If you have an unspent criminal conviction, you may need the help of a specialist insurance firm to get the home insurance cover you need. Here's what you need to know about home insurance and previous convictions.
Home insurance companies are generally very wary of people with unspent criminal convictions, or in other words: people for whom the prescribed rehabilitation period for a conviction hasn’t yet passed.
Can you get home insurance if you have a criminal record?
It is certainly difficult to get home insurance if you have a criminal record. Insurance companies are generally very wary of “unspent” criminal convictions, where the prescribed rehabilitation period hasn’t yet passed.
So even if you only committed a very minor offence, you may struggle to take out home insurance. People who have declared bankruptcy in the past can also find it difficult to find cover.
Do I have to tell insurers about criminal convictions?
Yes, failure to disclose the details of any convictions or bankruptcies could invalidate your home insurance policy.
In other words, it will leave you as good as uninsured. You should also declare the criminal convictions of any other members of your household when you take out insurance.
How long will a criminal conviction or bankruptcy stay on my record?
You have to tell insurers about unspent convictions, but not those for which you are judged to have paid your debt to society.
The amount of time a criminal conviction can prevent you getting cover from a mainstream home insurer therefore depends on the length of your sentence or punishment.
The general guidelines are as follows:
- If you were given a fine or community service, you must tell an insurer about it for the next five years
- If your sentence was between six months and two and a half years, you must wait 10 years before leaving it off any house insurance applications
- If your sentence is longer than two years, you must tell insurers about it for the rest of your life.
- If you go bankrupt, you must wait about six years for it to be removed from your credit report – even though you will be “discharged” from most of the financial restrictions after 12 months
How can I get home insurance if I have a criminal conviction?
There are specialist home insurance policies designed for people who find it hard to get cover.
Also known as non-standard home insurance policies, these generally cost more than standard insurance, but how much more will depend on the nature and seriousness of your crime.
Compare home insurance policies for people with convictions
As with standard policies, it makes sense to shop around for cheap home insurance. MoneySuperMarket compares policies from a variety of insurers, by price, quality of cover, excess and customer feedback.
If your conviction is unspent, however, you will need to get in touch with a specialist insurer, which will be more expensive and will require more information from you.