Getting insurance if you have a criminal conviction

Money Advice Service

You no longer have to declare any ‘spent criminal convictions’ when applying for insurance. Your insurance company has to ask the necessary questions to work out if they can provide insurance for you.

What counts as a criminal conviction?

A criminal conviction can be anything from a prison sentence to a fine for littering or a speeding conviction – all types of offence count, however minor.

  • Only unspent convictions matter. Even if asked, you do not have to disclose any convictions that are spent. Convictions become ‘spent’ a certain time after the date of conviction, and after that they’re not allowed to count against you. That’s the law according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • You might be asked about the convictions of everyone covered by the insurance, such as your partner, children or grandchildren. If it’s home insurance, that’s everyone who lives in the house.
  • Simple cautions, reprimands and final warnings are spent immediately and do not need to be disclosed as these are not criminal convictions.

Is your conviction spent?

If your conviction is spent, you don’t need to declare it when you apply for insurance.

You can find out whether your conviction is spent either by:

  • Using an online calculator from Unlock
  • Checking through the list of conviction types on the Unlock website

When do you have to declare unspent convictions?

  • You only have to disclose convictions if you’re asked.
  • Always get written confirmation of any convictions you’ve disclosed
  • If you’re not asked directly, check whether the terms and conditions mention convictions
  • If you get a conviction during a policy you don’t have to declare it until you renew the insurance, unless your policy specifically says that you must.

What could happen if you don’t disclose convictions when asked?

If you deliberately don’t disclose your convictions when asked by the insurance company, your insurance could be invalid.

If you’ve made a claim, the insurance company can ask for the money back.

Sometimes these things happen because the insurance company didn’t explain things clearly.

If that’s the case, you might be able to get this resolved.

Where to get insurance if you have a conviction

One of the best places to start is with an insurance broker.

Brokers can seek out the right insurance for your circumstances – and it’s free to get quotes through them.

Alternatively, you could search the database of insurance brokers on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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