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Convicted driver insurance FAQ

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Convicted driver insurance FAQ

Convicted driver insurance FAQ

What is convicted driver insurance?

This is motor insurance specially written for drivers with motoring convictions.

Why is a special type of insurance necessary?

If you have convictions for motoring offences, you are likely to find that some insurers may decline your proposal for cover and others may impose hefty additional premiums.

Their logic is that the driver with previous convictions has a higher probability not only of committing further offences but being involved in incidents giving rise to insurance claims.

How does convicted driver insurance differ?

This specialist type of insurance recognises that to err is human and that as far as possible drivers who have made mistakes in the past need not continue to be punished well into the future through the denial of cover or through paying a grossly inflated price for it.

That is the view we take here at GSI Insurance – we believe that every individual, including those with past motoring convictions, deserves the opportunity to arrange motor insurance at a reasonable and competitive price. In this connection, we have also published a detailed guide about convicted driver insurance.

For how long might I need it?

It is entirely reasonable to ask for long your past errors might be held against you by the general motor insurance industry.

After all, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 rules that a conviction becomes “spent” after a certain period of time (which varies according to the type of conviction), with the result that the rehabilitated offender is treated as though no charge had ever been made and no prosecution of sentence given. A spent conviction then does not need to be declared when making applications that require such a declaration.

Although the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act was amended as recently as 2014, it continues to make exceptions to the principles of spent convictions when it comes to motor insurance.

The charity which speaks on behalf of all offenders, Unlock, describes the way in which individuals may still be required by insurers to declare past convictions even though these are otherwise regarded as spent. All motoring offences – endorsements on your licence and even fixed penalty notices – typically have a minimum period of 5 years before they are regarded as spent.

Do I need to declare every motoring offence I have ever committed?

If the conviction remains unspent in the eyes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act – including any endorsement or conviction in at least the past five years – the law requires that you declare it to your insurer.

Once the conviction becomes spent – you are rehabilitated in the eyes of the law – there is theoretically no obligation to declare that conviction.

However, the law remains unclear about an insurer’s right to ask for details of all convictions, including those that have become spent. You may still be asked the question and the onus may be on you to establish just what information you are being asked to declare.

You can find out more information here.

What if I fail to declare a conviction?

If you fail to declare a conviction that has not been spent – or depending on the strict interpretation of the insurance contract you are signing, even convictions which have become spent – you run the risk of committing insurance fraud through that omission.

If fraud has been committed, your insurance cover is almost certain to be regarded by the insurer as invalid and you may face prosecution for the offence.

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