Guide to home insurance for Ex-Offenders

If you’ve served time for breaking in to someone else’s home or been up before the courts for theft or dishonesty, most insurers will refuse to offer you home insurance.

Finding a company to take you on may be tricky, but not impossible.

The first place to start is the insurance industry guidelines for offering cover to anyone with a criminal conviction.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the National Association of Reformed Offenders (UNLOCK) agreed a set of rules to help former offenders buy insurance – including buildings and contents cover.

The guidelines are not binding on insurers. If they do not want to offer cover or loan the rate, they can, but they should point the way to another insurer that may be willing to help.

What the guidelines do say is offenders should be treated fairly, whatever their crime.

The key problem for an ex-offender, says UNLOCK, is the clause in the policy that says buyers must disclose ‘all material facts’ even if specific questions are not asked by the company.

That means confessing all or risking a rejected claim and the loss of any premiums later. Failing to do so might also be considered fraud if you are judged to be covering up your past to buy cheaper insurance than your true circumstances allowed.

The best way to do this is in writing. A telephone call is not enough as the person at the other end may not make a note of the conversation.

Spent convictions do not count.  A conviction is spent a number years after the court case, like an endorsement on a driving licence. Once spent, the company cannot take the conviction in to account even if they know about it from previous years.

Ex-offenders who have a claim rejected can complain to the insurer, and if the result is unsatisfactory, to the Financial Ombudsman.

If you are looking for home insurance with a criminal record visit the specialists at Quoteline Direct.

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