Guilty by association: why families of convicts face higher insurance premiums
There are 9.2 million people in the UK with criminal convictions, with 1 in 3 men having a conviction by the age of 53. Yet, there are millions more people affected in the families of offenders, even after they have been released home.
Parents and spouses of offenders are suffering financial penalties by association alone, without having done anything wrong themselves. Often, the families affected are exposed to financial difficulties once their loved ones have been sent down and this is exacerbated by the dramatic rise in insurance premiums; and that’s if they can get a quote at all.
Gordon Dewar, managing director of the Salvation Army General Insurance Corporation says in their publication The War Cry: “This can result, for example, in a wife either not being able to insure the family home, because of her husband’s record, or being asked to pay much higher premiums or increased excesses […] If the husband is struggling to find work, the bigger bills put the whole family under extra pressure.”
“They should not have to pay for crimes they have not committed. They have suffered enough.”
Families aren’t only affected when an ex-convict is released either. Many people have found that their premiums have risen from the moment their family member was sent down; despite the risk level presumably decreasing at this point.
Declaring a conviction
Many families of current and former prisoners aren’t aware that they need to declare this fact to their insurers. This means that if something does happen to your home or car in the meantime, you may find that your policy is no longer valid because of this undisclosed information. If you do have a partner or child who has an unspent conviction, it’s essential that you disclose this to your insurer. Once a conviction has become spent, it cannot be used against ex-offenders or their families.
Unfortunately, many insurers have a flat ban on people with unspent convictions, which can put mortgages and security at risk. This is often most prevalent when you try to obtain a quote online or through an insurer which only offers ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies.
At Watkin Davies we know that there’s more to the story than a tick in a box. We specialise in arranging tailored protection which looks at you as an individual on a case-by-case basis. Whether you want to get a quote for Home Insurance, Motor Insurance or something else, we can help arrange fair cover from the right insurer.