Recent government figures indicate that there are more than 8 million UK residents that have a criminal conviction and that by the age of 53 one in three men will have been convicted of an offence of some variety.
These offences can have major implications upon a person being granted insurance and unfortunately many people with past convictions are unaware of their legal obligations when they apply for an insurance policy.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) stated that insurers do not need to be informed of any convictions which are considered to be ‘spent’. The same applies to cautions, final warnings and reprimands. However, depending on the length and type of sentence, a conviction can be classed as ‘unspent’ for several years and in some cases forever.
These unspent convictions must be disclosed to the insurer when applying or, if insurance is already in place and the insurance contract explicitly requests it, when the conviction has been issued. Additionally, pending prosecutions and fixed penalty notices must also be disclosed to the insurer.
Many mainstream insurance companies will not offer insurance to individuals in possession of an unspent conviction. This also applies to policies taken out where a named driver or member of the household has an unspent conviction. Failure to disclose information about convictions at the time of application, or when it comes to renewing the policy, will invalidate the policy and any claims that may be made will also be refused.
However, anybody with an unspent conviction that is looking for insurance need not worry – there are other options available. We specialise in convicted persons insurance and have such a comprehensive insight into the industry that we are in the best position to help you in your search.
While the premiums for convicted persons insurance can be considerably higher than the premium for a standard policy from a mainstream insurer, there is little to no chance that the policy will be invalidated due to a failure to disclose information, thus giving applicants the peace of mind that no matter their past indiscretion they will be able to get the insurance policy they need.