If you don’t want to bump up your insurance premiums, don’t ring your insurer for advice. Not many customers have heard about the dreaded Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE), but if they have any insurance, their details will be logged.The exchange is the Big Brother of the insurance industry and has millions of files listing anyone who has applied for or taken out an insurance policy.
Basically, all the insurers feed in the day-to-day information they collect about people making inquiries or taking out policies.
This information is then shared and included in the pricing and risk assessment the insurer carries out to work out whether to insure you, and if the risk is right, how much to charge.
If you drop your phone, have lost a laptop or have a dent in the car and wonder if you are covered, resist the temptation to phone your insurer unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Should you make the call, you may well find that your next insurance premium shots up – even though if no claim results from the inquiry, the insurer should log the incident as ‘no payment’ with the exchange.
This means as no pay out was received; the incident should not count on your risk assessment.
However, some insurers do not play by fair rules.
They will not tell you your call is being logged on the database or that they will include the information in your next premium assessment.
Admiral has admitted that they are one of a number of companies who do this.
Insurers will claim the database is to prevent fraud, but customers are more likely to feel that the information is really a stockpile of nuggets and titbits hoarded to push up the price of home and car insurance.
Also, unlike a credit history, although you can view your insurance history, you cannot add explanatory notes to your file.
To find out what insurance companies know about you, pay a tenner to request any records held in your name from insurancedatabases.co.uk