this is still a great hardship for us both. My husband being a [deleted for privacy] with a £250 p.w. income and myself as an OAP with some disabilities. The extra outlay is devastating to our finely balanced budget. Thanks again for your support, we greatly appreciate it.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Quote from satisfied client

I've been in contact with the insurance brokers suggested and their person's quoted me a fair price without any conviction details, other than general information. Thank you for the help.

Information supplied by a broker who specialises in dealing with ex-offenders and their families

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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Liability Insurance - March 2009

With the recession biting the larger building firms are laying off workers. To continue earning members of the building trade need to go self employed The vital issue is liability insurance. If you have a clean record this is no problem.

BUT for the 30% of the UK population with a criminal record or poor claims record rather than hope your cover is ok YOU DO HAVE TO DISCLOSE YOUR CONVICTION WHETHER ASKED OR NOT !!! Most insurers will not quote.

At last there is a solution the NEWHOPE range of insurance for ex offenders now includes cover for all tradesmen including less than usual occupations we will not load for conviction

The BESPOKE range of less than usual cover all caters for less than usual occupations.

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

and...

Insurance for people with criminal convictions

Articles and reports on ex-offender insurance - Click on subject to go to article:

October 2013: Unlock, the national charity for people with convictions issued a press release on the 16th October to lend its support and endorsement to the ‘ban the box’ campaign, which is being led by Business in the Community. The aim of the campaign is to increase the opportunity for people with convictions to compete for jobs

November 2012: Problems for ex-offenders getting insurance Specialist insurance broker Neil Cook has sent us another article concerning the problems individuals who are ex-offenders can incur when trying to obtain insurance. He is someone who would like to help those people who do experience difficulties

November 2012: The Prison sentence starts when you are released -That is the message that has just been sent to us by specialist insurance broker Neil Cook. It is to insurance companies who are not interested in people who are known as "Ex offenders"

April 2012: Submitted by Neil Cook, Specialist Insurance Broker - Inside 'n' Out CIC - Issue 12 - Hi All, Welcome to the 12th issue of Inside ‘n’ Out Magazine. We had so many articles in this ETE Special that I have extended it from 16 pages to 20 pages. Remainder of Information Here

November 2011: Another person with a Criminal Record has a problem with a Comparison Insurance web site - I just had a client on the phone , who had a very serious criminal conviction, he had gone to the usual comparison sites for car insurance, filled in all the details, there was a question “ do you have any NON MOTORING CONVICTIONS.....

August 2011: Is your Policy Valid? - Insurance With An Unspent Conviction- Neil Cook an insurance broker who has often provided interesting information for this blog is highlighting the issue of obtaining valid insurance with an unspent conviction. After speaking with several groups of reformed offenders recently, it is clear to him that many people are not declaring their unspent convictions when taking out insurance

August 2011: To stop the re-offending of petty/drink/ drug related offenders Neil Cook an insurance broker who has often provided interesting information for this blog has just sent us this. "First and foremost, I was unable to watch the channnel 4 programme, due to another "Hiccup" in my recovery of the pitfalls of life mishaps, but having took myself down to "Unlock" rehibilition of ex-offenders, as rep for ex-offenders at my local community townhall) .........

July 2011: Insurance for ex offenders -Ex offenders and their families often have a lot of difficulty in obtaining insurance and specialist insurance brokers will receive emails saying explaining their individual problems.

March 2011: Mother of a ex-prisoner trying to obtain home insurance - Neil Cook an insurance broker has just sent us in this letter he has received from a client

February 2011: New insurance guidance to help 8 million consumers with past criminal convictions - UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, has joined up with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to produce guidance for consumers and insurers on the complex issue of criminal convictions and insurance

February 2011: Prison sentence starts when your released -Imagine, you have come from a broken home age 14 years of age, have been abused,your living rough in the streets for years, you drink and shoplift to "Survive", cos you have no fix abode.

