Granite Underwriting is continually looking to support our brokers serve a more diverse range of customers, providing them with the opportunity to grow as a business. Are your customers having trouble obtaining car insurance? Interestingly, did you know that 1.2 million individuals were dealt with by the Criminal Justice System in the UK in 2021? Furthermore, the Police National Computer’s recordable offences remain on your permanent record until you are 100 years old. Finally, as a specialist provider of niche and non-standard motor insurance, we understand that each case is unique and must be treated as such.

What is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act?

Importantly, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 supports the rehabilitation into employment of reformed offenders. Under the 1974 Act, following a specified period which varies according to the sentence passed, certain types of cautions and convictions may become “spent”. Therefore, the authorities deem the offender to be rehabilitated, and previous convictions are forgotten in the eyes of the law. As such, they are not required to declare their spent cautions or convictions, for example, when applying for insurance, employment, educational courses, and housing applications.

How long do criminal convictions have to be declared?

Above all, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that “the time a conviction takes to be spent should be coherent with the rehabilitation period appropriate for your crime.” Ultimately, the length of a sentence determines the period it must be declared. For example, fines are “spent” after a year in the UK, whereas prison sentences of more than 4 years must be declared indefinitely. For more information on convictions and the periods of declaration required by law consult the website. Additionally, the below data applies to offenders over 18 years old at the time of their conviction. Finally, there is a separate table for those under 18 years old brokers can access this via the website.

Hospital Order

Period of the order

Binding Over Order

Period of the order

Compensation order

On the discharge of the order (i.e., when it is paid in full)


Spent immediately

Conditional Caution

Period of the order

Absolute Discharge


Conditional Discharge

3 months or when the caution ceases to have effect if earlier


Declarable for 1 year from the date of conviction

Community Order

Declarable for 1 year from the date of conviction

Suspended sentence

Has the same declaration time as an actual prison sentence

0–6-month Custodial Sentence

Declarable (from date of conviction) for the full sentence length and a further 2 years

6–30-month Custodial Sentence

Declarable (from date of conviction) for the full sentence length and a further 4 years

30–48-month Custodial Sentence               

Declarable (from date of conviction) for the full sentence length and a further 7 years

48+ month Custodial Sentence 

Never spent

The difference between spent and unspent convictions

Clearly, as depicted in the table above, during the “rehabilitation period” following any criminal conviction or following a custodial sentence your conviction is deemed “unspent”. However, following the predetermined “rehabilitation period”, your conviction will be considered “spent”. In addition, automatically spent offences include cautions, diversionary youth conference plans, and informed warnings.

Which Convictions Must Be Declared When Applying for Insurance

Unquestionably, you must declare unspent convictions to your insurer. Therefore, if your conviction is spent, that is the “rehabilitation period” specified by a court has elapsed, you don’t need to declare it on insurance applications.

Struggling to Secure Car Insurance with Criminal Convictions?

Granite Underwriting is a specialist provider that has been established since 1982. With our experienced team of underwriters and a flexible approach, we compete in areas of the market where more traditional insurers would decline. Our dedicated UK-based team of insurance agents is on hand to help your customers secure the coverage they need and will even consider those with criminal convictions.

Click or Call for a Quote Today! 

Above all, we understand our client’s needs and aim to provide solutions. Indeed, we take a proactive approach and examine the merits of each risk on a case-by-case basis.  Additionally, our team also provides:

  • Flexible Underwriting: a dedicated and experienced team who underwrites each risk
  • Fast Turnaround: we are available from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Friday and until 3:00 pm Saturday
  • Online Portal: for easy risk submission and issuing cover
  • Reliability: providing a consistent approach to underwriting and rating
  • Net Rated quotations: most of our schemes are Net Rated allowing you to adjust the size of your broker fee and maximise your earnings

Subsequently, Granite Underwriting is here to help your customers get back on the road, and on with their lives. We may be able to help those with criminal convictions find the car insurance they cannot acquire elsewhere. Call 0345 092 0701 or click “Get a Quote” now to discuss your requirements.



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