Prison Radio Interview with SIS Insurance


SIS Insurance now sponsor National Prison Radio.  The Prison Radio Association is a multi award-winning charity that aims to encourage prisoner involvement in the production of radio programming and to increase awareness of the advice, support services and opportunities available to prisoners and their families.

The National Prison Radio Service requested an interview with SIS Insurance to discuss the difficulties ex-offenders face in obtaining insurance for their car, home or business.

You can read the transcript of Prison Radio’s interview with David Child, Head of Sale Insurance Services below.

SIS provide car, home, liability and commercial insurance for ex-offenders.  If you have a criminal record and need insurance, call us now, we can help.

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Interview transcript with Nation Prison Radio:

Q:  Lots of people who come out of prison say they find it very difficult to get insurance as many companies will not provide insurance for ex-offenders  - first of all – can you tell us what exactly insurance is? Why do people need insurance? 

A:  Insurance is a guaranteed compensation for a specified loss, damage, theft etc. in return for a premium.  People need insurance for their car because it’s a legal requirement and to use or drive a car without cover will result in a fine and points on your licence but could also get the individual recalled back to prison. The problem facing the 8 million or so people with an unspent criminal conviction is that some brokers, on and off line, make it easy to non disclose. However, as many companies do not provide insurance for ex-offenders, if you do disclose your conviction, many insurers simply won’t quote. We feel that you shouldn’t have to lie to buy. Property insurance is very important because the lender requires written proof that the buildings they’re lending money out on is covered. 

Q:  Why do some companies refuse to provide insurance to ex-offenders? 

A:  Most companies prefer not to provide insurance to ex-offenders because they feel there is a higher risk and a moral risk and the chances of receiving a claim will be higher. Our management information tells a different story. Our statistics show a much better level of profitability from ex-offenders than “clean risk” people. Our aim is to open up the world of insurance to all people with any conviction.

Q:  For how long does someone have to declare their criminal conviction?

A:  For prison or young offenders institute, if the sentence is less than 6 months, the rehabilitation period is 7 years.  For a 6-30 months sentence, the period is 10 years and for a sentence of 30 months or longer, the rehabilitation period is for life.  For community service or probation, it is 5 years and for absolute discharge, the figure is 6 months.

Q:  What impact does it have on a person coming out of prison if it’s a struggle to get even the most basic insurance?

A:  It means most of the 8 million ex-offenders have to be dishonest in order to drive a car, get a job, mortgage or travel insurance. Exclusion from insurance can have serious emotional, social and economic consequences for the individual, their family and society as a whole. 

Q:  Things are a bit different with your company SIS insurance aren’t they? You take a different approach? 

A:  Lots of people out there understand the need to disclose their conviction. Those people who come to us are willing to be truthful and honest about their past and we have many examples where we have quoted a cheaper price than their previous insurer who were not even aware they had a criminal conviction! 

Q:  So what would you say to people coming out about getting specialist insurance? How important is it for people to get insurance and how do they make contact with you? 

A:  For all the reasons I’ve mentioned today. Remember, we may be able to save you money even when you disclose your past. This is possible on motor, home and liability. We can even help arrange life cover, pension and mortgages too.

Q:  You run a business so there’s obviously financial gain in this for you – how can prisoners be sure that they can trust you?

A:   Inside Time (the UK’s largest publication for prisoners and their families) initially refused to deal with SIS because they doubt the integrity of all insurers. We demonstrated that we had the knowledge and understanding, integrity, facilities and transparency to help their readers obtain cover without premium loading through our growing panel of insurers. We remain their only insurer/broker allowed to be featured. Our insurance for ex-offenders scheme has also won insurance awards.

Q:  So tell us a bit more about what you offer? 

A:  We have the backing of many big insurers, including Lloyds. We have facilities to quote for all types of policies and we are able to cover serving prisoners on Temporary Licence.

Q:  And finally – we wanted to say a big thank you for your support – SIS insurance fund the publication of our schedule so it’s down to you that people can receive the timetable every month - we know people appreciate it because we’ve had loads more letters since it’s been going out.   Why did you decide to support national prison radio in this way? 

A:  We heard that the MOJ (Ministry of Justice) had withdrawn their promise to provide funding for the printing of the PRA Time Table – so we stepped in and covered the cost ourselves, along with Gema Records and Inside Times.