House insurance

Milton

Active member
#1
Today I visited my local branch of Santander to get a quote for house insurance.
I only wanted buildings cover, not contents.
The computer based questions asked me if I had ever been convicted of any criminal conviction.
I answered "yes" and gave details of my drink driving conviction.
This resulted in me being refused a quote.
OK I am a convicted criminal so I deserve such things.
However, I can't understand what connection there is between drink driving and house buildings insurance.
When I was caught and convicted for drink driving I was driving a car, not a house.
As far as I know houses don't have wheels or engines so can't be driven and therefore aren't subject to the
Road Traffic Act.
I own my house outright so I can manage without buildings insurance. However, a younger person with a mortgage
must have buildings insurance to comply with the mortgage lenders terms and conditions.
Seems that a drink driving conviction can cause mortage holders to loose their house despite not being in arrears with
a morgage. This seems mad to me.
Please can someone explain to me the legal connection between a drink driving conviction and house insurance.
 
#2
I can explain that your 30 year old drink driving conviction is spent after 5 years and for insurance purposes is non discloseable. Why did you declare it on the application form?
Here is what Unlock say about insurance, which includes home insurance:

[h=2]Rehabilitation of Offenders Act[/h][h=2]Summary
[/h][FONT=&quot]This information has been updated in April 2013 to reflect changes in insurance disclosure law, to help you buy the right insurance and make sure you are treated fairly. It provides a quick summary of the issues for people with convictions and what you can do about them. It applies to ‘consumer’ insurance only. This includes home (buildings and contents) insurance, as well as personal motor insurance. For more information, and for details on commercial insurance, we also publish a detailed guide.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Once a conviction is ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), it never has to be disclosed to insurers. This is the case no matter what question an insurer asks you. Detailed guidance on the ROA is available here.

http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/insurance-convictions-simple-guide/

Perhaps you should visit another branch of Santander and apply again........[/FONT]
 

Milton

Active member
#3
Being an honest person I answered the question honestly.
The question asked if I have ever been convicted of any criminal offence.
What's wrong with being honest?
Do insurance companies and the Police have a problem with people who are honest?
Seems they do.
 
#4
Out of interest, don’t most insurance policy documents put in the conditions something along these lines (taken from AXA’s home insurance policy booklet), please inform us “if you or any family member is prosecuted for or convicted of any offence (excluding motoring offences)”? Lot of policy documents I’ve seen use that “except motoring convictions” language. I’d say a reasonable interpretation would be drink driving falls under that, I mean speeding to drink driving is all covered under the road traffic act, surely?
 
#5
Out of interest, don’t most insurance policy documents put in the conditions something along these lines (taken from AXA’s home insurance policy booklet), please inform us “if you or any family member is prosecuted for or convicted of any offence (excluding motoring offences)”? Lot of policy documents I’ve seen use that “except motoring convictions” language. I’d say a reasonable interpretation would be drink driving falls under that, I mean speeding to drink driving is all covered under the road traffic act, surely?
Because an offence is covered by the road traffic act does not mean that they are motoring offences. Drink driving and dangerous driving are both in the act but count as criminal convictions and have to be declared where appropriate, subject to the spent conviction rules.
 
#6
Being an honest person I answered the question honestly.
The question asked if I have ever been convicted of any criminal offence.
What's wrong with being honest?
Do insurance companies and the Police have a problem with people who are honest?
Seems they do.
I suggest that you take the discussion up with Santander for asking a question that is improper under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974, as amended. The question should be reworded.
 

Milton

Active member
#7
Thanks for your reply Mr Price.
I completely agree with you.
The question should be re-worded.
However, I wonder if I had taken out house insurance with Santander and not disclosed my
30 year old conviction. what would have happened if I had to claim.
Under such a situation would Santander be able to discover my old conviction and void my insurance?
Basically are old convictions kept on record or not?
I understand that 30 year old drink driving convictions are completely wiped off an offenders record.
However, I understand that any further criminal motoring conviction will bring back the old conviction.
I therefore suspect the old conviction is never actually spent or removed from a persons record.
 

Milton

Active member
#8
Thinking about this insurance issue more deeply I have realised the following.
If house insurance 30 years ago took the attitude as they do now I would have been
homeless with a wife and four children living on the streets.
My building society insisted that I had buildings insurance in order for me to maintain and pay a mortgage.
Under the new rules a person who has a well paid job and prosecuted for drink driving can loose their
house despite not being in arrears with their mortgage.
Looks like my previous posts are correct that you will be better off unemployed if you are convicted
of drink driving.
Being umemployed, the state will pay mortgage interest and any insurance required to prevent family's
becoming homeless.
 
#9
I think you are over worrying about this.

