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Last updated: 21/09/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Finding home insurance with a criminal conviction

There are more than eleven million people in the UK with a criminal record, many of whom need home insurance. Though you don’t have to declare ‘spent criminal convictions’ when applying for insurance, it can be tricky to find home insurance without a specialist insurance firm if you have unspent convictions. Use our helpful guide to find out a little bit more about the right insurance policy for you.

In This Guide:

Can you get home insurance if you have a criminal record?

It can be difficult to get home insurance if you have a criminal record, but it is possible. Insurance providers are especially wary of unspent criminal convictions when the person applying for insurance hasn’t completed their rehabilitation period. No matter how large or small the offence, it may be a struggle to find appropriate cover. Insurance companies see it as a greater risk and therefore your premiums are likely to be a lot higher if you have an unspent conviction.

The best way to start the process is to get the help of an insurance broker. They can give you free quotes and will find the right insurance cover for your particular circumstances.

Types of criminal convictions: What counts as a criminal conviction?

Unspent Convictions

Criminal convictions can be anything from a prison sentence to a speeding ticket, all types of offence count, no matter how minor. Only unspent convictions matter and you must declare them.

Spent Convictions

If you have ever been cautioned, reprimanded or given a final warning, they count as spent convictions and do not have to be declared. Convictions become ‘spent’ a certain amount of time after the date of conviction. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 stops insurers from discriminating against you due to spent convictions.

Convictions of Your Household Members

Insurers will ask you about the convictions of everyone who is going to be covered by the insurance, such as your partner or children. You will need to declare if anyone living in your home has unspent convictions.

How long will a criminal conviction stay on my record?

The length of time that a criminal conviction stays on your record is dependent upon a number of factors. This includes the seriousness of the crime, the severity of the sentence and whether you are bankrupt.

There is a useful online calculator from Unlock that can help you work out whether your convictions have been spent. They also provide a list of insurers that offer cover to people with convictions.

What happens if I don’t disclose convictions to insurers?

If you deliberately fail to disclose your convictions or bankruptcies when asked by the insurance provider, your insurance will be invalidated, and you will essentially be uninsured. If you’ve made a claim during the policy, then the insurance company can also ask for the money back. It’s always best to declare your unspent convictions, even if you feel like they are too personal to share.

If you get a conviction during a policy, you do not have to declare it until the policy is up for renewal or you switch providers. Make sure you check the terms and conditions though as some insurers require you to declare this information.

Does home insurance cost more with a criminal conviction?

In most cases, the answer to this question is yes, insurance providers view people with criminal convictions as riskier to insure due to the potential of repeat offending or revenge (from those wronged), meaning higher premiums even if the crime was not related to your home. However, if you compare home insurance prices efficiently you should be able to find an affordable policy that suits you. You can try using an insurance broker, take a look at the list of providers from Unlock or you can be referred to specialist providers by the Probation Service and HM Prison Service.