Insurance Series – Over the next several weeks, I will cover four of the major types of insurance, as well as surrounding issues, that you should have or re-evaluate if you already have. This is post #2 – C.L.U.E. Report.
I wrote last week about some of the issues surrounding home owner’s and renter’s insurance. I briefly mentioned C.L.U.E. Reports, what they are, and how to order one. However, I don’t think that I really did the topic justice. A C.L.U.E. Report is the equivalent of a credit report for your insurance history. I am a firm believer in actively managing your credit and monitoring your credit report. The same principle applies to your “insurance report” as it can negatively impact your financial situation.
What is a C.L.U.E. Report and how do insurance companies use it?
ChoiceTrust, which is owned by LexisNexis, is the “credit” bureau of insurance. Your free C.L.U.E. Report is much like a credit report in that it maintains a seven year record of your (1) personal property loss history and (2) inquiry history. They also calculate a score based on your loss history. Insurance companies use actuarial tables to determine the risk of a given consumer. Therefore, insurance companies pull your report to see how frequently you make insurance claims and the severity. Both of those factors, frequency and severity, are then used to determine how risky you are and what your insurance premiums should be.
C.L.U.E. Reports are available for both your personal property (i.e. home owner’s insurance) and automobiles.
How can you use the report as a consumer?
Offering your C.L.U.E. Report to prospective home buyers is a great way to let them know that you have taken good care of the home (whether that be few losses or always taking care of problems as they arose).
How do you obtain one?
Unfortunately, you are supposed to order your report by mail. Follow this link to download and print the order form. After printing it, just follow the instructions on the form. If you “do not have Internet access” (then you probably aren’t reading this post), but you can call 1-866-527-2600 to order it by phone. Which means, even if you do have the Internet, you can still call and order it.
You will be required to send photocopies of sensitive documents such as your driver’s license or social security card. So please use security envelopes.
How often should you check your C.L.U.E. Report?
Just as with credit reports, your C.L.U.E. Report may contain false or inaccurate information. Meaning, an annual review is probably sufficient. Or, if you plan to change insurance providers in the near future, you should probably order one with enough time to fix any mistakes. If you do happen to find any errors and wish to dispute them, you can do so through ChoiceTrust.
So, get off your duff and order one!
(This post was featured in the 82 St Edition of Money Hackers)