This is what compare the Market says about insurance with a conviction, so no one, since 1974, need to have worried about a conviction stopping them from getting insurance, and as I said before, after 5 years it is non discloseable anyway


[h=2]Does home insurance for people with a criminal conviction cost more?[/h]Yes, it can be more expensive than ordinary insurance, but if you look around and compare prices, you should be able to find an affordable policy that will provide you with a home insurance with a criminal record.
We can help you search for providers that give you the home insurance cover you need. All you need to do is answer some questions about yourself and your property and we’ll do the hard work for you. We search our database of insurance companies and give you a list of those that can give you home insurance even though you have a criminal conviction. And if you need to speak to someone for more information, we have experts on hand to help you too.

“Normally, yes they will ask you if you have any convictions and you need to disclose these, unless the conviction is now ‘spent.’”

As to the claim that your mortgage interest and insurance will be paid for you if you give up your job, the money advice website clears this up, I think it has been the case for 2 years or so:

[h=2]Mortgage Rescue scheme[/h][h=3]England[/h][FONT=museo_sans, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]This scheme is no longer available.[/FONT]


It also goes on to clarify about what happens if you are dismissed from your job, OR LEAVE WITHOUT GOOD REASON, where you may not immediately be entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance. This should put an end to the suggestion that you should avoid a large fine by giving up work...... so no large fine, but no mortgage help and no unemployment money for weeks. Work it out carefully before following advice to quit your job before court!

[h=2]Are you entitled to benefits if you’ve been sacked?[/h][FONT=museo_sans]If you’ve been dismissed from your job because of misconduct, or you left it without a good reason, there might be a delay before you can start getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.[/FONT]
[FONT=museo_sans]This is because your Jobcentre Plus work coach is allowed to apply a sanction to your benefit – in other words, stop it being paid for a certain number of weeks. It’s up to your work coach how long the sanction lasts.[/FONT]

On the question of convictions, the answer is “yes and no” ..... YES that your conviction becomes spent, but NO it is not removed. It becomes ‘invisible’ to a normal check, but would re-appear if someone had a second conviction and therefore both became relevant to a DBS check.
 

Milton

Active member
#10
I have tried to get house insurance quotes from other companies recently.
They have all turned me down due to my drink driving conviction.
I never had this problem 30 years ago.
Sadly it seems that the older a drink driving conviction is then the more serious it becomes.
 
#11
Can I suggest that you try getting a quote again, and in the light of the ample evidence that I have provided about spent convictions and insurance, you put that you have no convictions. Then this thread can be closed........
 

Milton

Active member
#12
I feel strongly that difficulty in obtaining house insurance
should be based upon convictions associated dishonesty and fraud.
Motoring convictions should have nothing to do with house insurance.
I've known many people who have failed breath tests who are honest.
I've known many people who have passed breath tests who are very dishonest.
OK so where do we go from here?
 
#13
I think as others have stated, a lot of home insurance polices that ask about criminal convictions, usually exclude motor offences, sometimes may go a bit further and define those that don't need to be disclosed, such as Speeding offences, so you may then have to disclose the more serious motoring offences such as DD conviction.
Depending on the sentence that was received, the conviction may not ever be spent..

The reason home insurer will look to take into account criminal offences, motoring or otherwise, is it does still fall into the morale hazard posed, there is a proven link between criminal convictions and increased likelihood of a claim being made,and the value of that claim. insurers will look to group similar risks together, so the premium they then charge is equitable for the pool.

Under the relatively new Insurance Act depending whether the question was answered innocently or recklessly and the nature of the claim and the insurers stance will dictate what the insurer can or cannot do. If found to be deliberate fraud and goes to the heart of the contract, then insurer could void the policy if a genuine forgetfulness and wasn't deliberate/reckless and the insurer would of accepted the risk then they may pay the claim and charge any additional premium.
 
#14
Agreed, Sue Smith. Insurance companies know the risk factors and apply them accordingly. A person who has been irresponsible with their car may well be irresponsible with their house, or drink and cause accidental damage to their house contents and make a claim.
they have to stick to the position that if it is an unspent conviction then you have a responsibility to disclose it.
Otherwise you could argue that a rapist does not need to declare a conviction for insurance because they have not damaged property or been otherwise dishonest. A drug dealer has not been dishonest, just sold prohibited goods. A burglar has only taken other people’s property, there is no evidence that he would damage his own property....... where does it end?
It seems that some mainstream insurance companies decline cover for people with unspent convictions, but others do and there are specialist companies that cater specifically for such people. The same applies to car insurance for drink drivers. Some companies such as NFU mutual decline cover for 5 years.
So the answer to Milton’s question “so where do we go from here?.” The answer is “shop around, and do not disclose a conviction that is spent because you have no obligation to do so”.
 

