Uk Ex Offenders Is Lack Of Insurance Holding You Back?

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Submitted by: Marilyn Wisbey

There are approximately eight million people in the UK with a criminal conviction. You’ve paid your fine or served your time and think you’ve paid your debt to society. It’s time to think again…

Now you have the label Ex offender , have you really thought about what it means?

Those living through the battle with discrimination, red tape and small print know that no matter how much you try to live a normal life and contribute as a useful society member, your punishment does not end until your conviction is spent. For some, that day will never come.

As an ex offender:

* you may not be able to follow certain career paths,

* you must declare both spent and unspent convictions for other professions,

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* you will struggle to open a bank account and be excluded from some financial services,

* you must declare your unspent convictions to your insurance providers.

In the UK, spent convictions are covered by The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which is a vast and complex piece of legislation. Convictions become spent from anywhere between five years for most fines, to never for periods of imprisonment over two and a half years. This is halved if the offender was under eighteen at the time of conviction.

The insurance issue is a major problem as it affects all areas of the ex offender’s life.

Given that there are eight million people in the UK with a criminal conviction and that most of these people have families, many have jobs, some rent accommodation, then the scale of the problem starts to become apparent.

As soon as you receive your conviction and go home, your house insurance is invalid. It doesn’t matter if you are the policyholder or not, own the house, rent or live with your parents or a partner, your insurance provider must be informed.

You have a job, that’s great. Has your employer informed his or her insurance provider?

You have a vehicle to get to and from your job, have you informed your insurance provider?

Can’t get a job and decided to go self-employed, you need public liability insurance by law have you informed your insurance broker?

So now you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Many of the larger insurance brokers will not provide insurance for ex offenders, and those that do ramp up their policy prices so high it becomes practically impossible to afford.

If you don’t declare your unspent criminal convictions and a claim is made, then the insurer will likely discover that fact during their investigation and can avoid the policy. What that means in simple terms is the policy is treated as though it never existed in the first place and the insurer will not pay the claim.

The problem is further exacerbated because many of the charities and organisations who work with ex offenders are also not aware of the extent of the problem. Wrong advice is often given. It is not just your personal insurance policies that are affected. A criminal conviction is a material fact that must be declared for any insurance policy that affects you.

There is a solution…

Many ex offenders are worried about declaring their unspent convictions because of the above issues. It may come as a surprise to you that there are specialist insurance brokers out there who can and will help you get insurance at a fair price.

About the Author: Obtaining ex offender insurance no longer needs to be one of the issues holding you back. As an ex offender who has gone through the masses of small print and red tape, I know the issues involved. You can read more about insurance and contact a

specialist insurance advisor

directly and in confidence on my blog


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