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Tag: Insurers response

Unlock speaks to Radio 4’s Money Box on how some insurers are breaking the law

Unlock speaks to Paul Lewis of Radio 4 Money Box on how insurers are breaking the law by taking into account old criminal records, disadvantaging millions of people with spent convictions.

You can listen to the programme here

Families of prisoners pay high insurance premiums and face more refusals

An article in the Independent reports that families of offenders face higher premiums and even flat refusals when it comes to getting insurance.

The article quotes a report by Unlock, which revealed that 37 per cent of the calls made to its helpline related to insurance.

It also revealed a startling issue; that many families of prisoners and former prisoners did not know that they had to declare the situation to their insurer. You can read the full article here.


Criminals get better insurance – but not speeding motorists

The Telegraph’s Money section has published a very interesting article about the changes to the ROA and how these do (or don’t) impact on people with motoring offences.

We spoke with the journalist as she was developing this piece, although we’re not specifically referenced.

This article highlights a number of issues that we’re taking forward as part of our ongoing work around the ROA.

You can read the article here.

Unlock on Radio 4’s Money Box – Obtaining insurance with unspent convictions

Today, we took part in a discussion on Radio 4’s Money Box about obtaining insurance with unspent convictions. You can listen below or click here.


Changes to motor insurance disclosure

Today we took part in a Radio 4 Money Box discussion about changes to motor insurance disclosure, as well as what people need to disclose under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

You can listen to the interview below.

Changes to insurance disclosure

The below is post from our Information Hub

The reason for this update is to let you know of some changes to insurance disclosure, which came into force in April 2013, which should help many people with convictions. We updated the guidance on our website at the time, but to raise awareness of this, we thought we’d send around an e-update as well!

For many years, people with convictions have found themselves in a difficult situation when purchasing insurance. This is because of archaic insurance law dating back to the Marine Insurance Act 1906, which imposed heavy duties on all consumers to disclose all material facts, even if the insurer didn’t ask about them specifically. If you failed to guess what the insurer wanted to know, your claim could be rejected.

In 2008, the Law Commission consulted on whether the law should be changed. Unlock made a submission which highlighted the problems that the law caused for people with convictions. Following this consultation, the Law Commission recommended a change in the law. Unlock, along with a number  of other consumer organisations (including Age UK, Consumer Focus and Which?), worked hard to push  the Government to change the law. This was successful in March 2012, when the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 received Royal Assent.

The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representation) Act 2012 came into force on 6th April 2013. It removes the duty on consumers to volunteer ‘material facts’ if not asked. The onus is now on the insurer to ask the right questions. For people with convictions, this will help to clarify the law when companies do not ask about certain convictions (e.g. non-motoring convictions). Previously, you had to disclose all unspent criminal convictions, regardless of whether you were asked about them. This is no longer the case.
The onus now sits squarely with the insurer to ask you the questions that they want to know information about. Instead of a duty to volunteer material facts, now the law requires you to answer the questions that are put to you fully and accurately. You need to “take reasonable care”, and one of the factors that will be taken into account is whether the questions asked by the insurer were clear and specific.

For more information

We’ve published a guide on the changes to insurance disclosure. We’ve also updated our simple and detailed guides, as well as updating our list of insurance brokers and list of motor insurers. As always, all of this can be downloaded from the insurance section of our website.


Can you help us improve our lists?

Since these changes have come in, some insurers have changed the questions they ask. Some mainstream motor insurers, for example, have started asking about non-motoring convictions, meaning we’ve had to take them off our specific list of motor insurers that didn’t ask about non-motoring convictions.

However, there are many other insurers that ask quite specific questions about convictions (e.g. convictions in the last 5 years). For these insurers, even if your conviction is unspent, if it was after this period, you do not need to disclose.

As a result, we’re in the process of reviewing our list of motor insurers, to identify more mainstream companies that do not ask about certain convictions. We’re also looking to produce a similar list of home insurers, providing details of companies that ask quite specific questions. If you come across any specific insurers that you think should be included in either of these, please let us know by emailing the details to

Money for nothing? Unspent convictions and insurance

We’ve taken part in a Radio 4 discussion about insurance and convictions. The piece can be listened to below. There is also a link to more information about the piece here.

Paying twice for crime – insurance and convictions

The Sunday Times have featured in their Money section a letter from somebody whose son is experiencing difficulties getting insurance. We spoke with the journalist last week, and provided her with some advice, which led to the person eventually finding some cover, and we’re featured in the published response (see below).


Sins of Omission – Ex-offenders get help on knowing when to own up to insurers

The Observer picked up on our launch of the Disclosure Calculator and featured this as an article, looking at how it will help people when applying for insurance. You can read the article below.


The Invisible Cell – How access to basic financial products can help overcome financial exclusion

We’ve written an article for the Co-op’s members magazine, Re:Act. It’s only sent out in hard copy, but we’ve taken some copies of the article and these are available below as images.





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