• Criminal record: a barrier to obtaining insurance coverage?

    30 January 2018Christopher Johnson

    Everybody is equal before the law. Unfortunately, everybody is not equal before insurers. If you or your spouse is among the 4 million Canadians who has a criminal record, insurance companies will treat you differently from its other clients. In fact, some companies will bluntly refuse to insure you while others will insure you, but at a much higher premium than regular clients, even if you have never been to prison or if the offense was committed years ago.  

    Whatever your troubles with the law, Assurances Multi-Risques is not there to judge you, but rather to help you to obtain a second chance with insurers. The past is better left in the past. We are here to help you look to the future and to provide counselling that will allow you to find an insurer who will be willing to offer you coverage despite your criminal record.

     

    Criminal background: an important fact to tell your insurer

    As we have said before, many insurance companies refuse to insure people with a criminal record, their spouses and even their children, or insure them providing they pay a steep additional premium. However, whether you wish to protect your privacy or save costs, you must refrain from hiding the fact that you have a criminal record since doing so may result in a denial of claim from your insurer in case of reclamation.

    Indeed, in accordance with Article 2408 of Quebec’s Civil Code, you are required, as a client seeking insurance coverage, to divulge any information that may change your insurer’s risk assessment. The fact that the insurer did not ask you a specific question about your criminal record does not mean that you are free to keep this important data a secret!

    If you omit to disclose this important fact and your insurer discovers your past, he can cancel your insurance contract or refuse any insurance claim you file in accordance with Article 2410 of Quebec’s Civil Code on false declarations. Paying a bit more for your insurance coverage might just be better than paying a fair share of money for a worthless piece of paper!

     

    Finding an insurer despite having a criminal record?

    If you are discouraged following the cancellation of your home or auto insurance or by several insurers’ refusal to grant you insurance coverage, take heed! Several specialized insurance companies cover clients who, like you, have a criminal record. To obtain adequate coverage, we suggest that you contact an independent insurance broker who specializes in such cases. Your broker will counsel you and help you to establish your insurance strategy. Since specialized firm offers are limited, be prepared to pay a higher insurance premium than you would otherwise. Please note also that your criminal record’s importance can also impact on the coverage you can obtain and on the premium you will be paying. Finally, in order to speed up the process, be sure to provide your broker with an up to date court docket.

    Silence is not always golden. In the insurance world, a lack of transparency or excessive secrecy can cost a lot. It pays to be honest. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth in order to avoid further insurance problems and a possible worsening of your situation.