How Do Driving Convictions Affect Insurance?

main image blog

Discover how motoring convictions can impact your insurance and when you should declare them.

Main Points: 

  • Driving convictions can make it difficult to get coverage. 
  • Some insurers will refuse to cover convicted drivers.  
  • It is possible to get a specialist convicted driver policy. 
  • You will receive points on your licence due to a driving conviction.  
  • Insurers usually ask applicants if they have any unspent convictions. 
  • Normally, applicants must declare any unspent convictions within the last five years. 
  • However, more serious driving offences will be on your record for longer and must still be declared. 
A 20mph road sign for a pedestrian zone.

How do driving offences affect my insurance? 

Driving convictions usually lead to insurance premium increases and difficulty getting coverage.  

Not many insurers are willing to take on a driver with an extremely serious motoring conviction, such as drunk or drug driving, as they’re viewed as a higher risk to insure.  

Usually, a conviction will result in points on your licence, and how long these last will depend on the severity of the offence. After a certain period of time, a conviction will become ‘spent’, meaning it will no longer be active.  

Whether you’re applying for a personal policy such as car insurance or cover for work with a professional motor trade policy or commercial van insurance, you must be honest with your insurer about convictions. 

What is an unspent driving conviction? 

After a certain period of time, a motoring conviction will become spent. A driving-related offence is classed as ‘unspent’ if it has not yet reached the end of its rehabilitation period. 

Do I have to disclose driving convictions to an insurer? 

You must disclose any motoring convictions during the insurance application process.  

Not disclosing a motoring conviction is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1998. This means you must be completely transparent during the insurance application process about motoring convictions and points on your licence. 

Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to insurance. Insurers will conduct routine checks to ensure the information you give them is accurate when you apply for cover. When disclosing driving convictions, you should provide details of any motoring offences, such as speeding tickets, drink-driving convictions, or other driving-related offences. 

Purposefully omitting any necessary information that can affect your coverage is classed as a form of fraud. It’d give your insurer grounds to refuse to pay for a claim and even cancel or nullify your cover completely should you be found out to have misled them. 

A grey speed camera box close up.

What convictions affect car insurance? 

Convictions that commonly affect car insurance include: 

  • Speeding Tickets 
  • Running red lights or other traffic signal violations. 
  • Careless driving. 
  • Drink and drug-related offences: 
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Driving under the influence of illegal substances. 
  • Dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous and reckless driving. 
  • Driving without insurance. 

How long do you have to declare driving convictions to an insurer? 

Usually, you have to declare any unspent driving convictions from within the past five years when applying for insurance. However, this can vary and depends on the type of offence and how long your points stay on your licence. 

For example, careless driving (CD10) will usually be on your driving record for four years from the offence date. After this period, you may no longer need to disclose them to your insurer. 

However, driving or attempting to drive with an alcohol level above the limit (DR10) must stay on your driving record for 11 years from the conviction date. These need to be declared for a more extended period than a minor offence. 

How can I get insurance after a driving conviction? 

If your motoring conviction is unspent, you will be better off using an insurance broker to get insured. Most mainstream insurers and comparison sites may not always have the specialist policies required for convicted drivers.  

An insurance broker will be able to track down policies, advise you on the cover you need and breakdown any jargon for you. In a nutshell, a broker will do all the hard work for you as niche policies will be their expertise. 

Our insurance experts are skilled professionals who can help you get the coverage you need, including specialist insurance for convicted drivers. Simply call us now on 08000815113 to find out more about convicted driver car insurance and van insurance for drivers with motoring offences..  

About the Author

Charlotte Simpson

Compliance & Quality Control Manager

CII-certified Charlotte is our expert on all things insurance and compliance. After embarking upon her insurance career in a policy retention role, she continued expanding her insurance knowledge in customer service and renewal roles. Since 2015, Charlotte has focused on compliance-based roles and joined the One Sure team in 2016. Achieving good outcomes for customers and improving the business is at the heart of all she does. In 2019, The Insurance Institute of Stoke-On-Trent recognised her expertise by awarding her with the Young Achiever Of The Year Award. Her specialisms include property insurance and insurance fraud.