Convicted driver insurance is a particular form of motor insurance for drivers who have been convicted of any type of motoring offence.
Drivers who have any form of conviction for a motoring offence are required to declare that fact to an insurer if requested at the time of application for cover or if the conditions of the policy demand such disclosure.
Why do convictions need to be disclosed?
Insurers typically regard the motorist who has a previous conviction or convictions to be a greater risk. The more serious the offence for which the driver has been convicted, the greater the risk an insurer generally considers that person to be and the more likely, therefore, that the insurer may have to settle a claim or claims arising from motoring accidents.
As far as insurers are concerned, therefore, your history of motoring convictions is considered to be a material fact.
The insurer’s response to the disclosure of previous motoring convictions is likely to be one of three
- reject the individuals cover for application out of hand;
- impose a higher than normal premium; or
- impose specific conditions relating to the use of the vehicle by the insured.
If your history of motoring convictions is something likely to make it difficult for you to secure insurance at what you consider to be a fair and reasonable price, you may be tempted simply not to inform the insurer.
Failure to disclose a material fact or to lie about your convictions is likely to be regarded by the insurer as fraud. It might be regarded as grounds on which to sue you and is almost certainly likely to lead to any insurance that was extended to be cancelled forthwith.
If your dishonesty about your history of convictions is discovered at the time you are making a claim, then the claim is likely to be rejected and you are going to be landed with the bill for making good any loss or damage yourself.
Convicted driver insurance
There are some insurers – such as those of us at GSI Insurance – who take a somewhat more relaxed attitude in believing that motoring convictions do not necessarily make you a bad driver.
We make it our business, therefore, to help drivers with convictions to arrange the kind of motor insurance that other providers may decline to offer.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for convicted drivers. Motoring convictions – just like the majority of criminal convictions – are not intended to hang around your neck for the rest of your life.
Thanks to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 – as amended most recently in March of 2014 – convictions are ultimately considered to be spent. In effect, says this Act, the offender has served his or her penalty, has been obliged to disclose it when asked for a certain period of time, but no longer needs to do so. At that point, there is no longer any obligation to disclose the fact of a previous conviction and the individual is to be treated to all intents and purposes as though the offence had never been committed.
In the case of most motoring convictions, the period of time before a conviction is regarded as spent is 5 years.
It is important to remember that your obligation to disclose a conviction applies only to unspent convictions.
Check out our new Guide to insurance for convicted driver insurance for further reading.