CLUE Reports: How Car Insurance Companies Track Claims
You’ve had an accident and filed a claim. You’re worried your insurer may raise your rates. Can you switch to another insurance company that doesn’t know about the accident?
Unfortunately, insurers do have access to claims data from their competitors. Insurers will get your complete claims history from a CLUE report. So if another company doesn’t know immediately about your accident, they soon will.
CLUE is a database of insurance claims managed by LexisNexis. All of the major auto insurance companies make monthly loss reports to CLUE. And any insurance company who considers bringing you on board as a customer will consult CLUE before they offer you official car insurance rates.
LexisNexis is just one of many consumer reporting agencies, such as credit bureaus, who track information about your financial history. The competing A-PLUS report from Verisk also tracks auto insurance claims. A-PLUS is less commonly used by insurers, and it functions similarly to a CLUE report.
CLUE’s auto insurance database tracks and retains the following customer information, otherwise known as your “loss history.” Information is retained for seven years.
- Personal Information: name, address, date of birth, SSN, etc.
- Claims Paid: Previous claims that insurers have paid on your behalf.
- Claims Not Paid: Denied claims are also tracked.
- Inquiries: Any serious inquiry to your agent or adjuster are often reported.
Under normal circumstances, your insurer will request your CLUE report only once when they take you as a customer. Once they see your report they may adjust your rates if you’ve neglected to inform them of all losses in your history. After that they’ll keep their own records.
Each insurer weighs various types of claims differently when setting rates for your insurance. Remember that any time a claim is filed it will end up in your report, even if you weren’t issued a ticket or found at-fault for the incident.
In light of the CLUE report’s direct impact on your wallet, understanding the contents of your file and checking it for errors is extremely important. The good news is – much like with your credit report – you can request, review, and dispute items in your report.
That’s because the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to a copy of your report from any consumer reporting agency, including LexisNexis’s CLUE, for free once per year.
You can request a copy of your CLUE report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions on the Web or by phone:
- LexisNexis Personal Reports
- (866) 312-8076
A copy of your A-PLUS report is available from Verisk:
- A-PLUS Loss History Report
- (800) 627-3487
If you find errors in your report, there are steps you can take to rectify the problem:
- Contact LexisNexis: They’ll contact the insurance company that reported the issue and attempt to resolve any discrepancies on your behalf.
- Add a Personal Statement: You can add personal statements to your report.
- Contact Your Insurer: If your current insurer has made an error, you should contact them immediately and notify them of the error.
Information remains on your CLUE report for seven years. Knowing when old accidents and claims will age out of your report can help you know when to expect a rate drop from your current insurer or to go shopping for better rates.
Remember that if you are denied insurance or if your rates increase you are legally entitled to receive notification that contains the reasons and the factors that caused the decision. This may include negative information from CLUE or other reports such as your credit history or driving record.
- Credit Report: You can also get an annual free copy of your credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Driving Report: You can obtain a copy of your driving record from your state’s DMV or license bureau.
You can learn more regarding your FCRA rights regarding consumer reporting here:
Agents and online insurers are generally happy to help with questions about how your auto insurance rates are determined. Many will show you a copy of any reports they use to calculate your rates, and by accessing your current insurance account online, you may be able to see the claims and driving record information your insurer is using to set your rates.
Finally, state governments regulate insurance and privacy rights. Many states have additional laws designed to protect citizens’ privacy rights. If you have concerns about a claims history report you cannot resolve, contact your state insurance commissioner.
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