Insurance companies set rates by looking at numerous factors, such as your credit score, claims history, and location, as well as the replacement cost of the insured asset. But one important rating factor you may not know about is your CLUE insurance report. Insurers use these reports as part of their risk assessment process, and you have separate CLUE reports for your home and auto claims history.
It’s imperative to verify your CLUE report is correct; inaccurate information could keep you from getting the best rates, or even mean you’re denied a policy. Below, we’ll break down this report in more detail so that you understand how it affects you. We’ll also explain how to get your free copy.
What Is a CLUE Report?
CLUE stands for “Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.” It’s a claims-history database created by LexisNexis, a consumer reporting agency that uses data and advanced analytics to help its customers make informed decisions and better manage risk.
A CLUE report compiles your claims information to provide data about your home and auto insurance coverage and losses. It’s only available to you, your insurer, and the lender for your property. If you want to know what your report shows, you can request a free copy from LexisNexis (keep reading for instructions on how to do this).
What Your CLUE Report Includes
Your insurance company reports policy information to the CLUE database, including your:
- Policy number
- Claims information (dates and types of losses, amounts paid, etc.)
- Covered property’s description
- Property address (homeowners claims)
- Vehicle information (auto claims)
The CLUE database doesn’t store any other data sources like credit reports, criminal records, legal judgments, or civil lawsuits, and it only retains up to seven years of your home and auto claims history.
Your report can include claims information even when a payout wasn’t made. That’s because insurance companies report all claims they paid money for, created a file for, or formally denied.
Only insurance companies that subscribe to CLUE can contribute or access CLUE reports, but it’s likely that yours does; LexisNexis reports that 99% of auto insurers and 96% of property insurers subscribe.
CLUE reports only show actual claims you initiated. They do not display inquiries you made to find out about possible coverage or costs when you’re deciding whether to file a claim. However, if you’re calling about an actual loss, such as a broken water pipe, specify explicitly that you’re only making an inquiry and not a claim.
How Insurance Companies Use Your CLUE Report
Insurance companies and their agents only use your CLUE report to underwrite and rate a new policy. Most insurers won’t pull another CLUE report at renewal because their database already includes any claims you’ve filed with them since your policy started.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives LexisNexis the right to generate one when the information is used to underwrite a policy you applied for or when an insurance company requests it.
Getting a Copy of Your Report
It’s essential to request a copy of your report so you can check for inaccurate or irrelevant information that might negatively affect your insurance premium or eligibility. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was amended in 2003 by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and it allows you to request a free CLUE report for your auto and home claims history every 12 months. You can request your CLUE reports from LexisNexis by:
- Applying online
- Calling 800-456-6004 or 866-897-8126
- Mailing a request form to LexisNexis Risk Solutions Consumer Center, P.O. Box 105108, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5108
Asking for a CLUE report will never hurt your credit score.
You can also get a free copy of your report if your insurer sent you an adverse action letter—a letter stating you were not given the best insurance rate, were denied coverage, or had your coverage limited. If the insurer canceled your policy or increased your rates, it will also send one. Regardless of the specific reason, contact LexisNexis Consumer Center at 800-456-6004 for your free CLUE report. Be prepared to provide basic personal information, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and your letter reference number (if applicable).
If you’re interested in a property and want to know its claims history, you can ask your real estate agent to request a report from the property’s current owner. When a CLUE report is requested for a real estate transaction, the seller’s personal information is removed.
How To Correct Mistakes on Your Insurance Report
If you notice an error on your CLUE report, call the LexisNexis Consumer Center at 866-897-8126 or 800-456-6004. LexisNexis will contact the insurer on your behalf, then the insurer has 30 days to provide LexisNexis with evidence that the information in question is accurate. If the company fails to respond on time or provide sufficient proof, LexisNexis will remove the data from the database.
You can also add notes to your CLUE report for other insurance companies to see. For example, if your home report includes a claim for damage from a fallen tree branch, you can note that the entire tree was removed. However, insurers aren’t allowed to add notations to your report or to the database.