Car Insurance with Criminal Conviction Explained

car criminal convictionHow many motorists have a criminal record?

It’s difficult to get accurate figures on the number of motorists with a criminal record, but you’re certainly not alone. A recent FOI request revealed that more than 11million people have a criminal record which is approximately 20% of the adult population. Given that there are 45.5million active driving licences in the country, there could be as many as 10million motorists with a criminal record. The leading advocacy group Unlock has calculated there are nearly three quarters of a million individuals with unspent criminal convictions in England and Wales.

Why is car insurance more expensive for motorists with a criminal record?

One of the main reasons that ex-offenders face higher car insurance premiums is due to a lack of competition. Most of the ‘big name’ insurance providers simply aren’t interested and either flatly refuse cover or charge prohibitively high premiums. Less competition means higher costs and ex-offenders have to pay the price.

While some criminal convictions (such as motoring offences or fraud) have an obvious impact on risk, it perhaps seems ‘unfair’ that others (such as trespassing or littering) are also judged to be risk factors.  Nevertheless, insurance providers often cite statistics showing that motorists with any criminal history are more likely to be involved in a claim. It’s a short-sighted approach and explains why it pays to work with a specialist broker.

Do I have to declare criminal convictions when getting a car insurance quote?

It’s a simple question with a slightly complicated answer. In 2013 changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act shifted the responsibility to disclose spent criminal convictions from the applicant to the insurer. On a practical level it means if you aren’t asked about spent convictions, you don’t have to declare them. Unspent criminal convictions (and ongoing prosecutions) must legally be disclosed or you risk invalidating cover and could be committing fraud. Either way, it’s essential to read the policy small-print before taking out cover.

How do I know if a criminal conviction has been spent?

Unlock have developed an online disclosure calculator which allows individuals to check when convictions become ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It’s worth noting that convictions resulting in a custodial sentence of 4 or more years can never be spent and must always be declared when applying for car insurance.

Can I get car insurance with a motoring conviction?

Finding sensibly-priced car insurance with a motoring conviction is difficult, but it’s not impossible. Risk plays a big part in determining car insurance costs and you can expect to pay significantly more than someone with a clean licence. However, if you find the right broker, your premiums needn’t break the bank.

Is there anything else I need to know about getting car insurance with a criminal record?

It’s important to understand that the regulations surrounding the disclosure of criminal convictions apply to all drivers named on a policy – including partners and children.

How can I find a reliable broker specialising in car insurance with a criminal record?

With nearly 50 years’ experience, Quoteline Direct is an insurance broker you can really trust. We treat all our customers as individuals and we are here to help; not to judge. Once we have found out about your individual circumstances, we will phone around our panel of specialist providers to find you the best deal. We sincerely believe that once you have paid your debt to society, you shouldn’t keep being punished. To find out more or to request a quote visit our car insurance with criminal convictions page or Tel: 0161 874 8029 to speak with a member of our team.


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