Case study – Jenny – The conviction of my husband haunted my insurance

Jenny contacted Unlock after she’d made a claim on her insurance:

“My car was stolen a year or so ago and my house was damaged as they smashed the window to steal the car keys. As a result, I had to have my locks changed overnight. I put in a claim to my insurers. The car insurance company paid out on the car no problem. However, my home insurers were more difficult. I made a claim for £235 for the locks and window replacement. As part of their routine questions at the claim stage, they asked whether anybody in the house had any criminal convictions. I told them that my husband had a conviction, which I had told my broker about when I had took the insurance out. I never concealed any kind of information from them, always answering questions honestly and openly.

 

They said that they had to go away and check, and came back saying that they didn’t have any record of my husband’s conviction, and that because of non-disclosure of a material fact, they were not paying out. I couldn’t prove my side of the story. They refunded all premiums paid from the point of renewal after when my husband got convicted. However, they also said that a previous claim that I had made, for around £1800 for a burst pipe in the bathroom, was also now void. They said that, because they were refunding my premiums, it amounted to me owing them £40. As a goodwill gesture, they said that they would not make me pay this. That really is like a slap in the face.

 

I now had to look for insurance. I was getting refused from everybody. Nobody seemed willing to look at our circumstances. Why should I be punished just because my partner has a conviction? Luckily, I managed to find insurance with the help of Unlock.”

Fortunately for Jenny, she’d followed our advice of getting proof of any disclosure you make to an insurance company. She came back to us a few months later with an update:

“With hindsight, things could have been a lot worse. 3 months into this new policy, I had to make a substantial claim against my property due to damage caused by subsidence. Fortunately, my insurance was able to cover me. However, if it hadn’t been for the help of Unlock, I would be left to foot the bill – all because my husband made a silly mistake.

 

Insurers should look at each individual’s circumstances before tarnishing everybody with the same brush. I accept that they may not want to insure somebody with a record of fraud, but at the moment they just refuse to cover anybody.”

 

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s Helpline.

Important links relating to this case study include information on insurance.

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

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