Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Claims and Underwriting Exchange
The Claims and Underwriting Exchange (or CUE) is one of the databases holding information supplied by insurance companies about the numerous motor, home, personal injury and industrial accidents/illness incidents reported (regardless of whether or not they led to a subsequent claim).
CUE operates under the not-for-profit company Insurance Database Services Limited (IDSL) for the benefit of its member organisations. The organisations in question include many major insurers and a large number of self-insured organisations (like local authorities, passenger/freight transporters).
Why was CUE set up?
Set up in 1994 with the aim of preventing multiple claims fraud and misrepresentation of claims histories, subsequently reducing premiums for honest insurance customers (according to CUE themselves).
The database now reportedly holds somewhere in the region of 32 million claims records which are readily available to their subscribers, and one would have to imagine that this figure grows on a daily basis. If you would like to review any information held about you in the database (or in a number of other archived records) you should familiarise yourself with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
The Data Protection Act 1998
The DPA imposes certain obligations on insurers and other compensators that hold personal details about members of the public. The Act requires that personal information is processed and handled in accordance with a set of strict guidelines designed to give us better access to the information held about us on computers and (some) paper records. It also gives individuals the right to be compensated for any inaccurate or lost data, as well as the right to correct or remove incorrect data. Digitally stored information is the specific focus of the DPA and those companies holding records about private individuals must submit to the Data Protection Register.
The rights of individuals to access information about themselves are covered by Principle 6 of the DPA, which lists an individual's rights as follows:
- a right of access to a copy of the information comprised their personal future
- a right to object to processing that is likely to cause (or is causing) damage or distress
- a right to prevent processing for direct marketing
- a right to object to decisions being made by automated means
- a right to have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed (in certain circumstances)
- a right to seek compensation for damages caused by breaches of the act
With crimes like identity theft becoming an increasing threat, safeguarding your personal information is more important than ever. If you have a history of CCJs/IVAs or bankruptcy, or you have been refused home insurance in the past, you will not have the right to prevent credit or insurance providers from accessing this information about yourself. The DPA exists to give you the chance to make sure the information that banks/credit providers and insurers hold and view about you, is correct.
If you have been refused insurance or have had home insurance cancelled in the past, you are likely to have a hard time finding home insurance again. Being refused home insurance is considered a material fact by insurers, so you are obliged to disclose it when applying for cover. Having home insurance declined might make it harder to obtain insurance, but it is vital that you do and that you obtain it honestly. Not disclosing when you have been declined home insurance in the past, can lead to your cover becoming invalidated. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for home insurance, even if you have had issues with cancelled home insurance in the past.