November 2010: Scope for ex offenders - POLICY OF TRUTH! Or THE TRUTH OF HOW INSURANCE COVER AFFECTS THE SOCIALLY EXCLUDED AND THE UK ECONOMY

August 2010: Employing ex offenders -Whilst some larger organisations gladly give reformed ex offenders employment it does tend to the lower grade positions.

June 2010: Insurance cover affects the socially excluded -There are still major insurance issues faced by an estimated, eight million UK, and Northern Ireland residents who have a current unspent criminal conviction that may stop them starting either a business or going about their every lives thus contributing to society

May 2010: Scope for ex offenders There are still major insurance issues faced by an estimated, eight million UK, and Northern Ireland residents who have a current unspent criminal conviction that may stop them starting either a business or going about their every lives thus contributing to society

May 20th 2010: Public liability insurance found for ex-offender - Story of an ex-offender who had difficulty obtaining insurance - jml insurance Blog

October 14th 2009: Seven million warned of insurance trap - Millions of people could be paying for worthless home insurance because of a loophole over past convictions, it was claimed yesterday - jml Insurance Blog

December 2008: Concerns about insurance for ex-offenders-In Mid November UNLOCK The National Association of Reformed Offenders issued a press statement about the problems of ex-offenders obtaining insurance. jml Insurance have been acting as an introducer for Delite Insurance for several months and have concerns about restrictions insurance companies appear to impose

November 2008: Call to unlock access to insurance for reformed offenders- The insurance industry is failing reformed offenders who are seeking entry to basic financial security, according to Chris Bath of the offender charity UNLOCK.

June 2008: Ex-offenders charity speaks out over industry policy of exclusion The aggregator market has been criticised for failing to make it clear to ex-offenders that they must declare convictions. The criticism followed the launch of a campaign by charity Unlock - the National Association of Reformed Offenders - to remove the blanket exclusion by most insurers for people with convictions, and to introduce risk assessments to create more suitable policies for ex-offenders.

 

New insurance guidance to help 8 million consumers with past criminal convictions

Press Release 21/02/2011

UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, has joined up with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to produce guidance for consumers and insurers on the complex issue of criminal convictions and insurance

According to government figures, more than 8 million people in England and Wales have a criminal conviction and one in three men are convicted by the age of fifty-three.

Consumers are legally required to declare convictions even if insurers do not ask about them, unless they are considered ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. A fine or community order must be declared for five years, while short custodial sentences must be declared for between seven and ten years. People sentenced to more than thirty months must disclose their convictions for the rest of their life.

The laws apply to anyone covered by a policy, including partners and children on home policies and named drivers on motor policies. If a child receives a fine then their parents must disclose the conviction for 30 months as disclosure periods are shorter for people convicted when under the age of eighteen.

Many insurers take unspent convictions into account when assessing risk. If ‘unspent’ convictions are not disclosed insurers are able to avoid any claims made on the policy.

UNLOCK’s guidance, which has been sponsored by online insurers homeprotect, highlights consumers’ legal obligations and provides advice on how to buy insurance. The ABI’s guidance covers insurers’ legal obligations and industry best practice, such as including clear questions about convictions to make sure consumers get appropriate cover.

Chris Bath, Director of Projects at UNLOCK said: “Financial services are a crucial foundation for engagement in modern society. If we want people to lead productive lives; working, paying taxes and providing their family with a home, we cannot allow the justice system to sever people from their finances, even less to create lifelong financial exclusion.”

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said: “Access to, and fair treatment by, financial services providers is a key part of financial inclusion. We recognise that some people with criminal convictions and related offences may encounter difficulties when looking for insurance. We have produced guidance for our members to ensure that people with criminal convictions get a fair deal from insurers. Customers can expect insurers following the guidance to provide clear information about how they use criminal convictions, ask clear and concise questions, and help those to whom they may be unable to insure.”

Source: UNLOCK

See also Ex Offenders / reformed offenders Insurance

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