By Matthew Vanderford, Insurance Claims 911
So, after being gone for the day, you finally pull in the driveway, walk into your house and find water on the floor coming from a small leak from the icemaker. You grab your phone, look up a local plumber and start to get things repaired. But what do you do next? Do you file an insurance claim or pay out of pocket for the repairs?
For most people, filing an insurance claim can seem daunting. The claims process can be overwhelming and intimidating for some. The most important thing to understand is the difference between filing a claim and gathering information prior to filing. Once a claim is reported, it’s cataloged in a data base called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or C.L.U.E. for short.
There is a lot of information that comes out of the C.L.U.E. report and, most importantly, a lot of information that can lead to adverse information negatively affecting how consumers go about trying to obtain an insurance policy in the future.
C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange), is a claims history database created by ChoicePoint that enables insurance companies to access consumer claims information when they are underwriting or rating an insurance policy. ChoicePoint was started by the parent company NexisLexis, a database for legal and public records related information; the information is placed on a platform to be exchanged within different companies and organizations who pay for their data mining reporting services. How this relates to consumers is that this information is collected, saved, shared and stored up to seven years and used to calculate the risk of any person or entity.
How this relates to the insured is that all past claims history is saved on this database and can be used to see how many claims a person has filed, the likely hood of filing additional claims, how may claims a particular property has had and the likelihood of more claims being filed on that property, too. What i doesn’t take into consideration it the nature of how the information was reported or if it was reported in error (unless corrected at a later time). The problem is, most consumers are not aware that even fact finding about a potential claim can be reported and affect their reports negatively.
In short, the most important thing to know when reporting a claim or if you are thinking of reporting property damage to your insurance company, is to take the time to talk to a licensed insurance professional to assess the damage prior to reporting. As a wise person once said, “Knowing is half the battle.”
To obtain your free C.L.U.E. report, contact: LexisNexis, Consumer Center at 866-312-8076 or go to, www.lexisnexis.com.