How does the Claims and Underwriting Exchange affect your home insurance?

If you don’t make a claim on your home insurance, you might think that your renewal price will be roughly the same as before. But that might not necessarily be the case. You could find that even if you haven’t made a claim, renewing could cost you more, thanks to a little-known database called CUE.

What is CUE?

CUE is the Claims and Underwriting Exchange. It’s a central database that contains details of all the incidents reported to insurance companies. CUE isn’t just limited to home insurance; there are more than 30 million records relating to car and personal injury policies too.

The main aim of CUE is to combat fraud. Having a single source of information about policy holders and incidents means that insurance providers can easily check details if they suspect that something’s a bit fishy. And before anyone starts the whole ‘data privacy’ debate, fraudulent claims add around £50 to your average annual insurance bill, so it’s in all of our interest to stamp it out.

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What does CUE know about my home insurance?

Every time you report something to your home insurance provider (such as if someone tried to unsuccessfully break into your shed or smashed a window) it gets recorded in CUE – regardless of whether you want to make a claim or not. This is to help prevent fraud. For instance, if a person enquired as to whether a claim would be covered by their insurance and finding out it’s not. They could then add the cover to their policy and report the same claim, saying it occurred on a different date.

Having ‘incidents’ on record could be seen by some insurance providers as increasing the chances of you making a claim in the future – which could see your premium rise.

Of course, it’s tempting to just not tell. But remember, non-disclosure goes against the rules and if you conveniently ‘forget’ to tell all, then you could find your insurance policy invalidated. It might seem like CUE isn’t that great for us consumers, but it’s here to help prevent fraud and bring down the cost of your home insurance overall – so it’s not all bad!

What should I think about when considering home insurance?

Home insurance covers both buildings and contents – you can buy both as a package or you can buy them as separate policies. If you rent you may only need contents insurance as your landlord is responsible for arranging buildings insurance – but always double check. You don’t need home insurance by law, but if you have a mortgage it may well be a condition of your mortgage provider that you have buildings cover at the very least.

If your home isn’t made from the usual bricks and mortar, then the building itself is something you’ll need to pay particular attention to. Homes that are slightly unusual, such as one that’s listed, made of stone, is timber framed or has a thatched roof, are usually classified as ‘non-standard’ and your policy will need to reflect this. Non-standard homes can be more expensive to insure because they use specialist materials and workmanship, and can cost more to repair.

Another major consideration includes particularly expensive items, such as jewellery, antiques or furniture. You’ll need to tell your insurance provider about any items that exceed your single item limit and in most cases, you’ll need to itemise them separately on your policy to cover them.

Bear in mind that there’ll be some things your home insurance policy most likely will not cover, such as general wear and tear, frost damage and any damage caused by pests.

Also, don’t make the mistake of over or under insuring your home and belongings. Try to be as accurate as possible – our guide to estimating the value of your possessions might help.

What can I do to lower the cost of my home insurance?

No one wants to pay more than they have to for insurance and there are lots of ways to lower the price. One of the key things is not to overestimate the value of your home and contents –you’ll be paying more for a policy when you don’t need to.

Also, it may not be worthwhile claiming for every small incident as this could push up your premium. Weigh up the benefit of claiming against any excess you have to pay and any potential rise in premium. Remember, it’s your decision to claim and your insurance provider is there to help you when things go wrong. Plus, making sure your home is secure can help to bring down your premium –having a burglar alarm (and putting it on) is a good start. If you like these ideas, then you can find more top tips in our guide to saving money on your home insurance.

Of course, the number one way of reducing your premium is to use comparethemarket.com. We work with more than 60 trusted partners to bring you choice and value – all in just a few clicks. Remember, whatever CUE holds on you, you won’t necessarily be viewed the same way by all insurance providers, so start comparing.

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