An error in CLUE insurance report can increase homeowners insurance premium or even prevent from getting coverage at all.
What is C.L.U.E.?
C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) is a claims history database created by ChoicePoint that enables insurance companies to access consumer claims information when they are underwriting or rating an insurance policy.
How to dispute report information?
If you decide to contest information about a claim, your first step is to contact LexisNexis, the owner of CLUE. You can either call the phone number listed on your CLUE report or write to P.O. Box 105292, Atlanta Ga. 30348. (The general toll-free number is 800-456-6004.) You cannot submit a dispute statement online. A-PLUS, operator of another claims-history database, follows a similar dispute procedure.
You’ll need to provide the following information to dispute a claim:
- The CLUE reference number, which appears near the top of the report;
- The name of the insurance company;
- The date of the loss;
- A brief explanation of the facts as you see them.
Once LexisNexis gets your dispute statement, it will investigate the claim and contact your insurance company, if necessary. The investigation can take up to 30 days, according to a LexisNexis spokesperson. The insurance company then has time to respond, which can take several months.
If LexisNexis’ investigation supports your assertions, it will make changes in your CLUE file. Whether it agrees or not, the company will send you a letter explaining its findings within five days after the investigation is concluded. Many insurers offer a claim-free discount. Just 5% off means $40 in savings on an average annual premium of $804.
Setting the record straight
If you’re not satisfied with the results of the investigation, you can submit your side of the story. LexisNexis will add your statement to any future CLUE reports that include the disputed claim.
Even if the claims information in your CLUE report isn’t wrong, you may decide the report doesn’t tell the whole story. You can add comments to any entry in your CLUE report to explain the circumstances of a claim. For example, perhaps you made a claim for damage to your roof after a limb from your neighbor’s tree broke off in a storm. Since then the neighbor has cut down the tree and you’ve repaired the roof. You could attach a comment to the claim history indicating that this problem won’t reoccur.
Look out for these common errors
What should you look for in checking your CLUE report? Of course, look for any claims that you didn’t file. You can also review the specific information about each claim for accuracy, in particular:
- Social Security numbers. An incorrect number could mean someone else’s claims history is in your report;
- Policy numbers. Check them against your original policy or your most recent bill;
- Dates of claim. Since claims only remain on the report for seven years, an incorrect date could mean that the claim is listed for too long;
- Amounts of claim. Be sure that these amounts agree with any payments you received.
If you haven’t owned your home for seven years, you might also want to contact the previous owners to verify that any claims they filed are stated correctly in the report. If you got a copy of LexisNexis’ Home Seller’s Disclosure Report from the sellers when you purchased your home, you might also want to compare that report with the “Claims History for Risk” section of the current CLUE report. This part of the CLUE report lists recent claims related to your home, not just those you filed. One catch is that the Home Seller’s report, which shows the claims history of a property without divulging personal information about the sellers, only goes back five years.
For ANSWERS to Frequently Asked QUESTIONS About C.L.U.E.: http://oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-207.htm
SOURCE: LexisNexis, HouseLogic
Real Estate and Homes For Sale in Northern Virginia, Fairfax County VA, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA, Northern Virginia Realtors real estate agents, REALTOR Vivianne Rutkowski