Will I be refused home insurance if I have a criminal record?


Finding affordable home insurance when you have a criminal conviction can be a challenge. But there are plenty of people who find themselves in that situation.
More than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record. And there are more than 730,000 people with unspent convictions. That’s a lot of people who have made a mistake, but have now moved on and want to get on with their lives. When doing everyday things such as arranging home insurance becomes a total headache, moving on with life isn’t that simple.
However, while getting home insurance when you have a criminal conviction can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. There might be lots of insurance companies that won’t provide cover to people with a spent criminal conviction, but there are also plenty of insurance providers that will.
If you have a criminal record and are looking for home insurance, it just means finding the right insurance provider. And that’s where a specialist home insurance broker like Insurance Choice can help.

What does having a criminal record have to do with home insurance?

When you start looking for home insurance, prospective providers will always ask you a number of questions. That’s just one part of how they assess the risks associated with the cover.
Some of those questions will be relatively straightforward. But others will be more probing, asking whether you’ve had any criminal convictions in the past five years or so.
In the eyes of the insurer, someone with a criminal conviction potentially poses a higher risk.
Of course, not all convictions are equal. For example, if you have been fined for not having a TV licence, you may not be deemed a high risk and your home insurance premiums might not be particularly affected. However, you will likely be seen by insurers as a greater risk if you have previously been convicted of insurance fraud, for example.
Answering yes to a question about having a criminal conviction will mean some insurers may reject the application. It may also mean that the cost of home insurance is more expensive.
However, if you do your research and look at all your options, chances are you will find an affordable home insurance policy. Insurance Choice compares a number of insurance providers and specialises in finding non-standard home insurance cover at great prices if you’ve got a criminal record.

Is declaring your criminal convictions to insurers a fair system?

On one hand, you have the mainstream insurers with a blanket ban on insuring people with unspent convictions. On the other, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the idea ex-offenders pose a higher risk is simply untrue.
Insurers cite vigilantism, arson and potential reoffending to justify why people with a criminal record are deemed higher risk. However, research shows that those with a stable job, home and lifestyle are far less likely to reoffend. At Insurance Choice, we can help you find the insurers who are happy to insure people with a criminal record with non-standard home insurance premiums you can afford.

Do I need to tell insurers about my criminal conviction?

It always pays to be honest when arranging home insurance cover, so when asked if you have a criminal record you need to tell the truth. However, you should also be aware that if your conviction is ‘spent’, you do not need to mention it.
Thanks to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, finding home insurance when you have a criminal conviction is a little easier.
This makes the distinction between unspent and spent convictions. Spent convictions refer to situations where a law-abiding ex-offender has paid their debt to society (either through a prison sentence or paying a penalty) and, after a period of time, the slate is wiped clean.
If you are convicted of an offence and receive a fine, your conviction remains unspent for one year. If you are convicted and sentenced to four years or more in prison, your conviction will never be spent.
You are required to disclose all unspent convictions. That includes the unspent criminal convictions of anyone living in the house – partner, family members or friends.
When it comes to declaring unspent convictions, you should remember:
·        Only disclose unspent convictions if you are asked
·        Always get written confirmation of any convictions you have declared
·        If you get a conviction during a policy you don’t have to declare it until you renew your insurance, unless your policy says otherwise.

For more information and to check whether a criminal conviction in England and Wales is spent or unspent you can go to Unlock’s theCalculator.

What could happen if I don’t declare a conviction?

If you fail to disclose an unspent criminal conviction and need to make a claim, you could find that your insurance policy is no longer valid if your insurer discovers your conviction.
This could be seen as misrepresentation – or even insurance fraud. Any claim that you attempt to make will be rejected. Or if the insurer has already paid out, they could ask for the money back.

Getting non-standard home insurance when you have a criminal record

Don’t be tempted to be untruthful about your criminal convictions when looking for home insurance. Instead, speak with a home insurance specialist such as Insurance Choice who can compare non-standard insurance cover for anyone with a criminal conviction.
When arranging home insurance when you have a criminal record, it is important not to compromise on the cover that you need. We work with a number of specialist insurers who recognise that getting good value home insurance is as important for those with a criminal record as it is for those without.
We understand that every one of our customers is unique and looking for home insurance cover that is as unique as they are. This means we search the market for the  non-standard home insurance deals for people who have previously committed an offence.
Finding non-standard home insurance cover doesn’t need to be a headache. At Insurance Choice, we specialise in finding you the non-standard home insurance at a price you can afford.