Recent changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which the Government has made through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (also known as LASPO) aim to help offenders affected by convictions. These new changes came into effect on the 10th March 2014 and will apply to people convicted before and after the 10th March 2014.
Until this new reform, anyone with a criminal conviction could have trouble obtaining insurance as it would normally push up the cost of insurance – even if the crime committed had nothing to do with the policy the person wished to purchase. So if you are guilty of robbery you would, in all probability, find your home insurance premium would rise.
When you apply for cover such as home contents or car insurance, for example, the law states that you have to disclose any unspent convictions or ongoing prosecutions. You must disclose “all material facts” – even if you are not specifically asked about them.
The new changes mean that the rehabilitation period has been reduced in all cases, the main changes being:
However, the rehabilitation for Motoring Convictions is not changing and the disclosure period remains at 5 years.
At Westhill Insurance Services we have a lot of experience in dealing with insurance policies which are not quite straightforward. Criminal convictions can have all sorts of implications when purchasing insurance – and the one thing you must never be tempted to do is to withhold information as this can completely invalidate your policy. Some insurers operate a blanket policy of not providing insurance to people with unspent convictions whilst others take a more positive approach – perhaps by not being as interested in non-motoring offences when applying for motor insurance. Just one quick call to our friendly team at Westhill Insurance will provide you with sensible advice and help you secure insurance cover. We are not here to judge you, but we are here to help and we will look at each case individually. Insurance is an important part of life and we believe that it should be available whenever possible.