PersonalJuly 27, 2018

Insurance and criminal convictions – what you need to know

There are over 9 million people in the UK with a criminal conviction according to Unlock, a charity which exists to support those with convictions.

As of 2013, an alteration to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 meant that spent convictions no longer need be declared, even when asked on a form. A conviction is spent after a certain amount of time has elapsed. If you still have a criminal conviction, here’s what you need to know:

You only have to declare it when asked
If you’re convicted having already taken out the policy, you don’t need to declare this to your insurer until you renew, unless this is a specified in your insurance contract.

It’s important you do declare when asked
Having a criminal conviction doesn’t mean you won’t get insurance. Insurers need to know if there’s an increased risk as a result, and if you don’t inform them your insurer could cancel your cover and/or refuse to pay in the event of a claim.

You may be able to challenge a refusal
In some circumstances, you could challenge an insurer who has decided not to insure you because of your conviction. If you’re unable to settle this with the insurer directly, you can take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

A caution doesn’t need to be declared
Nor do reprimands, warnings or final warnings. These are not criminal convictions and are spent immediately.

A broker can help
Insurance brokers are familiar with how insurers assess risks and will also know of providers who are less likely to refuse cover. At The Insurance Centre we offer a free, no-obligation consultation where we can look at any unspent convictions you might have, and the options available to you.