The 10 minutes slot this week was presented by Dave Child from SIS (Sale Insurance Services) Ltd.
Dave has been dealing in non standard insurance for more than 30 years, the last 12 years of which has been specifically for businesses and people with IVA’s, discharged or non-discharged bankrupts as well as anyone with a criminal conviction.
Dave commented: “Hardly any insurance company were providing cover for this very large group of people. Sale Insurance Services (SIS) was set up 12 years ago with a mission to change this.
“So many times I was hearing about businesses and sole traders that had gone to the wall due to recession or cash flow. Often, through no fault of their own, many individuals and their families were penalised for this as no insurers were offering cover to individuals, who just wanted to build a fresh business and were looking for cover to enable them to trade. People were damned if they disclosed their past and damned if they didn’t!
“Eventually we got in front of the right people and from there SIS began offering non-standard motor insurance at an affordable price. This quickly extended to cover every conceivable enquiry, and we now have underwriting authority for motor and home as well as public liability & professional indemnity for anyone wanting to get on with their business life as well as protecting their families.
“The irony now is that we have proved over the last 12 years that so called “ex-offenders” and people with adverse financial histories are less likely to make a claim, or embellish a claim on their policies, and as a result we make more profit for our panel of insurers. This is how we’ve slowly been able to earn the trust of the underwriters who have in turn extended our facilities to our customers so that we can now offer all types of insurance cover.”
One of the biggest problems in arranging insurance for people with historical issues was the act of disclosure. At the end of all insurance forms a simple “catch-all” statement reminding the customer to disclose “all material fact” had been the industry standard for the last 300 years. The onus was squarely on the insured party to declare any past issue or conviction at the time of taking out the policy – whether they considered it relevant or not.
The sad fact being that if a claim had to be made and their insurer uncovered a previous issue, such as a financial problem or un-spent conviction, this would often result in the claim being denied. To compound the customer’s plight further, the insurer would then void their policy, which in itself is a negative factor for any prospective new insurer.
The government considered this was unfair as the customer would argue that their past history had no bearing on the particular claim, or indeed their initial application.
As a result of this, a change in legislation came into effect in April 2012. The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 has abolished the “duty of disclosure”. The days of “utmost good faith” is no more. Simply put: Don’t ask – don’t tell. If the insurer doesn’t ask if you have previous convictions, refusals or anything for that matter, you no longer have a duty to tell them or offer any information – to disclose anything.
We welcomed this new legislation because so often we hear of people having their claims “kicked out” on the grounds that they did not disclose a conviction or financial issue, when in fact they may not have been asked!
SIS has made a big impact in this sector of the insurance marketplace. They have been voted “specialist risk” broker of the year at the “Insurance Times” awards, and continue to offer affordable cover for anyone just simply wanting to earn a living.
If you’d like to get in touch with SIS they can be contacted on
0161 969 6040,
or by email: