If you are like most drivers, you have never heard of a CLUE report. You should make a point of learning about them. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the report and its uses.
What is a CLUE Report?
The CLUE report is generated by a database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. This database keeps a history of all the claims filed by a particular individual. It keeps all the information provided by member insurance companies, including information about the date of any losses, the type of losses, the amounts paid by a company and the type and value of the property insured. CLUE reports are part of the FACT Act, which allows insurers to cross reference information held on a central database regarding every insurance policy. A report is formulated every time you make a claim. This is sent to the central database by your own insurer, without your prior knowledge. It is then entered in to the database for future insurers to assess your credibility as a potential customer. ChoicePoint, in Georgia, is a private company who issues these reports to various inquiring providers. The database does not include any information about credit reports, criminal records or civil judgments, nor does it utilize any kind of legal record. The information is kept in the database for up to 5 years. So any claims filed for 5 years will be listed in the database.
How Does My Insurer Use a CLUE Report?
CLUE reports are used almost exclusively by agents who are considering new clients. They are used during the underwriting process, to determine the risk of a particular client. Most companies do not use them for renewals, because they have their own history on a client.
This makes the underwriting process easier for insurers, who can avoid searching public records and requesting information from previous insurers.
How does it Affect Me?
If you rarely make claims, or if you make a claim that is based on someone else's driving fault, you will not adversely affected. You will be affected if you make too many claims too often. Some people make a claim with an insurance company and then switch companies without notifying the new company of any previous claims. If the new company searches the CLUE report database, any deception will be immediately found, and you can be denied insurance on the grounds of false information being supplied.
Why Didn't My Provider Tell me about This Report?
CLUE is mostly unknown to the general public. Companies have not made it common knowledge, and your agent or provider is not going to volunteer the information unless you ask them about it. If you are refused insurance and they do not give you a valid reason, you could conclude something has appeared on a clue report regarding your history. It is then your burden of proof to debunk the information and disprove it. Your provider is not legally obligated to tell you about the database, but your agent should at least advise you that it exists and offer you some knowledge about how to deal with any damaging reports held against you.
Who Can Get My Report?
Any insurance company that participates with CLUE can get a copy of the report, but you as a consumer can also request and receive a copy of your own CLUE report.
Is there Anything I Can Do?
As a consumer, you do have the right to know if a company is holding a clue report against you when you apply for insurance. As with a credit report, you are entitled to see any clue reports that involve you. You can even apply for it in the same way you would apply for a copy of your credit history. You also have the right to dispute any information you feel is grossly inaccurate. If you have been turned down for insurance without being given a clear reason, apply for a copy of your clue report and see if there is something on there which has impacted a decision against you.
Recently many states have passed laws to address consumer concern over the CLUE reports and insurance scores. Laws vary from state to state but those interested in more information may contact their state insurance commissioner here.