Have you ever had questions about past damages to a car or home you’re interested in buying? Or maybe you’ve felt that your auto or home insurance premiums are higher than usual. In both cases, a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report can give you clarity and peace of mind and even help you lower insurance premiums. The CLUE report is a claims history database produced by LexisNexis. If you’re looking for help on how to interpret the information in the CLUE report, or what to do with that information in relation to your finances, then consider working with a financial advisor.
What Is a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) Report?
A Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report is a profile of a consumer’s auto and property insurance claims from the past seven years. Just as a credit report shows a consumer’s credit history, a CLUE report shows your recent history of insurance claims for your vehicles and property.
CLUE reports reside in a database that LexisNexis Risk Solution maintains. Reports also say whether each claim received payment. However, reports do not include unrelated personal information, such as legal judgments, credit history and criminal records.
How the CLUE Report Works
Whenever a consumer files an insurance claim, the insurance company uploads a report of the claim to the CLUE database. Over the years, every consumer, property and vehicle has developed a CLUE profile.
Homeowners and insurance companies can access CLUE reports. Homeowners can pull reports for potential buyers to show them the history of property damage. Ideally, the report would prove that the home has suffered little damage for the past seven years or that insurance covered the repairs for any damage.
Insurance companies use reports to assess the risk of covering an individual’s property and set the appropriate rate for coverage. Insurers calculate your rates based on your claims history. As a result, the more claims in your history, the more likely firms will charge higher premiums.
Consumers or properties with numerous substantial claims may ward off potential homebuyers and cause insurers to charge higher rates for coverage. On the other hand, reports showing little to no activity can help homeowners and drivers secure better insurance rates. In addition, home buyers can have confidence in the condition of the home they’re considering.
What Information Is on a CLUE Report?
CLUE reports contain the following information:
Insurance company’s name
Property owner’s name and date of birth
Type of loss, such as theft or storm damage
Date of loss
Details about the covered property
The address if the property is a home
Vehicle information for auto claims
Only insurance companies can provide information to the CLUE database. Reports contain comprehensive insurance information but do not contain additional personal information, such as credit history or legal action.
How to Obtain a CLUE Report
Because of the Federal Fair and Accurate Transactions Act, you can acquire your CLUE report every twelve months. You can order your report online, and it will arrive in the mail. Another option is downloading the request form and mailing it. You can also call 866-312-8076 and ask for your report.
It’s a good idea to check the report to verify that the data it shows is accurate to your insurance history. Mistakes or errors can cause your insurance company to raise your rates, so it’s worth working with LexisNexis to correct the information.
Your CLUE report goes seven years back, so the oldest information falls off each year, and the most recent year’s information will appear. Therefore, the report may contain little to no information, especially if you haven’t filed any insurance claims.
In addition, the law doesn’t require companies to report claims. As a result, your insurance company might choose not to upload claims to the database, meaning that past claims might be absent from your report.
What Does a Blank CLUE Report Indicate?
A blank CLUE report implies that the individual did not file any insurance claims for the last seven years or that their insurance company did not upload claims to the CLUE database. An absence of claims does not equal an absence of property damage. For example, the property owner may have paid out of pocket for repairs without involving their insurer to avoid rake hikes.
How CLUE Reports Impact Home Insurance
Typically, if you file insurance claims for property damage or theft, your insurance company will decide you’re more likely to do so again compared to someone who hasn’t filed a claim. Unfortunately, this decision almost always results in your company raising your insurance premiums when it comes time to renue your policy. It is also a consideration when you switch insurance companies.
However, your insurer might not raise your rates if you have an uneventful CLUE report and move into a home with claims from the previous owner. This is because companies usually weigh consumer activity more heavily than a property’s claim history. There is no cut and dry impact, but the potential for the cost of insurance to increase with activity is high.
CLUE Reports for Car Insurance vs. Home Insurance
CLUE reports for auto and home insurance display claims regarding the property and whether insurers paid for damages. However, they diverge in other details they show. For example, car insurance reports contain the driver’s and policyholder’s name, policy number, claim date and type and payment amounts. In addition, the make, model and VIN may also show up.
On the other hand, a CLUE report for a home will include the policyholder’s name and birthday, the claims they have made and the payments for any claims. It will not specify which part of the property suffered damage, but you can ask the homeowner for details if you see a claim you aren’t sure about.=
The Bottom Line
Homeowners can use CLUE reports to give possible buyers peace of mind about a house’s condition. Additionally, insurance companies use CLUE reports the way lenders use credit reports, assessing a consumer’s history to set rates for future services. Remember, you’re entitled to one free CLUE report per year. Inspecting your report for errors and correcting them can help reduce your insurance premiums. You can work with LexisNexis, the company managing the CLUE database, to address erroneous information on your report.
A financial advisor can help you figure out your insurance needs. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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