We recently discussed when to file a claim and when to forego reporting property damage or loss to your insurance, and one of these reasons is that simply filing a claim can boost your insurance rate or cause your insurance company to reconsider the relationship altogether. But how does an insurance company track your claims, especially if they’re not your current insurance carrier?
A database called CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) may already have your name on it, so it’s important to know what that database is all about and how it may affect your coverage options in the future.
The vast majority of consumer insurance claims are recorded in one or both of 2 databases: CLUE or A-PLUS. Generated by LexisNexis, CLUE is the larger of those two databases and is a claims-information report that contains up to seven years of personal-auto and personal-property claims history. The database was originally created to thwart the efforts of those attempting to commit insurance fraud, but its uses far extend past that goal and can now impact those who are simply utilizing their insurance for its intended purposes.
The reports generated by CLUE are known as ‘CLUE Reports’, and it’s estimated that more than 98% of insurers writing automobile and homeowners coverage provide loss data to the CLUE databases. That means that information such as:
are all recorded here in the CLUE database. The issue arises when insurance companies begin to use CLUE for more than preventing fraud and instead using this database to research and screen applicants' claim histories.
But how can this be damaging?
An insurance carrier may submit information to CLUE when a customer simply calls on an inquiry. That means that the more you file a claim or call about an inquiry, the more ammunition your insurance carrier has to boost your rates or drop your coverage altogether.
Insurance companies should only be accessing the database when a claim is filed, but there’s nothing stopping them from researching your information on a whim. Because if your insurance company accesses the database for any reason, it’s counted as a claim - not an inquiry. And the more accessing that’s done on your information, the more ‘claims’ are filed in CLUE.
To get a free copy of your CLUE report, contact LexisNexis either online or by calling (866) 312-8076.