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Insurance policy assumptions


Insurance policy assumptions

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Mintaka
Mintaka
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I am just renewing my house insurance with Aviva as their quote is still competitive but the newly designed website asks for a yes/no answer to the following assumptions.

Assumptions
In order to make our insurance as simple as possible for the majority of our customers we have based this renewal on a few assumptions. Please read through these and tell us if the assumptions we have made are correct:
·   You or your partner do not have one of the following occupations: Professional entertainer, professional sportsperson, student, childminder, jeweller or antique dealer
·   The home is not used for any business purposes
·   The home has never suffered from flooding
·   The home has not suffered from subsidence, heave or landslip damage
·   No person to be insured has ever had any criminal convictions, police cautions or have any prosecutions pending
·   No person to be insured has ever had insurance refused, cancelled or offered with terms imposed
·   The property is not listed
·   The home is not used as a holiday home or weekend home
·   The home does not have a thatched roof
Your policy will be based on the above criteria and the answers to the questions you have supplied. Please select the relevant option below to continue.
Are all of the assumptions correct to the best of your knowledge and belief?


I have highlighted one question in red that will irritate many reading this post, but several other questions are vague and sloppily worded. For example, " The home is not used for any business purposes". In fact, the policy includes "occasional office work" and actually offers cover for office equipment.

I have searched their website for clarification of the "assumptions", but no further information seems available.


Who said life was going to be easy?



Well, who said life was going to be easy?

doug
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I just find it annoying that having a criminal record, whatever it may be, means you have to pay more for your insurance or you are not offered any at all. Surely the insurance you are going for should be assessed against the risk. Having a conviction does not mean you are more of a risk, it just means you have been punished for your crime and you have moved on with your crime free life.
How many people are there with insurance who have committed offences, but never been convicted, are not penalised.
Perhaps a question on insurance application forms should be. "If you or your partner have no convictions, but have committed an offence for which you would of received a conviction, please can you give details?

Because every one is a risk when it comes to insurance. Having a conviction does not make you riskier.
CC
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Hi try LV if conviction is more than 5 years old. I used to be with Aviva and they didn't used to ask. Found LV cheaper anyway. Interestingly is it not the house that's insured here and not a person :p So as long as your house hasn't a record that's fine presumably lol
The Pineapple Thief
The Pineapple Thief
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BenS, The insurance companies aren't asking about spent or unspent convictions. They are making assumptions based on the fact that the majority of the population has no convictions (spent or otherwise - the distinction is irrelevant) that use their websites to provide a quote.

You're correct that insurers (and employers for that matter) aren't entitled to know about spent convictions but they aren't asking anyone to disclose them!!


I haven't stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!



I havent stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!
The Pineapple Thief
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I think I need to clarify what the insurance companies are doing - and I should reiterate that what they are stating is quite legal and above board.

When you submit quotes to insurance companies, they ask the basic details to get a basic quote. They then calculate a price made on a number of assumptions. I've put it in bold to emphasise the word. This enables the algorithms that calculate the risk to be fairly simple and to give you, the potential customer a tempting competitive quote. It is once you proceed that you are asked the all important question about convictions. How that question is worded is usually (I'll always put in a caveat) correct and legal and phrased as "Have you any unspent convictions?".

If you took out insurance based on the initial assumptions and did not disclose any unspent conviction then you would be the one committing the offence, not the insurance company.

That said, Pinkfur, I think your insurance company may well need to update their question on their website...


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The Pineapple Thief
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BenS

The OP isn't being asked about spent or unspent convictions. They are giving a quote based on the assumption that the OP has no convictions at all in which case spent or unspent is irrelevent. It's only at the next step that the relevance of spent or unspent convictions applies and the OP hasn't mentioned any of that.

With regards to Pinkfur's issue, I agree that that question shouldn't be asked like that.

theoldbag, Your questions were very OTT and I don't think they are 'normal procedure'. That said, The insurers will have raised your premium based on risk with that risk being supposedly heightened by your relative's conviction. To be an insurer you need to believe that people still run around with pitchforks yelling "Burn the witch" and raise the premium accordingly because they believe the pitchfork wielding maniacs will target your relative.


I haven't stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!



I havent stolen any Pineapples, but they are a great prog rock band!
Square
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You need to remember that insurance companies can only make money by not paying out. I believe that this is why they use 'assumptions'. They take your money, but are able to find a way of dismissing your claim if you need to make one.

I have never made a claim in my life. After an acrimonious run-in with the police I now, after years of being in the lowest insurance bands, struggle to get insured.

There are ways, of course. Just keep looking and go through with the quote and the buying procedure untill you hit that barrier. I was surprised by some of the big names nt making assumptions!
BenS
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Hi Pinkfur,

You do not have to disclose any spent convictions for insurance purposes.

Insurance companies are not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and therefore have no right to ask about spent convictions. They would also be breaking the law if they refused a policy/claim due to a spent conviction. The question should specify spent convictions, rather than just any convictions.

Legally, for the purpose of filling in an insurance form, you have no convictions.

I would recommend contacting Unlock and getting them to contact the insurance company in question to tell them that they have no legal right to ask this question and that they must change its wording.
BenS
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Pineapple Thief (or anyone else who knows),

I understand what you mean and correct me if I'm wrong, but - policy assumptions or not - I thought insurance companies were not entitled to know about spent convictions because they're not exempt from the ROA.

If insurers are not allowed to know about spent convictions, then why should they make assumptions based on them? It looks like they are trying to wriggle their way around the ROA and they should be told that this is not on.

If someone not exempt from the ROA asks you about unspent convictions (which they're not allowed to do), and you have a spent conviction but not an unspent one, then to my knowledge you have a legal right to answer "no", because they have no legal right to ask/know. Apologies if this is not the case and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
BenS
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Hi Pineapple Thief,

Of course all you say is true, but in this case it seems the OP has no unspent convictions, and the insurer is asking about all convictions, which it has no right to do and is bloody bad form.

Sure, failing to disclose an unspent conviction when asked is an offence. But in this case the OP has only a spent conviction and so is legally protected by the ROA and does not need to disclose it. It would be the insurer committing an offence for denying service based on a spent conviction.

I'm sure insurers have expensive legal advisors and I'm sure they know what they're doing when they omit to add the word "unspent" to the question about convictions. They are trying to scare people with spent convictions into declaring them (when they absolutely should not have to) so that their premium will be more expensive.

For my two cents, I think anyone who asks about spent convictions for no good reason (i.e. not ROA-exempt) should be convicted, so they can see what it's like having a conviction and can understand why the ROA is sacrosanct and makes people incredibly angry when they are pressured to declare convictions that they have no legal obligation to disclose.

I honestly believe most companies who wrongly omit "unspent" are fully aware of what they're doing, it's not an innocent accident, recruiters and HR departments know all about the ROA and are lying if they claim not to know about spent and unspent convictions and their right to ask about them.

Post Edited (BenS) : 13/06/2016 09:24:48 (GMT+2)


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