Many car owners and homeowners are always looking for ways to cut their insurance premiums. A key factor to remember is that filing a claim usually has the opposite effect, causing premiums to rise. Insurers have a way to track any claims you file through your CLUE report. The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database, run by LexisNexis, reports directly to insurance companies with statistics on your claims history for the past seven years with your home and car.
Insurers use this information to determine your risk factor. If you have a history of frequent claims, expect to pay more on your insurance premiums. Here’s how to find and manage your CLUE report.
Types of CLUE reports
Your CLUE report comes in two versions. The first, a CLUE personal property report, is a report for claims on your personal property, such as your home. The second type, a CLUE personal auto report, deals specifically with claims you’ve made on a car. Regardless of the type of CLUE report, each report should contain the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your birth date
- Your Social Security Number
- A report number associated with that particular report
- Your insurance company, or companies if you have more than one
- The type of insurance policies you carry, including the number of policies
- Claim information, including claim number and type of claim
- Date of the claim
- Amount of the claimed losses
- Status of each claim
How your CLUE report affects you
A CLUE report can affect you in a variety of ways. First, a CLUE report that shows numerous claims can result in higher premiums if you purchase a new policy or switch your auto policy or home insurance to a different company. If you have too many claims, an insurer could even deny you coverage.
In addition, other factors that can affect your premiums include your overall credit and your driving record. If you carry a lot of debt or don’t pay your bills on time, you represent a bigger risk for filing a claim. And how you drive is a strong indicator of how much of a risk you represent to an insurance company. So, your CLUE report, while important, only plays a part in predicting your overall risk factor to an insurance company when determining the premiums the company charges you.
How to get a CLUE report
Insurance companies and you represent the only parties with access to your CLUE report. You are entitled to one free annual copy of your CLUE report. In addition, you can request a free copy if an insurer does one of the following:
- Denies you coverage
- Increases your premiums
- Places a limit on your coverage amounts
- Cancels your policy
You can obtain a free copy of your CLUE report by contacting:
CLUE Inc. Consumer Center P.O. Box 105295 Atlanta, GA 30348-5295
You can also contact the CLUE Consumer Center by calling toll free 1-866-312-8076.
Once you have your CLUE report, check it carefully for discrepancies and errors. Another option is to add a personal statement to your report, just like you can do with a credit report. To challenge erroneous information, send the following information to the address below:
- CLUE reference or consumer number
- Name of the insurer
- Date the claim was filed
- A brief explanation challenging the erroneous information.
LexisNexis Consumer Center P.O. Box 105108 Atlanta, GA 30348-5108
As you can see, becoming familiar with your CLUE report allows you to identify errors and dispute them to have them corrected. While the claims you file can cause you to experience higher car and home insurance premiums, other factors, such as credit and driving record, also play a part as well in how much a company charges.