Motor Insurance Convictions Explained

When it comes to motor insurance, myths begin to circulate about how convictions can affect an insurance policy. ‘Think’ is an insurance intermediary that specialises in convictions on a regular basis. More often than not, customers find themselves bewildered by what and how various convictions can affect your policy. Below is an overview of the most commonly asked questions concerning convictions.

Will I need to disclose minor motoring convictions to my insurer?

The answer quite simply is yes. Common less significant motoring convictions, such as an SP30 speeding offence (exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road) will generally receive a fixed penalty. These convictions will remain on your licence for an extended period of four years before they are erased. In spite of this, insurance companies require you to disclose any motoring convictions within five years of the offence. Thus if you are considered to have a ‘clean’ licence, your insurance company may still consider the existing offence when setting your premium.


How long will drink-driving charges remain active on a drivers licence?

Serious convictions such as drink driving charges (DR10) have consequences effecting both your licence and insurance policies. These offences will remain on your licence for an extensive period of 11 years – but potentially requested by a broker for only five of these years. How long these offences are taken into account by insurance companies varies, therefore individual cases may differ depending on the insurer.


I have carried out my driving ban, is my licence clean?

When receiving a driving ban owing to the totting up of points (TT99), many believe their licence to be clean once they have completed their conviction. A TT99 is code for the accumulation of twelve points or more on a licence, which generally results in a 6 month driving ban. All the convictions which lead to the ban ultimately morph into the single ‘TT99’ code. Similarly to minor driving offences, the TT99 will in fact remain on your licence for a period of four years, initiating from conviction date. Yet again insurers will necessitate disclosure of the driving offence for a period of five years following the offence.


Do unrelated criminal convictions need to be disclosed?

Criminal convictions should be disclosed to an insurer when applying for a policy. Some insurers do not take convictions into account, others do. The thing that insurance companies look out for when deciding whether to insure a customer are any material facts. Material facts are anything that an insurer would deem risk bearing and influence premium charges. It is important that you tell your insurer of any relevant material facts for them to consider you as an acceptable customer and avoid your policy becoming invalid in the event of a claim.


How long does it take for a criminal conviction to be cleared?

Following the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, convictions are required for disclosure for a given period of time subsequent to an offence. The period of which an offence should be disclosed solely depends on the given offence and severity. As a rough guide, any conviction that merited a prison sentence of six months or less should be disclosed for seven years. Any guilty verdict that resulted in a prison sentence of over six months, will need to be disclosed for ten years before being acquitted.

It is sensible to be truthful with your insurer from the off-set and openly admit to any convictions you hold, even if you are unsure whether they are relevant. This removes the possibility of a policy becoming void in the event of making a claim because you held back information when applying. Insurers do not act positively towards individuals that withhold important information and will likely raise your premium if information does come to light. If your require further more specific information or have any queries regarding convictions involving your motor insurance contact an experienced broker for free friendly advice today.

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