Car insurance is a necessary expense for every car owner, and finding the right policy at an affordable price is crucial. However, what happens when a simple query about coverage leads to a significant increase in your car insurance quote? This was the case for one individual who reached out to Swinton, a well-known insurance provider. In this article, we will explore the unfortunate experience of this individual and the lessons we can learn from it.

The Initial Quote and the Inquiry

The individual in question had been a Swinton customer for several years and was satisfied with the coverage and pricing they received. Their car insurance policy had cost them £420 the previous year, which seemed reasonable. However, when it was time for renewal, they received a quote of £980, nearly double the previous cost. Naturally, they were taken aback and decided to inquire about the sudden increase.

The individual had only called Swinton to ask about their policy’s coverage for mechanical damage. They had experienced an issue with too much engine oil being put into their car and wanted to ensure they were protected. However, to their surprise, they were informed that they had been involved in a multi-vehicle collision in September 2021 and had lost their no-claims bonus as a result. This was a misunderstanding, as they had made no claim for the mechanical damage and had simply asked about coverage.

Swinton’s Initial Response

Upon receiving this information, the individual contacted Swinton’s underwriter to rectify the situation. The underwriter confirmed that there had been a mistake and that the incident recorded was not a multi-vehicle collision but rather a query about mechanical damage. They provided this confirmation over the phone and twice in writing.

However, Swinton initially refused to accept the underwriter’s explanation and insisted that the individual would have to pay the increased price due to the inquiry. This was a frustrating turn of events, as the individual had done nothing wrong and had sought clarification about their policy. It was clear that there was a breakdown in communication between the underwriter and Swinton’s customer service team.

Seeking Coverage Elsewhere

Frustrated with Swinton’s response, the individual decided to explore other options for car insurance. They found a new provider and secured a policy with them. However, their relief was short-lived when the new provider informed them that their policy would be canceled due to an open fault claim from September 2021. It seemed that the incident with Swinton had been recorded on the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) central database.

The Role of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)

The MIB is a central database that records all insurance incidents, including claims, accidents, and inquiries. It is used by insurance companies to assess risk and determine policy pricing. In this case, the misunderstanding with Swinton had been recorded as an incident on the MIB database, leading to complications with the new insurance provider.

Rectifying the Issue

Realizing the impact of the MIB database on their insurance options, the individual took further action to rectify the situation. They reached out to Swinton again, this time escalating their concerns and demanding a resolution. After further investigation, Swinton acknowledged the mistake and corrected their records on the MIB database.

Apology and Goodwill Gesture

Swinton recognized the inconvenience and distress caused to the individual and issued a formal apology. Additionally, they offered a goodwill payment as a gesture of goodwill for the mishandling of the situation. While it cannot fully compensate for the frustration and time spent seeking alternative insurance, it was a step in the right direction.

Lessons Learned

This unfortunate experience with Swinton car insurance highlights several key lessons for both consumers and insurance providers. Firstly, it emphasizes the importance of clear communication between underwriters and customer service teams. Had Swinton’s customer service team properly understood the underwriter’s explanation, the situation could have been resolved promptly.

Secondly, it demonstrates the need for accuracy and attention to detail when recording incidents on the MIB database. Mistakes like this can have significant consequences for individuals seeking insurance coverage elsewhere. Insurance providers must ensure that accurate information is recorded and shared with the MIB to avoid such issues.


Nobody wants to experience a sudden increase in their car insurance quote, especially when it stems from a simple inquiry about coverage. The case of the individual with Swinton car insurance serves as a cautionary tale of the importance of clear communication, accurate record-keeping, and prompt resolution of customer concerns. By learning from these lessons, both consumers and insurance providers can work towards a more transparent and fair insurance industry.