FAQ for UK Consumers – Insurance Credit File

A LexisNexis / IIL search footprint on your credit file demonstrates that an insurer or broker has requested LexisNexis/IIL to search your data with a Credit Reference Agency (“CRA”).

In such circumstances, LexisNexis/IIL, acting on behalf of the relevant insurer or broker, obtains your data from the CRA and then provides it back to the insurer or broker that had requested it. LexisNexis/IIL does not act as a controller of the information from your credit file and it does not use such information for its own purposes, but rather acts as a conduit between the CRA and the insurer or broker.

The CRA searches conducted by LexisNexis / IIL on behalf of insurers and brokers are classed as 'soft searches' and these types of searches can only be seen by you and have no impact on your credit score. Soft searches are automatically removed by the CRAs after a period of time, usually between 12 and 24 months after the search was conducted.

Insurers and brokers carry out searches with CRAs for several reasons. These reasons include checking an individual’s identity, assessing their insurance risk, and assessing creditworthiness.

CRAs enable insurers and brokers to consider certain kinds of credit reference data when they are assessing risk. This data can help the insurers and brokers decide (i) whether to provide cover to a person; (ii) how much the insurance premium should be; (iii) whether to allow payment for insurance on a credit instalment basis; and (iv) how much the credit instalment would be.

Credit reference data enables insurers and brokers to better forecast their future liability and to price their insurance and credit products more accurately and competitively. For consumers, it means that insurance policies and credit instalments plans are priced more fairly, with the lowest-risk individuals paying less for their insurance and credit instalments.

The type of search footprint left on your credit file will assist you to identify the purpose for which your data was used.

Search Footprint

Purpose

Other

Identity Check

For identity verification purposes.

 

General Insurance

For general insurance decisioning including insurance risk assessment.

 

 

 

This type of search provides the relevant insurer or broker with aggregated public data from your credit report, such as, for example edited electoral register data, judgment data, insolvency data and fraud prevention indicators.

This type of search does not include credit account performance data (i.e. information about how you are managing to repay your credit commitments).

Quotation Search

For credit risk assessment at the point of quotation.

 

This type of search includes the types of public data described above in relation to a General Insurance search. It also includes credit account performance data.

 

Please refer to http://www.transunion.co.uk/crain or to https://www.experian.co.uk/legal/crain/index for further information about the CRAs.

The LexisNexis / IIL search footprint on your credit file could mean that several insurers and brokers have requested and received information from it. This is usually the case where you requested several insurance quotations at once via an aggregator website (such as, for example, www.comparethemarket.com or www.confused.com). 

One quotation request on an aggregator website may result in many identical requests for information from your credit file (i.e., from all those insurers and brokers that wish to provide you with an insurance quote). LexisNexis/IIL de-duplicate these requests sending only the first one to the CRAs to search against its live databases. LexisNexis/IIL then shares the information returned from the CRAs with all insurers and brokers that have requested it.

Whilst your credit file does not display details of the aggregator website, insurer and/or broker that have requested your credit data, you can request to see this information by making a request to the credit reference agency. See “How do I query or delete the search on my credit file” below for further information.

Insurers and brokers will also search credit reference agency files when they prepare your renewal offer or make an adjustment to your policy.  It is common practice for comparison websites to keep the information you give them and send you quote details a year later and, that being the case, this is usually explained in their terms and conditions. If none of the above apply, it may be that someone else has looked for insurance using your details.

If you do suspect fraudulent access to your credit file, you should contact the relevant CRA. See “How do I query or dispute the search on my credit file” below for further information.

Query

If you wish to find out the aggregator websites, insurers and/or brokers who requested LexisNexis / IIL to search your data with a CRA, please contact the CRA using the contact details set out below.

Once you raise the query with the CRA, the CRA will send your request to LexisNexis. LexisNexis will search its systems to find the aggregator websites, insurers and/or brokers that have requested the search and inform the CRA, who will then inform you. You can choose to approach the company in question if you wish to find out any more information regarding their use of your credit file data or report any suspicious activity.

Dispute

If you believe a search footprint has been placed on your credit file in error, you can raise a search footprint dispute with the CRAs. The CRAs send information on any search footprints disputes to LexisNexis. Using the information provided by the credit reference agency, LexisNexis will search its systems to find the aggregator websites, insurers and/or brokers that have requested the search and inform the CRA.

The CRA will contact the company that had requested the search and, if the company decides that the search footprint was not legitimate, they will inform the CRA and the search footprint will be deleted.  If, however, the company that requested the search decides that the search footprint is legitimate, i.e., if a search was made by aggregator websites, insurers and/or brokers, it will remain on your credit file. Soft searches can only be seen by you, do not affect your credit score and are automatically removed by the CRAs after a period of time, usually between 12 and 24 months after the search was conducted.

Search footprints are recorded on your credit file to show you who has processed your credit file data and for what purpose, to assist you to identify any suspicious activity (such as a third party performing an insurance quotation search in your name). If you believe this is the case, and your search dispute has been nevertheless rejected, you should contact the CRAs.

How do I contact the CRAs and LexisNexis?

If you would like to query or dispute the search on your credit file, have any questions or wish to make a subject access request to see the credit file information that the CRAs hold on you, you should contact the CRAs directly, using the contact details set out below:

Website: www.transunion.co.uk
Consumer Services Team: PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ
Consumer Helpline: 0330 024 7574
Email: consumer@transunion.co.uk

Website: www.experian.co.uk
Consumer Help Service: PO Box 9000, Nottingham, NG80 7WP
Helpline: 0344 481 0800 or 0800 013 8888

LexisNexis acts as a processor of the credit file information and therefore this information will not appear in LexisNexis’ subject access request report.

If you need any further information from LexisNexis, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Data Protection Officer
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group
Global Reach 
Dunleavy Drive 
Cardiff 
CF11 0SN 
Email: DPO@lexisnexisrisk.com