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Top tips to get lower premiums if you have a criminal conviction

It might prove difficult getting insurance if you have a criminal conviction. If you have one or more motoring convictions, for instance, you may find it difficult to arrange motor insurance. If you have been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty or for arson, you may find it difficult to get home insurance.

Rightly or wrongly, many insurers take the view that previous convictions such as these may increase the risk of your transgressions in future and adjust the cover they are prepared to offer as a result.

If you manage to find an insurer prepared to extend the cover you need, you are likely to have to pay a higher price for the premiums.

But there are ways of overcoming such obstacles – and here at GSI Insurance we are eager for you to do just that. What is it likely to take?

Specialist brokers

Although many insurers might penalise you for a past criminal conviction, there are others who take a more liberal view and recognise that, whatever may have happened in the past, you still need cover today – whether for your car, your home, or any other risk or peril.

Home in to such specialist brokers – such as those of us here at GSI Insurance – therefore, and you might find those few insurers who are more than content to put the past behind and extend the cover you need now.

The better you are able to demonstrate that things have changed – because there are no further convictions and no more insurance claims – of course, the better your chances of securing the criminal convictions insurance you need. By building up such a period during which no claims need to be made, you are likely to be contributing to the kind of no claims discount which may significantly reduce the cost of your premiums.

Alternatively, you might choose to show any insurer that you are prepared to shoulder a greater proportion of any risks yourself. The conventional way of demonstrating that sharing of the risks is to accept a higher voluntary excess on your policy – since the excess effectively represents an uninsured risk, one which the insurer no longer needs to cover, with the overall result that a lower premium may be charged.

Limitations on your convictions

Although you are obliged to declare to any insurer those convictions which might bear some relevance to the calculation of risk – on the principle of your demonstrating “utmost good faith” in the declaration of all material facts – there is nevertheless a moratorium on the kind of convictions you are obliged to declare.

After a certain period of time, any conviction is legally considered to be “spent”, according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974 (ROA).

This legislation gives recognition to the fact that, after a given period of time, you may be regarded as having paid sufficient penalty for any conviction, and henceforth be treated as though it had never taken place.

Spent convictions do not need to be disclosed to any potential insurer and a helpful calculator of just when any particular conviction may be regarded as spent is available on the website of the charity for people with criminal convictions, Unlock.

Finally, read our Guide to insurance for people with a criminal conviction for more information.

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