If you have made a loss claim with your insurance company within the past seven years, there may be a file with your name on it, identified as your C.L.U.E. report. C.L.U.E., or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is a claims history database created by ChoicePoint, and it enables insurance companies to access consumer claims when they are underwriting or rating an insurance policy. The report contains not only the consumer’s claim information, including date of loss, type of loss, amounts paid, and a description of the property covered, but also personal information about the consumer such as name, date of birth, and policy number.
C.L.U.E. reports are mainly used when insurers underwrite and rate new policies, and when renewing a policy, insurers usually don’t even have to access C.L.U.E. reports because the information is already stored in their own database. In fact, the C.L.U.E. database is a subscription-based database, which means insurance companies have to subscribe to be able to access the information, so not all insurance companies submit their consumers’ information to be stored in C.L.U.E. reports. Additionally, even if your insurance company does subscribe to C.L.U.E., if you haven’t made a loss claim in the past seven years, you don’t have a C.L.U.E. report at all.
The problem arises when you realize that all the information in your C.L.U.E. report is being submitted by the insurance company, without your consent or knowledge, but the companies are protected to do so under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. So, inaccurate information may be listed in your report without your realization. Each consumer is allowed to request a single copy once every 12 months, and if there are any errors found, consumers can contact ChoicePoint directly to report the discrepancy. ChoicePoint then contacts the insurance company to request clarification; after 20 days without the company’s response, ChoicePoint will contact the company again to follow up. After 28 days without the company’s response, ChoicePoint will again follow up, and if, after 30 days, the company has still not responded, the questioned information will be removed from the consumer’s C.L.U.E. report.
Although you cannot access anyone’s C.L.U.E. account but your own, if you are considering purchasing property and would like to see the claims made on that property, you can ask the current homeowners to make a request for their own report.