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Home insurance for people with criminal convictions

Compare home insurance for people with a criminal record

Home insurance with criminal convictions

If you fail to disclose an unspent criminal conviction or bankruptcy to your insurer, it could invalidate your house insurance. If you have a spent conviction, or a non-recordable motoring offence such as speeding or careless driving, you don’t need to tell your home insurer about it.

If you have an unspent conviction, insurers will see you as a greater risk and your insurance premiums will increase. By how much depends on the insurer and your other circumstances, such as your address. 

You’ll always be asked if you or any other resident has an unspent conviction so that insurers can accurately assess the risk and calculate quotes.

If you’re not sure whether a conviction is unspent, check Unlock's Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator

Criminal convictions home insurance

What counts as a criminal conviction? 

A criminal conviction can be any type of court offence - even a littering fine or motoring conviction - regardless of how minor the offence.  

Cautions, reprimands and final warnings are immediately classed as spent and don’t need to be mentioned.   

Unspent convictions

Only unspent convictions matter, so if your insurer asks, you must declare them.

Spent convictions

After a certain time period, unspent convictions become spent. You don’t have to declare spent convictions, even if you’re asked.

Convictions of other household members

You’ll need to declare the unspent convictions of everyone covered by the policy if asked.

Convictions during a policy

If you’re convicted mid-way through a policy, you don’t need to declare it until you renew, or switch providers, at the end of the cover.

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If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

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How long do criminal convictions stay on your record?

How long criminal convictions are on your record for depends on:

  1. Seriousness of the crime

    the more serious the crime, generally the longer the sentence

  2. Severity of the sentence

    prison sentences over four years must always be declared

  3. Bankruptcy

    bankruptcies might not be removed from your credit report for up to six years or longer

Some mainstream insurers will still offer you home insurance if you have criminal convictions, and the Probation Service and HM Prison Service can refer you to specialist providers 
Unlock has compiled a list of insurers - some mainstream and some specialist - that offer cover to people with convictions
Ceri McMillan, GoCompare’s home insurance expert

Why does a conviction make it hard to get cover? 

Premiums for people with convictions are likely to be more expensive than for those without, regardless of what your conviction’s related to.  

Insurers automatically see people with criminal records as a higher risk even though their insurance may have nothing to do with the nature of the crime they’ve committed.  

The risk of reoffending and the threat of revenge attacks from wronged parties will be considered, and this might mean that insurers decline to provide cover at all. 

Because of this, it can be hard to find cover online, as simple forms don’t allow providers to ask detailed questions about the nature of someone’s conviction.

In April 2013, the law relating to the disclosure of criminal convictions changed, so that convictions considered spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 don’t need to be disclosed. Check if your conviction is spent before telling your insurer

What could happen if you don’t declare unspent convictions

If you don’t declare an unspent conviction and need to make a claim, you could find your insurance policy voided if your insurer discovers your conviction.

It's important to be honest with your insurer about all elements of your personal history, including some things you might prefer not to share.

You don't have to disclose a criminal conviction that occurs during an existing policy unless it's explicitly stated in your policy that you must.   

Though when your policy comes up for renewal you must disclose it, whether you remain with your current provider or switch insurers.

It’s important that you read the details of any policy you’re considering to find out the exact T&Cs before you commit.  

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