In Canada, the term criminal record is not officially defined under the law. Docket records are stored in a computerized registry that gives access the full history of civil, criminal and penal files. When we speak of a criminal record, we are referring to a criminal or penal docket file, not a civil file. Over 4 million Canadians have a criminal record, including nearly 800,000 Quebecers.
What is the impact of a criminal record on damage insurance?
Applying for insurance is often problematic for individuals against whom legal proceedings have been brought in the past and their relatives. Insurance is a shared risk mechanism. It consists in distributing the cost of eventual claims made by a small number of people by collecting a small amount from a large number of people. Access to insurance is not per se a right. In fact, insurers are entitled to establish selection criteria, helping them to insure an individual without penalizing the all of their policyholders.
Several “direct” or “regular” insurers will refuse to insure individuals against whom legal proceedings have been brought because they consider their risk factor to be greater than that of others.
Fortunately, other “specialty” insurers agree to insure such individuals, generally in exchange for higher premiums or policy exclusions. It’s often thanks to a specialty broker like Lussier Dale Parizeau that you will obtain help in securing the insurance you need.
Attenuating or aggravating circumstances
- The older the offences are, the lesser their impact: When the infraction is minor and dates back in time, (10 or 5 years depending on the type of offence and the insurer), the application will be accepted more readily by an insurer and the cost of the insurance policy will be lower.
- Somes offences cost more: If you have a criminal record because of crimes that are typically covered by insurers, such as fraud and theft, this will undoubtedly have a greater affect on your application. You are less likely to be approved, or you will be required to pay a larger premium, because the insurer will consider that there is a greater risk in providing you with coverage.
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