Get affordable car insurance for convicted drivers
Having any kind of criminal conviction can make it difficult to get car insurance – even if you do find cover, car insurance for convicted drivers is often much more expensive than for those without convictions.
Even if you were convicted of a minor offence that doesn’t have any bearing on your driving, many insurers simply won’t provide cover. The reason for this is criminally convicted drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents and make claims, and therefore are sometimes considered too high-risk to insure.
However, some insurers will provide cover, but only if your conviction has no relation to driving offences. So, for example, if you have a conviction for burglary, you may be offered car insurance, but refused if you were convicted for dangerous driving.
If you can’t find cover from a conventional insurer, then there are specialist insurance companies who specialise in providing car insurance for convicted drivers, but premiums will be expensive.
Remember that, however difficult you might find it to get cover, and whatever price you are quoted, car insurance is compulsory. Not only is it illegal to drive without cover, but your car must be insured at all times.
Under Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) rules which took effect in June 2011, unless you have completed a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and registered your vehicle as being off the road with the DVLA it must be insured. Failure to have a car insurance policy in place could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
When obtaining car insurance quotes, you only need to be upfront about any convictions if they are ‘unspent’. Criminal convictions become spent, or can be ignored, after a certain period, the length of which depends on your sentence. So, for example, if you were given a fine or community service, your conviction is spent after five years. After this, you don’t have to declare it to insurers.
If your prison sentence is six months or less, then it won’t be spent for seven years, increasing to 10 years for sentences between six months and two and a half years. Sentences of two and a half years or more are never spent, which means you always have to disclose them to an insurance company.
Remember, even though it could reduce your options when it comes to buying cover, never be tempted not to disclose any convictions. Failure to reveal this information could invalidate your policy, meaning that any claims would be refused.
However difficult you might find it to get cover, and whatever price you are quoted, car insurance is compulsory
Options if you’re refused cover
If you have a criminal conviction and you cannot find an insurer who will provide you with motor insurance, UNLOCK (the National Assocation of Reformed Offenders) can provide you with a list of brokers who specialise in convicted driver insurance.
They can also advise people on which brokers accept which kind of convictions. The website is www.unlock.org.uk.
You should always try to compare convicted driver insurance quotes from as many different insurers as possible to ensure you find the right deal at the right price to suit your needs.
How to keep a lid on the cost of car insurance for convicted drivers
Once you have found cover, there are various ways that drivers with convictions can keep the cost of convicted driver insurance premiums down. One way to do this is to raise your excess. The excess is the portion of any insurance claim which you must pay yourself. However, don’t make it so high that you wouldn’t be able to cover it in the event you do make a claim, as this defeats the point of having motor insurance.
Try to drive less too - the lower your mileage, the less your premiums will cost.
Ensuring your car is secure can also reduce the cost of cover. Keep it in a garage if possible, and make sure the car is fitted with an approved alarm and immobilizer.
Another option could be telematics car insurance. This is becoming an increasingly popular option for young drivers or motorists with convictions who are usually on the receiving end of above average car insurance prices.
Otherwise known as black box insurance; this works by having a black box recording device installed in the policy holders vehicle. It will then record driving behaviours and the number of miles completed in an attempt to provide a fairer premium which is based on the policy holders actual driving abilities rather than statistics.
For more ideas on how you can increase your chances of finding cheap car insurance for convicted drivers, take advantage of our money saving tips page.