By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

When you request for an insurance quote, your insurer undertakes some steps first before you can receive a proposal. One of these is obtaining a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report to decide whether it is advisable to offer you coverage and how much you should pay.

Most insurance companies submit claims history information to the database for their own protection as well. Consumer reporting agency LexisNexis generates the report, which contains your personal information and the dates of your auto and property claims in the past seven years, the amounts paid, and whether the claim(s) was denied. You are entitled to get a copy of your CLUE history, as expressed in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What are the benefits of asking for a CLUE report?

  1. You have an opportunity to find out how qualified you are and to raise your CLUE score and improve your chances of getting the appropriate insurance policy suitable to your current needs.
  2. You can check for inaccuracies or mistakes and ask LexisNexis Consumer Center to verify them if there are. They will notify you of the results usually within a month.
  3. The report will help you decide if a property is worth purchasing and how much it will cost you to get homeowners insurance.
  4. You can reduce your auto and property insurance costs while cleaning up your credit reports.

There are various ways to improve your CLUE score, but the most effective is improving your credit score. Note that credit scores do not change overnight. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Lower your insurance premiums by paying bills on time. This accounts for 35% of a FICO credit score.
  • Maintain satisfactory credit card balances. Try to eliminate them as soon as possible. Lower balances will help boost your credit score.
  • Do not bounce checks.
  • Do not let your account be turned over to a collection agency.
  • Consider getting a personal loan if you have multiple credit card balances.
  • Avoid taking cash advances. This signals that your finances are weak and indicates future money problems.

If you will need an auto insurance for a while for whatever reason, lower your premiums to basically the minimum required just to keep the policy. If you are buying a property though, the owner must be the one to request the CLUE report. Contact an insurance agent and discuss how best to get a customized package that is right for your budget and needs.