A new report by InsuranceQuotes.com unveils some surprising actions that can hike up your insurance rates. There are plenty of hidden car and home insurance gotchas that could derail your efforts to save money this coming year. For example, did you know that if your claim is denied this could still lead to higher car and homeowner’s insurance rates? The same goes for claims that were discussed with an insurance agent but never filed. In addition, claims made by a previous owner can also raise the costs for homeowner’s insurance.
BlackEnterprise.com: What is a C.L.U.E report?
Laura Adams: C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange and is a claims history database that allows insurance companies to access consumer claims information when setting rates for auto or home insurance. Companies that contribute loss information to the C.L.U.E database are eligible to withdraw it when rating a policy. Claims up to 7 years old are maintained in the database. The C.L.U.E. report includes information about the policyholder, including name, date of birth, and policy number. It also contains loss information such as the type of claim, date of loss, and the amount paid out on a claim. The report also includes property address for home insurance and vehicle information for auto insurance.
BlackEnterprise.com: Why is the C.L.U.E. report important?
Adams: Your claims history is important because it’s a major factor that insurance companies use to set your premiums for auto and home insurance. If there are errors on your report, they might cause you to overpay. Even claims made by your home’s previous owner(s) may be used when setting the rate you have to pay for home insurance. So verifying them with an owner before purchasing a home is a good idea.
BlackEnterprise.com: Can consumers order a C.L.U.E. report? How much does it cost?
Adams: To order a C.L.U.E. report, consumers can learn more in C.L.U.E. Report: The “Secret” Report That Affects What You Pay for Insurance. The report is available for free once every 12 months. You can order your own report or request that the current owner of a property that you may want to buy order a C.L.U.E. report. If you discover an error on your C.L.U.E. report, such as an incorrect claim, payment, or claim type, you can dispute it and get results within 30 days. If you want to include additional information in your report to explain a situation, you can submit a personal statement.
BlackEnterprise.com: Why does a denied claim or even a claim that was discussed but never filed hike up rates? Do these scenarios apply to both home and car insurance?
Adams: When an insurance company evaluates a consumer’s claim history, they may consider any claim or even discussion about a specific loss as an indication that future losses may occur. That potential future loss may make both an auto and a home insurance consumer more risky in the eyes of the insurer, so they may raise rates to compensate for it.
BlackEnterprise.com: How can consumers prevent getting into a situation that would cause a rate hike? What are some examples?
Adams: Consumer should check their C.L.U.E. reports on an annual basis to make sure no errors exist that may be causing them to overpay for auto or home insurance. They should also be cautious when discussing property losses or damage with an insurance company or agent. It’s important to clearly state whether you are filing a formal claim or just making an inquiry about what may or may not be covered under your policy.