Insurance and the Law: How Criminal Convictions Affect Car Insurance
Running afoul of the law doesn’t mean that you won’t ever need to use a car again, however failure to obtain insurance before getting in the car will be an act that runs afoul of the law. Those with criminal convictions can face difficulty when it comes to finding legal motor cover, and the cover you do find will likely be priced incredibly high.
Criminal convictions can increase insurance premiums even if the crime you were convicted of had nothing to do with motoring. However, the law requires that you disclose any unspent convictions or current prosecutions when applying for car insurance. This means that there is no legal strategy that allows you to hide your past record. Therefore, the only thing to be done is learn how to find the best car insurance deal possible with a criminal conviction.
One of the most important things when shopping for car insurance with a criminal conviction is to be honest about that fact. Failure to disclose the conviction can result in having a claim invalidated, and may include other legal penalties as well. Because of the seriousness of this situation, many organizations recommend requesting written confirmation that the insurance company has received and acknowledges your past record.
Convictions are one of the factors that insurance companies use to determine premiums. Insurance is a statistics driven market, and individuals with convictions are more likely to have to file a claim. The result can be higher premiums for drivers with arrest records. While this is an unfortunate situation for drivers with records, it is still far cheaper than the cost of driving without insurance or having a claim invalidated after the fact.
Find the Right Company
As more awareness of this issue has been raised, many companies are being more upfront about their policies when it comes to insuring those with criminal records. Advocacy groups have done a good job pressuring companies to be forward with these policies, so make sure you search a company’s website so that you can save yourself some time not applying to companies who have a standing policy to not offer policies to those with convictions.
Additionally, there are a number of companies that specialize in providing insurance for high-risk drivers. These policies will almost certainly be more expensive, and they may not offer the features and bonuses that are standard for other companies, but they are a good place to look if you are having problems finding insurance elsewhere.
Reducing the Cost of Insurance for those with Convictions
There are some steps that individuals can take to reduce their premiums, even with criminal convictions. The cold, statistical nature of insurance pricing can play to your advantage if you take steps that limit the risk the insurance company takes by insuring you.
One example of this is to limit the use of your car whenever possible. Taking public transportation or biking to work will reduce the miles that you will be on the road. Insurance companies recognize this and understand that the less a car is on the road, the less risk the company faces. This can result in good savings for motorists.
Additionally, drivers can take additional courses beyond those required for qualification. These courses, if they are recognized by your insurance company, can save many pounds over the course of your current policy and future policies. These courses provide additional safety instruction as well as providing a refresher on the basic rules of the road. Individuals who successfully complete these courses are statistically less likely to file a claim, and thus represent a lower risk to the insurance firm.
Finally, owning the right car can also help keep rates manageable. Cars that are safer and don’t have high performance thresholds will be cheaper to insure than faster, higher performance autos. The best way to determine the base insurance for a particular car is to learn its insurance group. Cars in a lower insurance group will be cheaper to cover, and are a good basis for choosing what car to buy when you are ready to get back on the road.
As you can see, those with convictions face challenges when it comes to getting motor insurance, but with patience and research it is possible to ensure that you are legal while driving.