Can you get accepted for home insurance if you have convictions?

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If you’re trying to find cheap/affordable home insurance, but you have a criminal record or any kind of criminal convictions, you may find that most home insurance quotes that you receive are incredibly expensive due to insurers being reluctant to insure people with previous convictions.

If you are looking to take out home insurance with convictions, there are several things you should be aware of when applying for a policy. In our guide about getting home insurance with criminal convictions, we explain the different kinds of convictions that you can have, plus how having a criminal record can affect your ability to get home insurance.

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Home insurance with a criminal conviction

If you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or if you have an unspent criminal conviction that you fail to disclose to your home insurer, it could invalidate your home insurance policy altogether. 

What is classed as a criminal conviction?

A criminal conviction can be any kind of offence, such as something as small as littering, to a much more serious driving offence, for example.

Unspent convictions

Unspent convictions are the only ones that really matter when it comes to declaring them to your insurer when you apply for a home insurance policy. If your conviction is ‘unspent’ it means that you have a legal right to disclose the offence if you’re asked about any previous convictions.

Some examples of unspent convictions could include drug offences, driving convictions or anti-social behaviour. If you’ve served a prison sentence for over four years, for example, this must always be declared.

Spent convictions

If you’re wondering “how do I know if my conviction is spent?” then there are usually three main reasons that determine the length of time that criminal convictions stay on your record.

The seriousness of the crime, the severity of the sentence and whether you’ve ever declared bankruptcy all depend on how long these offences will stay on your record.

How long do criminal convictions stay on my record?

According to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, the length of time that a conviction will show up on your file is:

  • One year if your sentence was just a fine.
  • 12 months, plus the length of the order if your sentence was community service. 
  • The length of your sentence plus two years if you were in prison for up to six months.
  • The length of your sentence plus four years if you were in prison for between six and 30 months.
  • The length of your sentence plus seven years if you were in prison for between 30 months and four years.
  • For the rest of your life if you were sentenced to more than four years in prison.
  • Six years on your credit report if you declare bankruptcy.

If your conviction is ‘spent’, then you don’t have any legal obligation to declare your conviction, even if you’re asked during your application for home insurance.

Convictions during a policy

If you’re convicted for something during your policy, you don’t need to declare it to your home insurance provider until you renew your policy, or switch to a new provider.

Convictions of other household members

When applying for home insurance, the insurer may also ask if anyone else living in your home has any criminal convictions. If they do, you will need to declare the unspent convictions of everyone in your household if you’re asked. 

Do I have to tell the insurer about a spent conviction?

Spent convictions don’t usually have to be declared to your home insurance provider when applying for a policy. If you have a spent conviction such as a non-recordable driving offence like speeding or careless driving, this doesn’t usually have to be declared to your home insurer.

However, some providers may still ask you to provide details of any spent convictions that you have, though you’re not usually legally required to do so.

Can you get home insurance with a criminal record?

Getting home insurance with a criminal record is usually harder than getting it without a criminal record, but it’s not entirely impossible.

Providing that you declare any unspent convictions you have when making your application, you should still be able to get a policy. However, if you’re struggling to be accepted for home insurance with a criminal record, you might need to seek specialist help from insurers who specialise in home insurance policies for cases such as this.

Is home insurance more expensive for people that have criminal convictions?

People with criminal convictions or criminal records usually find it much harder to get a home insurance policy, or indeed any kind of insurance policy.

While it’s certainly not impossible to get home insurance with a criminal record, you’ll usually have to pay much more for a policy. This is because the insurer will deem you to be more at risk of making a claim, so they’ll increase the price of your premiums.

Having a conviction usually makes it harder to get home insurance, regardless of what your conviction is for. Insurance providers automatically see people with criminal records or convictions as higher risk, regardless of whether the insurance you’re applying for has anything to do with your criminal conviction.

For example, people with driving-related criminal convictions may still find it difficult to find cheap or affordable home insurance, even though their offence isn’t related to home insurance at all.

How to get home insurance with a criminal conviction

If you’re struggling to find a home insurance policy with a criminal conviction, you will likely have to carry out a lot of research and spend time comparing quotes with different providers.

If you’re still having no luck finding a suitable policy, you may have to look into specialist home insurance policies that are designed for people with convictions. 

It’s imperative when applying for home insurance that you declare any unspent convictions you have to the insurer to avoid your policy being invalidated if you need to make a claim.

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