Case study – Barney – The discrimination I faced by insurers following my conviction was a real eye opener

Barney contacted our helpline after encountering problems getting insurance due to his criminal record.

Barney explained that he was a student counsellor in his final year of study. He had just obtained membership of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) but needed to get professional indemnity insurance in order to practice. He had contacted several insurance companies and had been unable to get a policy due to his unspent conviction. He was extremely concerned that having worked hard to qualify he wouldn’t be able to practice in his chosen field.

The helpline advisor firstly took the details of Barney’s conviction to confirm that it was unspent and did need to be disclosed. Having established that it was still unspent the advisor provided Barney with Unlock’s list of commercial insurance brokers.

Barney got back in touch the next day to say:

“As soon as I put the phone down I immediately contacted one of the brokers on the list and have already received a competitive quote. It has been an eye opener for me to witness such a level of discrimination across the insurance industry, the effect of which has been devastating. Unlock and the broker really made my day.


Getting an insurance policy with an unspent conviction can be difficult and for many years Unlock have been working to raise the profile of financial exclusion amongst people with convictions and their families. As part of this work we continue to develop a list of non-discriminatory insurance providers who offer both personal and commercial policies.


Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Published September 2021.

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