If you’ve got an unspent conviction you might want to think twice before using a comparison website for insurance

We all know that using a comparison website is a really quick and easy way of getting a range of quotes for things like insurance or other utilities.

However, if you’ve got an unspent conviction then using a comparison website may not be the best option for you and we’d always advise that you contact insurers directly to get a quote.

Our helpline was contacted recently by a lady who’d used a comparison site to get a quote for motor insurance. She provided details of her partner’s unspent conviction as she wanted to add him to the policy, and was surprised to find that the premium was much less than she’d thought it would be.

The following day, the insurer cancelled her policy due to the non-disclosure of her partner’s criminal record and told her that when purchasing insurance in the future, she’d need to disclose not only the unspent conviction but also the fact that she’d had insurance cancelled due to non-disclosure.

We were able to help this lady prove to the insurer that the conviction had been disclosed as she’d kept screenshots from the comparison site’s application form. Following investigation it was found that some coding on the comparison site had been set to ignore some of the data which was passed to insurers; namely data relating to convictions.

Comparison sites earn their money based upon the number of quotes they generate. By omitting to provide insurers with details of someone’s criminal record, the insurer will be able to quote a lower price; the potential customer will be ‘hooked’ and will go ahead with the purchase. It’s only when the insurer checks the insurance databases that unspent convictions can come to light (for example, checking MyLicence for driving offences) and they may cancel your policy. If you’re unable to provide evidence that you did disclose then there is very little you’ll be able to do to have your policy reinstated.

If you’re having difficulty in getting insurance due to an unspent conviction then have a look at our list of motor insurers and  list of insurance brokers.

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information is available on insurance and motoring offences
  2. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline.
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Debbie Sadler