Milton

Active member
#15
Hi Mr Price,

I am sorry to hear that you imply that a person who has failed a breath test is a dishonest person
who can't be trusted with financial things other than motoring.
Over the last 40 years I have borrowed money to buy houses.
I have never defaulted on any mortage and never submitted any insurance claim.
You also seem to imply that people who never drink are all honest.
I'm sorry but the most dishonest people I have known don't drink alcohol at all.
Please explain why you imply alcohol to be the cause of dishonesty.

John Milton.
 
#16
Hi Mr Price,

I am sorry to hear that you imply that a person who has failed a breath test is a dishonest person
who can't be trusted with financial things other than motoring.
Over the last 40 years I have borrowed money to buy houses.
I have never defaulted on any mortage and never submitted any insurance claim.
You also seem to imply that people who never drink are all honest.
I'm sorry but the most dishonest people I have known don't drink alcohol at all.
Please explain why you imply alcohol to be the cause of dishonesty.

John Milton.
Jo Smith nor I mentioned dishonesty, I think Jo put it well when she said the issue is about “moral hazard”.
I have advised you what to do with your problem with house insurance:
Take up with Santander the issue of their wording on the application form.....
Seek another insturance provider and declare (truthfully) that you have no previous convictions, because a 30 year old drink driving conviction is spent and does not have to be disclosed.
Then have a happy, well insured life.

I do not intend to comment further on this post as it is best discussed over a few pints in the pub. I can’t change the disclosure rules that the insurance world use, neither can you or anyone else on this forum.
 
#17
Try HomeProtect, they will cover home insurance with DD convictions. They don't really bother about DD or motoring offences. i have checked with them before and after buying insurance from them.

Jo Smith nor I mentioned dishonesty, I think Jo put it well when she said the issue is about “moral hazard”.
I have advised you what to do with your problem with house insurance:
Take up with Santander the issue of their wording on the application form.....
Seek another insturance provider and declare (truthfully) that you have no previous convictions, because a 30 year old drink driving conviction is spent and does not have to be disclosed.
Then have a happy, well insured life.

I do not intend to comment further on this post as it is best discussed over a few pints in the pub. I can’t change the disclosure rules that the insurance world use, neither can you or anyone else on this forum.
 

Milton

Active member
#18
I have applied for house insurance with various companies since being refused
insurance by Santander.
In my applications I have to declare if I have been turned down for insurance in the past.
Being honest I declare being refused by Santander which results in my
applications being refused.
Now I've had several refusals then insuring my house has become impossible.

If I had a mortgage I would be in serious trouble now because lenders insist on house
buildings insurance. Without insurance the lender will go for repossession even if the mortgage
isn't in arrears.

Something strange going on because I had no problem obtaining house insurance back in the
1980's when I was prosecuted.

Mr Price's advice regarding applying to other insurers seems to have back fired and made things worse.
 
#19
I know I said I would not comment on this thread any further, but as it is a direct request for help..... I said before that there is cover available for people with convictions, now there is the need for cover when cover has been refused.

Firstly a simple call to a broker to explain that cover was refused by Santander because of an incorrect declaration of a 30 year old conviction for drink driving will, I am sure, produce a quote. I am not even sure if that counts as cover being “refused” when the real reason is an incorrect declaration by the applicant, but a chat with an expert will clarify that.

Secondly there is this company who provide cover online for people who have had issues getting home insurance cover:
https://boughtbymany.com/news/article/how-get-home-insurance-refused-or-expensive-quote/

Thirdly there is the company helpfully listed by firemansam007 this morning: Home protect.

There is no need whatsoever for a person to fear having their house repossessed because they cannot get house insurance, even with an unspent conviction.
 
#20
Looking at the Home protect website, it offers good advice on what to do about insurance being refused or declined.
the more I think about it, Santander declined to offer cover to you, rather than a refusal.
what if you had asked for insurance cover and they said no, because you want to insure a 6 bedroom house and they only insure up to 5 bedrooms. (I had this happen to me last year) I was not refused insurance, obliging me to declare this to any other company I applied to, they simply declined to quote because I did not fit the type of house that they covered. The same could be said of someone wanting life cover, but the company decline because they do not cover someone who says in the application that they live on the Channel Islands. Cover has been declined, not refused.
https://www.homeprotect.co.uk/refused-insurance/what-to-do-if-you-have-been-refused-home-insurance

So you could go back to square 1 and follow up with Santander in the ways outlined in the above link, or make other applications to other companies and correctly state that you have no convictions and have not been refused insurance.
I am just trying to apply common sense and as I admitted earlier, I an not qualified in insurance matters.
If you are not happy with this explanation then check the situation with an experienced broker before you build up a whole string of applications and make the insurance industry worry that you are trying to take out fraudulent muliple cover.
 
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