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Your CLUE Report Can Affect Insurance Costs

Most consumers know that the credit bureaus maintain detailed credit reports of their personal and confidential activity in their credit and loan accounts. But did you know that there's a report that includes detailed information about the losses and insurance claims reported by you on the property you own? That's right, and the report is called a CLUE Report.

Folks need to know about their CLUE Report and how the information on these reports is used. They also need to know how they can access and use these reports before they consider important transactions such as buying or selling a home or changing home or auto insurance.

CLUE Reports
The C.L.U.E., or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is a database of insurance losses and claims created and maintained by CLUE Inc. subsidiary of LexisNexis. The CLUE database is one of the most comprehensive sources of insurance losses and claims information used by the insurance industry, businesses and the government.

The information on a CLUE report includes claims and losses reported by insured individuals regarding their insured vehicles and property. CLUE reports include detailed information about each claim by you and/or on your property, including:

  • the insurance company name,
  • policy number,
  • claim number,
  • personal information about the insured,
  • the property address,
  • your SSN,
  • your mortgage company,
  • mortgage loan number and,
  • the amount and reason for each claim.
Thanks to the FACT Act, the same law that allows folks to get a free copy of their credit reports at AnnualCreditReport, you can get your CLUE report for free here. The report is free once per year.
Be Careful What You Say to Your Insurance Company
You also need to mindful that merely contacting your insurance company or agent to discuss an actual loss and how their insurance might cover it is often considered to be reporting a loss. The result is that this information could show up on your property's CLUE report regardless of whether or not your insurance company made a claim payment. The reason insurance companies do this is because policies require insurance companies to take specific actions within specific time frames when a loss is reported. However, when you make an inquiry only - which to discuss how your coverage works for a hypothetical loss, without disclosing that the loss has incurred - then the inquiry is not reported. Consumers need to be specific as the whether they are filing a claim or only making an inquiry.

How CLUE Affects Your Insurance Costs
Considering the amount of detailed information on a CLUE report, these reports can either be a good thing or a source of concern, depending on your situation.

Say you are shopping around to get a better deal on your property insurance and you had a claim for damage to your roof from a fallen branch of a tree. Prospective insurance companies who review your CLUE report will see the claim and ask if the peril - the tree - has been removed. If the tree has not been removed, then they may feel that future claims caused by this perilous tree are likely and either charge you more for insurance or refuse coverage until the tree is removed. In another example, say there are several claims for lost property - such as stolen lap top computer, lost engagement ring, etc. A prospective insurance company seeing these claims on your CLUE report may determine you are either careless when it comes to your personal property or, worse, you are a habitual claims filer and refuse coverage altogether.

Check back in later this week when I'll write about how home buyers and sellers can use CLUE Reports.

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