CONSUMERS-YOU NEED TO GET A C.L.U.E.

If you are reading this and do not know what a C.L.U.E. report is then pay close attention if you have auto insurance or homeowner's insurance.  Because YOUR personal C.L.U.E. report(s) could be costing you a lot of money-and you don't even know it. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. database.  This database is maintained by C.L.U.E., Inc. which is owned by LexisNexis. LexisNexis is a consumer reporting agency that collects, maintains and uses informtion to create consumer reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA").

C.L.U.E. reports are purchased from LexisNexis by property and auto insurers who also voluntarily report their insureds information to C.L.U.E. and is the largest database of this information in the United States.  Your C.L.U.E. report is used by the insurance industry to determine your "insurance score."  An insurance score is a numerical value associated with an individual based on an evaluation of his or her credit report and a predictor of the likelihood of a future insurance loss.  The insurance industry and LexisNexis claim that statistical correlations have been proven to exist between various characteristics contained in a consumer's credit report and the frequency of insurance losses.

You are entitled to a free copy of your C.L.U.E. reports annually from LexisNexis.  There are two separate C.L.U.E. reports-one for homeowner's insurance and one for auto insurance.  If you find an error on your C.L.U.E. report then you notify LexisNexis and they contact the insurance carrier and request correction. If the insurance carrier refuses to provide a correction then you may also add a statement of explanation to any C.L.U.E. loss record.  Your statement will be displayed on the report each time the disputed loss is reported.

Well this all sounds incredibly helpful, doesn't it?  I am sure if you have been reading my Blog for any length of time you know I would not be writing this if I thought this whole C.L.U.E. report was a good thing.  There is, of course, some dirty little industry secrets that consumers are probably not aware of.

First, even if you have an auto accident that is not your fault, your insurance carrier may still report it as an at fault accident. Unless you are reviewing your C.L.U.E. report, you may not know why your insurance premium has gone up, the quotes you obtained from competiting carriers are inflated and you are paying inflated insurance premiums for your auto insurer's mistakes.

Secondly, for homeowner's C.L.U.E. reports, the information is tied to your address-not you. C.L.U.E. Home Seller's Disclosure Reports provide a five-year insurance loss history for a given address  You may have never filed an insurance claim with your homeowner's insurance but if the prior owner did then it is reported on your C.L.U.E. report and may result in escalation of your premium or denial of coverage. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Well, there is more and this is a real eye-opener.  Even if you NEVER filed a claim on either your auto or homeowner's insurance coverage, you may still be charged escalated premiums if you made an INQUIRY about a potential claim.  Yep, that is right.  Your insurance carrier can report to LexisNexis that you inquired about coverage for a potential claim that was never actually filed and was never paid out and it is a negative on your C.L.U.E. report  and reported a a claim which is why consumer advocacy groups advise you NOT to contact your insurance company or agent about a claim unless you intend to file it.

There are several other consumer protection issues with C.L.U.E reports.  The Lerman Law Firm is investigating whether C.L.U.E. reporting by LexisNexis constitutes unfair and deceptive trade practices.  Please contact our law firm if you have been the victim of an erroneous C.L.U.E. report or otherwise experienced escalated insurance premiums or denial of coverage due to issues with your C.L.U.E. report.  You may contact Cathy Lerman, Esq. at 954-663-5818 or via email at clerman@lermanfirm.com if you have information that will assist us in our investigation.  Now go order your C.L.U.E. reports!