Motor Trade Insurance for Convicted Drivers
You can still take out a Motor Trade insurance policy even if you have convictions whether they are motoring related or not.
Motor Trade insurance can be a confusing subject at the best of times, but add convictions in to the mix, whether motoring or criminal, and it can become a little more difficult to navigate and find the right cover. Here's some more info on the types of convictions and how they can affect you.
Minor Motoring Convictions
The majority of minor motoring convictions will remain visible to the DVLA for three years; either from when the offence took place or the date of conviction. The most common speeding offences (SP30) follow this format. These convictions are required to remain on your driving licence for four years. From an insurance perspective though, these convictions must be disclosed to your insurers for five years, meaning that although you technically have a clean licence, your insurance company may think otherwise. The insurance companies are aware of this however, and may take it into account.
Serious Motoring Convictions
More serious motoring convictions such as drink driving charges (DR10) remain ‘active’ for much longer. They will remain on your driving licence for up to eleven years, but insurance companies may only legally require to be aware of them for 5 years afterwards - but as this is a discrepancy, individual cases may vary, and if you are not sure if this applies to you, please discuss it with your insurance company.
A common misconception is the belief that once a ban for numerous points has been received, known as ‘totting up’ (TT99), the licence is clean after that. These instances usually lead to a six month driving ban and happen when twelve points have been accumulated. Rather than your licence being ‘clean’ after the ban, the information remains for four years from the conviction date, and most insurers will require you to keep them informed for five years.
Always Tell Your Broker About All Convictions
It is always wise to be honest with your insurer from the word go if you’re not sure about any convictions or issues you may have, rather than find out your policy may not be valid should you choose to hold back information. Insurers don’t tend to look favourably on customers who have held convictions back, and it is likely that you will see your premium rise, at the very least. In certain cases, however, failure to provide accurate information may result in your policy being either cancelled or voided. In both scenarios you will find it even more difficult to find a Motor Trade insurance policy going forward, especially a policy for a price you’re happy with, as most insurers will not be happy insuring a motor trader who has convictions AND has already had a policy voided or cancelled. Furthermore, if your Motor Trade insurance policy has been cancelled or voided due to you supplying incorrect information about yourself or your business, such as withholding convictions, any ongoing claims would not be honoured and you could end up losing your legal cover if you’re making a claim yourself.
Criminal convictions are sometimes relevant when applying for any type of motor or Motor Trade insurance, and should always be disclosed when speaking to your broker, just in case. If there are any relevant material facts relating to your conviction then you must tell the insurer, who will determine whether there are risk related factors which will influence the premium. Depending upon their severity and circumstances, these factors may also result in the insurer declining to offer you cover.
Disclosing criminal convictions should be done so in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, but generally speaking, any conviction that carried a prison sentence of less than six months should be disclosed for seven years, and those convictions with a prison term of over six months will be noted for ten years.
Returning to the Motor Trade After Convictions?
If you’re returning to the motor trade after an extended period away due to convictions, a driving ban or a prison sentence, you might find yourself confused about how you can successfully operate as a motor trader with convictions. You should seek expert advice from knowledgeable Motor Trade insurance brokers such as Think Insurance, to find out how you could run a motor trade business as someone with convictions.
Don't Risk It
After receiving criminal convictions, you may be put off by an increased premium on your Motor Trade insurance, and you may then be tempted to forgo taking out insurance altogether and take the risk of running your business without cover in place. Not only is it a legal requirement to have Third Party cover at the very least, but your business will be better off by being properly insured. You may be able to operate legally without Third Party cover but it would restrict your business activities and make it extremely difficult to make a success of your motor trade business. For example, if you operate a car dealership you would have to rely on your customers to have the correct insurance to test drive vehicles, many of which may not have insurance or be unwilling to use their own cover. If you were a mechanic you wouldn’t be able to test drive customer cars on the road as you wouldn’t be covered, which could lead to poor repairs. So make sure you at least get Third Party cover.
Contact Your Broker
If you have a motoring conviction or a criminal conviction and you are looking to take out Motor Trade insurance then the best thing to do is disclose everything right from the start, to prevent problems later on or disappointment when you have to pay an increased premium when your insurer does find out, or worst case, you have an accident and discover they won’t pay out on your claim. If you’re not sure, then the best thing to do is ask. Better to be safe than sorry!