Domestic and economic abuse

Domestic and economic abuse are types of controlling behaviours that can leave the survivor-victim feeling trapped and helpless. If you believe it’s happening to you, we can help.

What does economic abuse look like?

Economic abuse (also known as financial abuse) is a type of domestic abuse where violence is not necessarily used. Instead, the perpetrator takes control over another's finances. They could be doing this to reduce independence, take advantage of them or make them reliant on the abuser.

You might be suffering from economic abuse at the hands of someone you have a relationship with. It could be a family member, carer or someone who has third party authority, like power of attorney.

It can be hard to spot. Economic abuse generally falls under 3 categories: restriction, exploitation and sabotage. Examples of this could be:

  • Restriction
    A husband and wife have a joint policy. The husband submits a claim and asks that the settlement be paid into his personal account. He’s insistent that he and his wife have a ‘traditional marriage’ where he handles the finances.

    He gets angry when we tell him we can only pay claims settlements for joint policies into joint bank accounts, unless we have express consent to do otherwise.
  • Exploitation
    An elderly customer has a home insurance policy. One day an individual calls and demands a refund. They put the customer on the phone to authorise this, but can be heard threatening them in the background.

    We’ll only ever issue refunds via the payment method originally used, and we never share customer information with unauthorised third parties.
  • Sabotage
    A customer calls to make a claim for a fire damaged house. They explain they’re going through a difficult separation with an abusive partner, who set light to the property.

    Keeping their new contact information hidden from their abuser is very important to them, which is why we always allocate a personal claim handler, who’ll be responsive to each customer’s needs.

    There are some circumstances where a claim handler can visit them in a safe place in person, if they need that extra level of personal support.

Getting help with domestic abuse

Domestic abuse, which also covers economic abuse, is a crime in the UK. You have certain rights under the law designed to protect you from harm perpetrated by an abuser.

You have every right to call the police and report your abuser’s behaviour. If you are in an emergency situation, call 999 immediately.

You can also use civil laws to protect yourself. Civil orders, like a Non-Molestation or Restraining Order can forbid your abuser from contacting you. These doesn’t require police involvement, but if your abuser breaks them it may be a criminal offence and they could be arrested.

How we can help

Please call us to let us know of your situation when you feel safe to talk.

We can apply a password to your policy. While we always complete security checks, this may provide extra reassurance that your information is safe.

We’ll make a note on your records to help keep you safe, which can include safe times to call. We’ll do our best to contact you during these hours.

Please be assured we never require a policyholder to speak to an abusive partner or ex-partner when cancelling a policy or removing them from a policy.

If the abusive policyholder refuses to be removed from the policy, we’ll help you remove your payment details from the current policy and set up a new solo policy for you.

We appreciate it can be hard sharing this kind of information, but if you let us know we’ll do everything we can to help.

Women can call The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 at any time, day or night.
Visit website (external link)

Men can call Men's Advice Line on 0808 8010 327 (Mon-Fri 10am to 8pm), or use their webchat (Wednesday 10am to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 4pm).
Visit website (external link)

The Women's Aid website can show you how to cover your tracks online.
Visit Women’s Aid (external link)

The UK Government has advice in different languages and accessible formats, including a sign language video.
Visit (external link)

Refuge is the largest UK domestic abuse organisation for women.
Visit Refuge (external link)