Get a C.L.U.E. and Save Some Money
Whether you’re renewing an existing insurance policy or shopping for a new one, you need to request a copy of your C.L.U.E. report.
It’s a seven-year record of your personal auto and property insurance history. Insurance companies use it to determine premiums and make key coverage decisions.
If you’ve never heard of a C.L.U.E. report, you aren’t alone. Eighty-six percent of Americans are unaware that this document exists.
But your lack of knowledge could be costing you in the form of higher premiums.
It’s simple to obtain a copy, and doing so could help you lower your insurance bills. Here’s how to do it.
A Little-Known Database That Could Cost You
C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It’s the name of the insurance database managed by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
Insurers use your personal C.L.U.E. record to disclose when they pay out money, deny a claim or set up a file for a possible claim on your behalf. This includes auto and homeowners insurance claims.
A C.L.U.E. report is similar to a credit report. Insurers and lenders use these records to assess the risk of insuring or lending to you.
From car accidents to dog bites to electrical fires, this database reads like a home or driver history book. Like your credit report, it goes back up to seven years.
But unlike your credit report, you probably haven’t seen it before. And odds are, you have no idea how your personal C.L.U.E. report is impacting your insurance rates.
For example, insurers can use the claims history of a previous owner when setting premiums for your homeowners insurance policy. That’s because C.L.U.E. records your personal claims (“claims for the subject”) separately from the claims on your home (“claims history for risk”).
C.L.U.E. maintains a record of both, regardless of whether or not the insurance company denied or paid out your claim.
This is just one more tool insurers use to justify charging higher premiums.
And unfortunately… the information on these reports isn’t always correct. Mistakes and unrelated information are commonly included, and they can send your rates soaring.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to identify and correct errors. Doing so could save you hundreds of dollars each year on your insurance premiums.
What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You
The first step is to request a copy of your C.L.U.E. report.
You’re entitled to free copies of your C.L.U.E. Personal Property Report and C.L.U.E. Auto Report once annually. This is thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the same federal law that grants consumers access to their credit reports each year.
You can view sample reports, learn how to interpret yours and order free copies of your reports directly from LexisNexis here.
Your report will include data like…
- Loss date
- Loss type
- Amount paid
- Policy number
- Claim number
- Insurance company name.
When you get your reports, make sure to check each incident description for accuracy. If you find a mistake, LexisNexis encourages you to notify them at 888.497.0011 within 30 days.
Some common inaccuracies include…
- Accidents showing a driver incorrectly at fault
- Improperly closed claims
- Erroneous claims and claim amounts.
It will take 30 days to investigate the contested information. Then, LexisNexis has five business days to mail you the results.
If you’re interested in obtaining a C.L.U.E. report for a property you’d like to buy, it must be requested by the current homeowner. Savvy sellers typically request copies and readily provide them to potential buyers, but if you don’t receive one, make sure to ask.
C.L.U.E. reports are an important part of protecting yourself and your wallet from faulty identity, credit and insurance information.
So the next time you check your credit score, don’t forget to get your C.L.U.E. reports, too.
If you find a mistake, fix it. Then go renegotiate your rate with your insurance company.