In an effort to fight insurance fraud, several databases have been set up in the UK to track people’s insurance history. The information these databases hold about you can include policies you’ve taken out, your No-Claims Discount and your claims history.
A number of these databases are managed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). While the MIB was initially set up to compensate victims of uninsured and unidentified hit-and-run drivers, it is now responsible for much more. For example, it also helps people who have suffered minor road traffic accident-related injuries to claim compensation without legal representation, as well as managing motoring and non-motoring databases on behalf of the UK insurance industry.
One of these databases is the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE). In this article, we’ll explain what the CUE database is, reveal how it can affect your insurance and give an overview of some of the other insurance databases.
What is the CUE database?
Established in 1994 and run by the MIB, the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) database is a register of all the motor, home, travel and personal injury incidents that have been reported to insurance companies in the UK.
It holds around 34 million records, which contain information on all reported incidents — whether or not an insurance claim has actually been made — and includes anything from minor events, such as a damaged car headlight to more serious incidents like thefts and injuries.
Continue reading to find out more about the CUE database.
What is the purpose of the CUE database?
Fraud is a big problem for the insurance industry. In 2021, for example, the value of detected fraudulent claims hit £1.1 billion.
The CUE database was set up to allow insurance companies to share data in an effort to combat insurance fraud. By allowing insurers to share information about incidents, more fake claims can be identified — which means the cost of insurance can be kept down for honest policyholders.
Making this information easily accessible to insurance providers also means you won’t be asked as many questions when buying an insurance policy, and you don’t have to worry that you may have forgotten to disclose an incident that happened in the past.
As mentioned in the previous section, the CUE database contains information about incidents even if a claim hasn’t been made. This is so insurers can have a better understanding of the risks involved in insuring someone. For example, if a thief damaged your car while trying to steal it but you managed to make the repairs yourself, an insurer will see your vehicle as a target for thieves and therefore riskier to insure.
How does the CUE database affect my insurance?
In the past, insurance companies would only check the CUE database when a claim was made. Nowadays, they will refer to CUE when you buy insurance — or even when you’re just shopping around for a quote — to check that the information you’ve provided about your claims history is correct.
Along with factors like your age and home address, they may use this information to calculate your premium, meaning the CUE database could have a direct impact on the cost of your insurance.
You must report even minor incidents to your insurer so that the details can be stored on CUE, which means that even if you haven’t made any claims, your renewal quotes could increase.
It is worth remembering, though, that the prevention of fraudulent claims reduces the cost of insurance for everyone, overall.
What happens if I don’t report an incident?
You may be tempted not to declare a low-level incident because you’re worried about your renewal quote going up. Or, you might just think the incident is so minor it isn’t worth mentioning. But failure to provide this information is classed as ‘non-disclosure’, which is a type of insurance fraud that could invalidate your policy and also mean you have to pay more for your insurance in the future.
In the event of a claim, an insurance provider will check the CUE database to ensure that the previous information you’ve supplied is correct. If they discover a previous claim that you didn’t tell them about, they won’t pay out on the current claim.
So it’s important to be completely honest about any incidents — regardless of whether you made a claim.
How do I check CUE?
You can see what information the CUE database holds on you by completing a Subject Access Request form on the MIB website.
It costs nothing to make this request, but you will need to provide details like your name, address, contact details, and reasons for requesting the information.
How long does a claim stay on CUE?
Once an incident has been reported — no matter how big or small, or whether a claim has been made — it will be recorded on the CUE database and will appear within the customer’s information for six years.
The exception to this is if the claim or notification on the customer’s CUE document is found to be incorrect, in which case it will be removed.
If you believe the information stored about you on the CUE database is incorrect, you can contact MIB or contact the insurance company that you believe supplied the wrong data.
What are some of the other insurance databases?
In addition to the CUE database, there’s also the MID and the MIAFTR database. Each of these registers focuses on a particular insurance and claims process element.
MID stands for the Motor Insurance Database. As its name suggests, it is a record of all of the insured vehicles in the UK, and — like the CUE database — it is run by the MIB.
Both the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the police rely on the MID to enforce motoring laws. However, with more than two million enquiries each month, the police force is the biggest user. It uses the database to identify and remove uninsured vehicles from the roads, seizing around 115,000 cars, vans, lorries and motorcycles each year.
As with CUE, you can do a free online check to see whether your vehicle is insured. Simply visit the MID website and enter your vehicle registration number. A box will appear confirming the make and model of your vehicle and whether or not it’s insured.
There are some valid reasons for a vehicle not being on the MID. These are:
- The vehicle has a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN)
- There’s been a mistake with the vehicle’s insurance, meaning it doesn’t show up on the database
If you’re certain your vehicle is insured but it’s not showing up on the database, it could be because the registration details on your policy are incorrect. Some common examples of this are mistaking noughts for ‘O’s and vice-versa and mishearing letters that sound similar, for example, ‘F’ and ‘S’ or ‘M’ and ‘N’. In this case, your vehicle will show up on the register a couple of days after your insurance provider has updated the information.
You can also use the MID website to determine whether a vehicle you’ve been involved in an accident with is insured. Again, you just need to enter some basic details, but you’ll also have to pay a small fee before the information is released.
If you drive a car without having a valid car insurance policy in place, you could incur one or more of the following penalties:
- A £300 fine
- Six points on your licence
- A court conviction
- The seizure of your vehicle
If your vehicle is seized, you may have to pay a £150 fine to release it, and it’s also likely your car insurance premiums will be higher in the future.
Another one of the key databases used to fight insurance fraud is the MIAFTR (Motor Insurers Anti-Fraud and Theft Register).
Containing records of written-off and stolen vehicles, the MIAFTR database was established to monitor what happens to vehicles that are written off for insurance purposes, but it’s also used to trace and recover stolen vehicles.
Access to this database is limited to subscribers, including the police, insurers and those working on behalf of existing subscribers.
In an effort to fight insurance fraud, several databases — such as the MID, the MIAFTR and the CUE — have been set up in the UK to track people’s insurance history. The CUE database is a register of all the motor, home, travel and personal injury incidents that have been reported to insurance companies in the UK. It holds around 34 million records, containing information on all reported incidents — whether or not an insurance claim has actually been made — and includes anything from minor events, such as a damaged car headlight, to things like thefts and injuries.
The CUE could directly impact the cost of your insurance, as insurers may use its data to calculate your premium. Additionally, failure to disclose an incident to your insurance company is classed as ‘non-disclosure’ and is a type of insurance fraud that could mean you have to pay more for your insurance in the future.
You can see what information the CUE database holds on you by completing a Subject Access Request form on the MIB website. Once an incident has been reported, it will be recorded on the database for six years. The exception to this is if a claim or notification on the customer’s CUE document is found to be incorrect, in which case it can be removed by contacting the Motor Insurers’ Bureau or the insurance company that’s believed to have supplied the wrong data.