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Why do insurance companies in Australia ask for background checks?

Some people with a criminal record are surprised to discover it’s hard to get insurance as many Australian companies turn them down when they hear about that. Many wonder if this is legal and what they can do in such a situation. Will it be impossible to get the insurance they need? Yes, asking for background checks is legal and, once again, yes you can get insurance. You might need to talk to several insurers or perhaps pay a higher premium, but in the end you’ll get it.

Here’s what you need to know.

Why do insurance companies ask for criminal history checks?

Australian insurance companies are entitled to ask for background checks as the type of offences you might have on your record might indicate you pose a certain risk of getting into some type of trouble, trouble they will then be asked to cover for by way of damages.

What type of offences might make me ineligible for insurance?

This depends on the type of insurance you’re looking for. If it’s car insurance that you need, the company will want to know whether you have drunk-driving or other traffic-related offences on your record. For instance, if you were caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol several times, there’s a high chance you’ll do it again, and they won’t want to pay for the damages you might cause.

On the other hand, people with a history of theft or fraud convictions also face a tough time finding insurance of any kind.

At the same time, if you were found guilty of committing criminal damage, it will be hard for you to get home insurance.

How do I know what my criminal record looks like?

Some insurance companies only ask about offences you might have committed during the past 5 -10 years. In any case, you should always answer truthfully as many companies won’t be satisfied with just what you say and will want to check by ordering a background check on you. At this time, the truth will come out anyway so it’s best to be honest from the start and hope for the best.

If you need to know what is and what isn’t on your criminal record, you can always order a background check on yourself using the service of an online agency like Australian national character check via the following link - https://www.australiannationalcharactercheck.com.au where the process is completely onlinue. You can access the ANCC portal on your computer, tablet or phone, fill in your information, and you’ll receive your police check usually in 2-3 business days.

This is very useful as older minor offences might have become spent, in which case you don’t have to say anything about them, and they won’t show up on your record.

Do all insurance companies ask about my criminal record?

Actually, no, some don’t. Also, even some of those that do ask for a background check won’t take into account some of the offences on your record. This depends on each company’s policy. Some car insurance companies will refuse you flatly if you have a drunk-driving conviction, while others won’t even ask.

This is why you need to ask around until you find an insurer that will take you. On the other hand, be wary of those companies that don’t ask many questions and seem unbelievably cheap. They might just remember to ask about your record when you’re in an accident and they need to pay for damages. They can use your record as a pretext to cancel your policy and they’ll refuse to pay for damages.

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