Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Insurance And Your Unspent Convictions
The impact of an unspent criminal conviction on your home insurance
When you have unspent criminal convictions, it can be hard to get home insurance. Many insurers impose a blanket ban on anyone with an unspent conviction, even in cases where the conviction has no relevance to insurance matters. This can make the search for convictions insurance extremely frustrating, but it is imperative that you disclose all unspent convictions when making your applications. Failure to disclose can leave you in a very precarious position should you need to make a claim, so avoid this by being upfront about everything.
Failure to disclose an unspent criminal conviction
The danger you face by not disclosing an unspent conviction, is that your insurer will refuse to pay (or demand re-payment) should they discover your non-disclosure. This could leave you out of pocket, or it could leave you homeless, depending on the size of the claim. Because you are required to disclose all "material facts" to your insurer, if you do not then they may be able to refuse or avoid your claim. The best way to make sure this doesn't happen, is to disclose everything that might be relevant to your application (whether the insurer asks you to, or not) when you take out criminal insurance.
Rules regarding the disclosure of an unspent criminal conviction
When it comes to unspent convictions, the rules can be more than a little confusing. If your conviction is spent, then you do not have to disclose it, even if asked about it directly. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) if you accidentally disclose a spent conviction, then the insurer is required to ignore it and treat your application as though no disclosure had been made. When applying for criminal convictions insurance online, it can sometimes be difficult to progress an application without ticking a certain box; for this reason you may find yourself having to lie in order to avoid disclosing your spent convictions.
The current legislation
Though this is obviously not a desirable way of doing things, the current legislation forces you to take such measures. Where your conviction is unspent, the last thing you should do is lie about it in your application for criminal convictions insurance. An unspent conviction is regarded as a material fact and, according to the principles of "the utmost good faith", all material facts must be disclosed to the insurer whether they ask you about them or not. This is true not just for convictions, but for things like previous claims and whether your home is at a high risk from flooding or subsidence too.
Most standard insurers will not or cannot offer you insurance if you have unspent convictions. This is true no matter what you have been convicted for and is largely because they do not have the capability to understand the relevant risk associated with your previous offences. This is not the case with homeprotect. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for convictions insurance even if your convictions are unspent. We guarantee that your application will be treated fairly and that you will always be treated with the respect you deserve.