Considering that around 90% of all insurers underwriting homeowner's insurance subscribe to the CLUE service, it's certainly something that you should know about. Many home buyers have at least a basic understanding of the process such as their credit, pre-approval, and a home inspection. However, most buyers don't have a clue what a CLUE report is, much less what an important element it ti when buying and insuring a new home.
About CLUE Reports
The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, is a database that allows auto and homeowner insurers to exchange information about property loss claims. Unless your state specifically requires it, prior notification isn't required before your information goes into the system. In Florida, CLUE reports are used for automobile homeowner's insurance policies.
Here's a simple example of how the exchange system works:
What does a CLUE report say about me?The CLUE report includes personal information such as your name and date of birth. Tied to your identifying information is a record of any homeowner property loss claims you have submitted to an insurance company for the past five years, including:
The CLUE database may also include notations of property "damage" - even if the insurance company didn't pay out a cent. Any hint of water damage to a property, for example, is likely to trigger a negative mark on the property's CLUE report. Well intended consumers who call an insurer to merely inquire about coverage for water damage have been shocked to have their insurance cancelled. Your chance to get new insurance at a good rate could be affected.
Why do insurers use CLUE reports? CLUE reports are a way for insurers to share information about your record of filing insurance claims. Insurance companies are by nature in the business of assuming risk. The more that a company pays in property claims, the less it profits. CLUE reports are one of the ways an insurer assesses how much of a risk it is assuming by selling you an insurance policy.
The theory is that an individual's history of filing insurance claims is a good indicator of how likely that person is to file future claims. Taken to the extreme, this process of risk analysis translates to "use it and lose it". If you file a claim against your policy, report damage without filing a claim, or even inquire about your coverage, you may not get new insurance at a good rate - or at all.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -
Emerge Insurance Agency
5991 Chester Avenue, Suite 103
Jacksonville, FL 32217