How to check your vehicle’s car insurance claim history

Find out how to check your vehicle insurance history, and its effect on the cost of your insurance premiums.

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What is my car insurance claims history?

Your claims history is a record of every car insurance claim you have made on your policy in the past. When you purchase a new car insurance policy, you’ll typically be required to provide details about you and your car, including information about any previous claims. If it has been a while since you made a claim, there are ways to check the details of your claims history.

How can I check my car insurance claims history?

You have a couple of options for checking your car insurance claims history. The easiest option is to request your claims history directly from your current car insurance provider. Your provider should be able to provide you with key information relating to any claims such as the dates of claims, the types of claims, the settlement amounts or payouts and any injuries claimed as well as any other details. If, for some reason, your insurance provider is unable to provide you with any details relating to your claims history, you have an alternative option.

CUE Check or the Claims and Underwriting Exchange database is a register of all claims made in the UK relating to home, personal injury, travel and motor insurance. It was set up in 1994 to help insurers keep track of claims and to minimise insurance fraud as all incidents are recorded whether they result in a claim or not.

As well as insurance providers being able to access information from this database, you are also able to look at your own claims history. You can obtain your report online or speak to a representative for further details.

Why are claims history records so important?

Insurance providers look at several factors when calculating your insurance premiums including your claims history. If you’ve ever made a claim on your car insurance, it will be recorded within the CUE database and your insurance provider will be able to use this information to assess how much of a risk you may be and subsequently work out how much your insurance premiums should be. With one central database of claims, it also makes is difficult for people to hide any previous claims from future insurers.

For example, if a driver has made several recent car insurance claims, the insurance provider may decide that the driver is more likely to make a future claim and could set the premiums much higher as a result. However, if a driver has never made any claims, an insurance provider may decide that the driver is much less of a risk and set the insurance premiums much lower.

How can I save money on car insurance if I have previous claims?

  • Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
  • Increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
  • Have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
  • Limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
  • Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Add experienced drivers. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy could help to lower the premium.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Advanced driving skills. You could be in line for a discount with certain providers by taking an advanced driving course such as those offered by the Pass Plus scheme.
  • Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
  • Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small, safe car is likely to lower your premium.
  • Limit modifications. Any modifications made to your car to make it look better or drive faster are likely to increase your premiums, so think carefully before making any changes.
  • Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
  • Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully. Consider a specialist insurance provider with knowledge about insuring drivers with claims.

Bottom line

Being able to check your car insurance claims history may seem like a waste of time but don’t be fooled, being in the know about previous claims could help you take steps to save on your insurance in the future.

Frequently asked questions

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*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, (March '21). 51% of car insurance customers could save £228.60.

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