Do insurance companies share claims history?
Car insurance companies only tend to share information that has already been received as a means of confirming details, rather than seeking out new information on potential customers. This means that your details (including your claims history) shouldn’t be used for marketing purposes. The insurer may, however, share your claims history in these three places:
- the Claims and Underwriting Exchange database – dates back six years and holds all the records relating to insurance and reported claims
- the No Claims Discount (NCD) database – allows the new insurer to check your no claims discount
- your new insurance company – it’s possible that your old insurer will need to share information with your new one, but this is usually to verify the details that you have already supplied
All claims are logged with the Claims and Underwriting Exchange, whether you were found to be at fault or not.
Are insurance claims on public record?
Yes, all of your insurance claims are kept on both the Claims and Underwriting Exchange database and the No Claims Discount database, which are public records. However, they cannot be accessed by just anyone. They can only be requested by both the policyholder and insurance companies, as well as potentially by the police to aid with an investigation.
There are a number of ways you can access your claims history, including:
Asking your provider directly
Your insurer should keep an up-to-date record of all your claims within a certain time period. You can request information on claims during that period from them. This will differ between insurers but will match the period of time they asked you to cover when you told them about any claims you made during your application for the policy - as well as any you have made during your policy.
For example, they may have asked you about claims within the last three, five, seven, or even 10 years. They will keep this on record for at least as long as you are with them, so you can ask them for it at any time.
Contacting the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE)
Since the Claims and Underwriting Exchange keeps a comprehensive database of all incidents and claims, you can write to them requesting information about claims on your car. They only keep information for six years, so if you want details of an incident that happened before this, it may be a better idea to speak to your old insurer and see if they have a record of it.
Requesting information from the No Claims Discount (NCD) database
The information stored here is much more to do with your no claims bonus than it is with your claims history. There is a record of the claims you have made on there, but there probably won’t be much detail about the claims themselves.
If you are just looking to understand more about your no claims discount, you can contact the No Claims Discount database, ask your insurer or check your most recent policy document.
Why you should check your car’s claims history
When you buy a used car, you should always check the claims history on it because:
- you’ll want to know if there is any internal damage that can compromise your safety, which isn’t easy to spot
- any incidents that the car has been involved in could impact its performance and you want to know exactly what you are paying for
- sometimes even cars that have been written off are repaired and then sold on, which would endanger you and could invalidate your car insurance policy
How long does a claim stay on car insurance in the UK?
Car insurance claim records never really disappear. Instead, they are added to the Claims and Underwriting Exchange. Bear in mind that this only goes back as far as six years. Although your claims are documented here, they won’t always impact the price of your premium. How much your premium is, depends on the insurer and how far back they want to look.
Most insurers consider your claims history somewhere between three and 10 years when you take out a new policy with them.
How long do car insurance companies keep records in the UK?
In most cases, car insurance companies keep your information (including your claims) for as long as you are with them and between three and 10 years after you leave. This will depend on what they are obliged to do by law, too. Claims records tend to be kept for up to 10 years because insurers can be asked for this information by the regulating body, so they need to have it available.
Do I need to tell my new provider about past car insurance claims?
Yes – this is actually one of the main reasons why people want to check their car insurance claims history. When you take out a new insurance policy, the provider will ask you questions about claims as part of the application process. They use this information to decide how much to charge you for insurance.
It’s important that you answer the questions truthfully because if you don’t, you could be committing fraud. Check your claims history by one of the methods above to make sure you give an accurate account of your claims history.
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