A central database for insurers helps to bring fraud levels down across the UK, and make premiums affordable for customers. It’s known as the CUE database.
The Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) is a central database containing information on motor, home, travel and personal injury incidents which have been reported to insurers. CUE helps the industry combat fraud by allowing insurers to look at the details of customers’ incidents, whether they resulted in a claim or not.
Data is held on CUE for six years and insurers can consult it when deciding on the details of a policy or if a claim is made.
This enables them to crack down on fraudulent claims and false claims history. For instance, if you fail to mention previous claims you’ve made, or you have a record of making multiple rejected claims.
Even with stringent measures in place to lower fraud rates, including a specialist police unit (Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department) and a data sharing initiative designed to tackle application fraud in motor insurance (MyLicence), it remains a huge problem within the insurance industry.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reports that UK insurers detected 96,000 false insurance claims in 2020, which totalled £1.1 billion in value, and it’s estimated that a similar amount slips through the net each year too, costing the insurance industry an eyewatering amount.
This cost to the insurer is then passed onto the customer in the form of higher insurance premiums.
However, insurers sharing information with each other on the CUE database, along with other methods of fraud prevention, means paying out on fewer false claims.
This enables the insurer to charge lower premiums.
When you apply for a car insurance policy, you’ll be required to disclose any previous claims from the past five years (although this depends on the insurer).
If you fail to notify your insurer and you need to make a claim, you may find that it’s rejected because you withheld important information.
It’s always worth being upfront and completely honest with your car insurer. Although having a previous claims history can push the price of your premiums up, at least you’ll be covered.
CUE stores information on any incidents and claims that you’ve reported over the previous six years to motor, home, travel and personal injury insurers.
The incident doesn’t need to have resulted in a claim for it to be included on the database. This is because information on all incidents help to build a fuller picture of how risky it is to insure you. For example, if there was an attempted break-in of your home and minimal damage was caused, which you were able to fix easily at a low cost, it could still signal to the insurer that you may be more likely to be a victim of burglary again in the future.
You can view what information is being held on you by completing a data subject access request and sending it to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) – the address is on the form.
If any information is incorrect, you can contact the insurer that supplied the MIB with the data (the insurer you reported the incident to) to have it amended.
Insurers may use the information found on CUE when providing you with a quote. This will be taken into account along with other factors including your age and address, for example.
This means that if you have previous claims or incidents recorded on the database, you may be required to pay more for your insurance than if you had none. However, it’s hard to determine how it will affect the price as insurers calculate premiums in different ways.
Insurers also use CUE when you make a claim to see whether you have accurately disclosed your previous claims history. If it doesn’t match the information you provided in your application, you could find that your policy is invalid and therefore, your claim is rejected.
It may be tempting to avoid telling your insurer about smaller incidents to stop the information from being sent to the CUE database and your premiums potentially rising.
However, this is classed as misrepresentation or committing non-disclosure (a form of insurance fraud) and could invalidate your policy. If in doubt, let them know.
The problem with this type of information being shared on the CUE database between insurers is that you could see your premiums rise over incidents that didn’t even result in a claim.
This can be extremely irritating if they’re one-offs that are unlikely to happen again and you have to pay out more for a policy.
Unfortunately, not reporting incidents, no matter how minor, is classed as insurance fraud and can invalidate your policy, so it’s vital that you always do it.
Source: Association of British Insurers. Fraud.