If you apply for car insurance and on the proposal form you are asked whether or not you face any prosecutions for motoring or criminal offences, you may feel that this has got nothing to do with the insurance company. After all, you may know or believe yourself to be innocent. So why tell them?
The answer is; if you do not, your insurance policy may well be considered voided. If you have an accident, the insurer may refuse to pay out. Furthermore you may face fraud charges, which could give you a criminal record. however the fact that you have declared this may mean that the insurance company either refuses to give you a quotation at all, or provides a very expensive one. Is this fair?
It may appear unfair, but this is how the system works. Insurance companies are entitled to work out their premiums on the basis of how much risk they see of a claim in the future. People with convictions are statistically more likely to be involved in more claims. It follows that those who have been prosecuted for an alleged offence are more of a potential risk than those who are not. In the same way, if you are involved in an accident but pay for it yourself, rather than make a claim, your premium is still likely to rise. This is because, already having being involved in an accident, you are statistically more likely to have one in the future.
What effect this would have an an insurer's decision would depend very much upon the offence that you were actually charged with. There would be a world of difference between having an MOT certificate which expired a few days earlier, or being charged with a serious offence such as drink-driving.
Mainstream insurance companies tend to take a very pessimistic view of those who are charged with offences, even though they may actually be innocent or may just receive a very minor penalty. Thankfully there are other companies who take a more realistic view and are happy to provide policies for customers in this situation. As ever, a competent broker may be able to help to get a policy organised at an affordable price.