In the UK, any unspent criminal conviction, even if it isn’t driving related, has to be declared when applying for car insurance. Depending on what this conviction is, you may find it more difficult to be offered insurance because – statistically speaking – convicted drivers are seen as being at a higher risk of making a claim.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, because there are companies (such as MyFirst) that specialise in offering convicted driver insurance. However, to increase the chances of an insurance company approving your application, there are at least five things you can do.
Five Ways To Get Convicted Driver Insurance
1. Tell the Truth
When you apply for insurance, one of the first things an insurer will ask is if you any points on your license or any criminal convictions. It’s essential you tell the truth. For every driving-related conviction, the DVLA has an assigned code. This is used by insurance companies to assess your risk. Know which codes apply to your conviction and confirm these with your insurance company.
Beyond any convictions, it’s important to be truthful for every question an insurer asks you. A recent survey found that, alongside criminal convictions, drivers most often lied about:
- how their car was used (saying they didn’t use it to commute to work for example)
- an additional driver being the primary driver
- the job they do (because some occupations seem to be more accident prone than others)
- past accidents and claims against car insurance.
While bending the truth might seem like a good idea to ensure you get approved for convicted driver insurance or end up with lower premiums, if you are found to have lied, you could invalidate your policy, meaning you’re in an accident you’re left without a car or having to pay third parties out of your pocket.
2. Pick the Right Car
If you’re looking for convicted driver insurance,you want to convince your insurer that you aren’t going to be driving dangerously, which means picking a car that sends that message. Go for one with a lower horse-power engine, for example, or an excellent safety record. Stay away from vehicles with a reputation for being driven dangerously.
3. Take a Rehabilitation Course
For those who have a conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, one of the best ways to make sure you are approved for convicted driver insurance is to take a driver rehabilitation course. These are available across the country through approved training providers. Not only do they reduce the length of any driving ban, but they also show insurance companies you are serious about getting back on the road and driving safely.
4. Agree to Use Telematics
Telematics is an excellent way to convince insurance companies you are safe on the road and a lower risk that industry statistics might suggest. They work by adding a ‘black box’ to your car which records driving data including the days and times you drive, how many miles you do, and where you go. This data is shared with your insurance company, who use it to calculate your premium. As well as being used for convicted driver insurance, telematics is popular with young drivers. If you don’t want to use telematics but want to increase your chance of getting approved for convicted driver insurance, you could also consider using a dashcam or speed limiter.
5. Consider ways to cut costs
If you’re approved for convicted driver insurance,your insurer will want to be confident you can pay the premiums. Unfortunately, premiums when it comes to convicted driver insurancecan be quite high. To make these costs more manageable, you should (wherever possible):
- Pick the most affordable level of car insurance cover. This will be either third party, third party, fire and theft, or comprehensive. While it might seem counter-intuitive, because the assumption is that most drivers will want third party as it is generally the cheapest, the rates for comprehensive insurance are sometimes lower.
- Increase your voluntary excess. Most insurers will set a mandatory excess but also offer the opportunity for you to set a voluntary excess. The higher this is, the lower your premium will be. Remember, though, that this is the amount you’ll need to pay if you have an accident it needs to be affordable for you.
- Lower your annual mileage. The more miles you drive, the higher a premium you’ll pay. Look at ways you can take public transport, or travel on foot, to reduce the number of miles you drive each year. Don’t set an unrealistic figure, though – this goes back to the idea of being truthful because if you do set too low a number, your insurer could deny any claim you make.
- Avoid the added extras that come with car insurance. These can add unnecessary costs. So, unless you think they are an absolute must, say no to legal cover, windscreen cover or a courtesy car.
- When you aren’t driving, keep your car in a secure garage or on your drive. This way, it’s less likely to get damaged by passing motorists, and you are less likely to have to make a claim.
- Don’t make monthly payments on your car insurance premium as these incur interest. Instead, make a lump sum payment. If you have to pay in instalments, see if you can take out a 0% purchase credit card, which means you won’t need to pay interest and can keep costs down.
Finally, remember that insurance companies realise people make mistakes and not everyone who is applying for convicted driver insurance is going to re-offend. However, what they want is as much proof as you can offer that you are serious about staying safe on the road and reducing the risk of having to make a claim. The more you can do to convince them you want to rebuild your driving record, the more likely they are to approve your application for an insurance policy.
If you’re looking for convicted driver insurance at the best possible price, then get in touch with MyFirst who will search for the best possible deal for your needs.