Are you looking for home insurance and the policyholder has a criminal conviction? Home insurance with a criminal conviction is achievable. Insurers start asking detailed questions after a claim occurs so it is in your best interests that all information is accurate and up to date so that when you need your policy, it can be depended upon.

Criminal convictions & cautions

If an insurer asks if you or anybody else in your household has a criminal conviction or a caution, you must answer them honestly and completely. Following a recent change in procedure, rather than you having to disclose it to them, insurers now have to specifically ask you the questions they want answers to, or ask you if you comply with the ‘assumed information’ statement. If they have asked a specific question you have to give them a full answer providing all the facts relevant to their enquiry.

When will the insurer ask me about a conviction and a caution?

Quite simply, at the start of a new insurance policy and at renewal of a policy which will be reconfirmed back to you, usually by way of a ‘statement of fact’.  

Insurance is purchased in several different ways. It can be via the telephone, online or face-to-face with your local insurance broker. Regardless of the way in which your policy was sold to you, there will be a set of questions to which your responses will be relied upon in order to provide you with a quotation or a renewal offer. Answers to these questions determine whether an insurer will offer you a quotation. Each insurer has a different set of questions and you must be very careful to make sure you have understood the question and answered them all correctly. The questions will be read to you on the phone, discussed at your local brokers’ office, or you may be asked to tick a box online to confirm you comply with the standard assumptions. At the time of renewal these assumptions or your specific answers to their questions will be contained in the renewal documentation. 

Buying Online

Beware of buying online as quickly as possible. Insurers advertise for top position for the search term ‘quickest car or house insurance quote’. What they are actually saying is that arranging your insurance in the quickest way possible is the most important feature of an insurance whereas in fact quite the opposite is true. The devil is in the detail! 

By streamlining the insurance quite system the insurers are assuming most information, asking policyholders to tick the boxes to confirm they comply with their ‘standard assumptions’  but as with all ‘terms and conditions’ boxes online, they are seldom given the attention they deserve. Truthfully, when did you last read a ‘terms and conditions’ statement of an ecommerce website? Read more about insurance policy exclusions here.

What happens in the event of a claim?

If you have not told the insurer of a criminal conviction or caution when asked, they will regard this a non-disclosure and will very likely refuse to pay your claim. They are also entitled to void your policy and pay your premiums back to you. In the case of motor insurance, not only would your claim be declined, this would mean that you may get prosecuted by the Police for not having any valid insurance either.

They all ask different questions

Now that you have read this article, hopefully you will take the time to look at the different questions asked by the insurers. Some ask about any criminal convictions, some say that spent convictions don’t need to be notified. Others may include cautions, others may not. It is most important that you understand exactly what they are asking and give them precise information so you don’t give them any reasons for declining a claim.  

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