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How to check your car insurance claims history

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Having a clear understanding of your car insurance claims history is essential. It provides you with insight into how previous incidents could impact your future premiums and no-claims bonus, and can inform what kind of policy you want to take out. 

Insurers share details on all claims through an industry database called the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE). This means they can review your complete history regardless of provider, not just incidents you’ve directly disclosed. But this tool isn’t just for providers. Checking the CUE yourself can provide a clearer picture of what affects your quoted premiums.

In our guide below, we’ll cover how to access your records, what impacts your claims history and how insurers use it when calculating prices.

How can I check my car insurance claims history?

You have three main options when it comes to checking your car insurance claims history: 

Contact your insurer

Your current provider holds your policy records, including claims details, so you can submit a subject access request for your complete claims data. This is free but can take up to 30 days to receive.

Use the CUE

The CUE is the leading UK database capturing details on all motor insurance claims. You can make a subject access request via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) website and access records going back six years for free, as long as your request is reasonable. Reports arrive within 10 to 30 working days.

Using the CUE provides complete visibility regardless of how many times you’ve changed insurers. This means that, even if your previous policies have lapsed, you’ll still have an overview of all your claims during that six-year period. 

Request data from the no-claims discount database

A record of your no-claims bonus is kept on the MIB’s no-claims discount (NCD) database. While this will only provide limited information on your claim history as a whole, you’ll be able to gain a better picture of how your no-claims bonus has grown and changed over time. 

To find out more about your bonus, you can either request information from the MIB NCD database, ask your current insurer, or check your policy documents.

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Do insurers require my claims history?

Insurers require a complete report of your past claims when calculating your premium. So checking your own car insurance claims history can help you ensure that you’ve not missed out anything when applying for a new policy. 

You must disclose your claims history accurately when applying for new policies. Attempting to hide past incidents by omission is a form of insurance fraud. 

Although the CUE only keeps claims on file for six years, it is at the discretion of the provider as to how much claims history it asks for. This could mean a provider asks for a period longer than the six years covered by the CUE. Typically, however, insurers ask for your claims history from the past five years. 

As for accidents that don’t lead to claims, you should still always inform your insurer of what happened. This is because, alongside your claims history, insurers will want to know about these incidents at the point of application. Failure to disclose a past accident could lead to a car insurance claim being invalidated.

How does my car insurance claims history affect the cost of my cover?

If a claim has been submitted, be it an at-fault or non-fault incident, it will generally increase your car insurance premium at the point of renewal. At-fault accidents will have more of an effect on your premium than non-fault claims.

Regardless of the type of claim, however,  too many incidents will raise the perceived risk of you as a driver, and contribute to increased car insurance costs. 

 Since claims get logged to the CUE by insurers, big and small, paying for minor repairs where possible is always worth considering. This can help protect your no-claims bonus, and keep down the cost of your insurance. 

Fortunately, your insurance premium should only be affected by the claims history period your provider asks for.  So if you made a claim 10 years ago, and your provider asks for your claims history over the past five years, that decade-old claim shouldn’t affect your premium.

Car insurance claims history FAQs

The CUE retains claims data for six years from the start date of the claim. However, some insurers may still consider old claims internally in their pricing, so it’s a good idea to keep your own record of your claims history.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) provides a Vehicle Enquiry service that can help you check the history of any used car you purchase. This service provides the MOT test status, tax position and other valuable details. There are also numerous online checkers that allow you to see the accident history of a vehicle. You should also ask the car seller for its service history, and any other relevant information.

Yes. No-claims bonuses expire if you don’t use them for two years or more. Having at least third party cover will keep your discount alive. However, lapses in car insurance that last longer than two years after your policy ends will reset  the bonus to zero.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.