Do You Have a Clue about C.L.U.E. Reports?

The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database contains the insurance claims history on homes, automobiles, and individuals over the last seven years. Not all insurance companies contribute to the CLUE database, but most do. Underwriters can use the information on a CLUE report pulled on a house, for example, to help rate insurance policies. The rating affects the cost of the policy’s premiums.

You can see how knowing about not only your own CLUE report, but also the report of a future home is important if you don’t want to pay a ton for insurance!

For Homes and Automobiles

CLUE reports for homes and automobiles can be a useful tool for both future buyers and insurance companies. By listing the insurance claims and losses on a home or car over the last seven years, a CLUE report reveals previous damage and, in the case of homes, the potential for future losses.

A CLUE report includes insurance company names, policy numbers, any claim numbers, dates of any claims, the loss types, amounts paid for losses, and if a claim was denied. Claims might include weather-related losses, fires, theft, vandalism, and water damage. However, the report doesn’t indicate what part of a home or property was affected—for that you’d need to rely on a homeowner’s disclosure or a home inspection to turn anything up.

While a home buyer cannot request a CLUE report, it’s often obtained by the buyer's insurance company, who may then pass along the information, especially as it pertains to a policy’s rating and price.

For example, suppose a previous home owner made three flood damage claims even though they never mentioned this to you. A CLUE report could reveal this information. Or, say a home has been burgled multiple times. Your insurance company might say they won’t lower your premium until you install an alarm system. Conversely, if loss has occurred and the homeowners properly correct the issue—say a roof damaged by extreme weather—the insurance company might give you a lower rate because they know the roof is brand new.

Ultimately, the information in a home’s CLUE report can help a homebuyer determine whether or not to buy a particular house and how difficult and costly it may be to get homeowners insurance on the property.

You can get a free CLUE report on your home, automobile, or on yourself as an insured individual once a year from LexisNexis. Requests can be made online or by calling (866) 312-8076.

For People

Yes, there’s a CLUE report on you if you’ve filed any home, auto, or renter’s insurance claims in the past seven years. Like your credit report, you should review your CLUE report annually for any mistakes that could ultimately lead to higher insurance premiums. If you fix any hazards on your property or install an alarm system that addresses any claims on your report, make sure you notify your insurance company so you can benefit from any lowered policy premiums.

If you find mistakes on your report, contact LexisNexis Consumer Center at 888-497-0011.

A caution about roommates and renter’s insurance. You can add a roommate to your policy, but that’s a chancy move. Any claims that roommate makes on the policy may affect your premiums and will be reflected on your CLUE report. It can be risky to allow someone else an influence over this report, which could affect your financial future.