The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued updated guidance to help insurers treat people with criminal convictions fairly and in compliance with the law. The Guide sets out high-level standards of how insurers should treat people with convictions or related offences.
The ABI Good Practice Guide: ’Insurers’ Approach to People with Convictions and Related Offences’ was first published in 2011 and updated in 2014 to reflect changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. While the Guide is voluntary, ABI members are encouraged to regularly review their products and processes to ensure that their approach is consistent with it, as well as in compliance with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements.
The Guide has been updated to reflect changes to the law, regulatory requirements and insurer market practice, and to take account of the findings of research and recommendations made by Unlock, a charity that supports people with convictions.
The Guide sets out that insurers should:
-Only ask about relevant unspent convictions (as opposed to spent convictions that do not have to be disclosed under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act), using explicit, clear, and concise questions.
– Make clear to customers the consequences of any misrepresentation or non-disclosure of criminal convictions that they have been asked to disclose.
-Ensure all relevant staff are appropriately trained on applicable legislation and regulations and are able to respond to consumer enquiries.
Mark Allen, Manager, Fraud and Financial Crime, ABI said:
“The industry recognises that some of the 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record may face challenges when trying to buy insurance. Insurers want to be as financially inclusive as possible, and this Guide will further help them treat those with criminal convictions fairly, including asking clear and concise questions where any unspent convictions may be relevant.”