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Briefing for insurers on criminal convictions

Back in late January, we took part in a briefing event for the insurance industry on criminal convictions and insurance.

In our day-to-day work, and especially through our helpline, we regularly come across examples of poor practice by insurers. Whether it’s a poor understanding of when convictions become spent, insurers insisting that spent convictions need to be disclosed or claims handlers telling those who make a claim that they have to provide their full police record. All of these are situations that people with convictions regularly face. We want to put a stop to this kind of practice.

That’s why we were pleased to take part in the event in January, hosted by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). We had three main aims:

  1. To help insurers’ understanding of disclosure periods for offences under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  2. To promote good practice when asking for criminal records
  3. To provide guidance to insurers on the proper channels for accessing unspent conviction histories

It was good to see a number of big insurers represented, and it’s clear that there’s a lot more work to do.

We’ve published the briefing that we prepared for the event. We’re also reviewing the questions that insurance companies ask and are working on those examples that we come across that are misleading.

Ultimately, we want to see insurers take a fairer approach towards people with convictions.


Written by Christopher Stacey, Co-Director of Unlock


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