“What I am hearing so often is that people with an unspent conviction are confused about what they need to declare to their insurance provider”
When a conviction becomes spent is controlled by Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974(ROA). Under these regulations prison sentences over two and a half years never become “spent”.
Neil went on to say, “The problem is two-fold. First are those people who have never been clearly asked about their unspent convictions by the insurance agencies.
“The second problem is people are not declaring when asked because they believe they will not be able to obtain affordable insurance. Approaching the mainstream insurance companies, this is often the case.”
Insurance contracts operate under the principle of “good faith” which puts the responsibility of declaring “material fact” such as unspent convictions, directly on to the policyholder. By not correctly declaring all unspent convictions, intentionally or not, policies are effectively worthless.
“If you are not sure if you have informed your insurance provider about all unspent convictions, it is worth double checking the policy to ensure all unspent convictions are listed and your insurance is valid. Discovering that the policy is void on claiming is too late.” said Neil.
Declaring all material facts at the outset is best practice, even if the insurance company does not directly ask about specific unspent criminal convictions. While declaring unspent criminal convictions does make obtaining insurance more difficult, there are specialist insurance brokers who can provide affordable policies.
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