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Specialty Consumer Reporting Agencies Part III: Free Insurance Reports

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This is part three in my series about how to get free annual disclosures of your information from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. The series starts here.

InsuranceClaimsIt’s been almost five years since my husband totaled his car. As a matter of habit, I shop around for cheaper auto insurance every year. The rates I am quoted always sound good until the agent pulls up our claims history and spots the accident. Then, suddenly, the rate I am currently paying looks really good.

If you’ve had an auto or homeowner’s insurance claim in the past 5-7 years, a record of that claim may be in an insurance report. And, as I have learned firsthand, previous claims may make it more difficult or expensive to get insurance.

There are two nationwide consumer reporting agencies from which you can request a free annual disclosure of your insurance report.

ISO A-Plus Auto & Property Loss History Report

Member insurance companies share information about auto and property insurance claims filed by an individual or business, or by other individuals or businesses “at the location of risk,” or for an automobile or property that will be insured. This information is used by prospective insurers to help evaluate the risk of granting a new policy.

I ordered our free report and found two glass claims for windshield repairs, and “the accident.” The listing for the accident detailed how much my insurance company paid out to the other party, right down to the $100 that was paid for a rental car.

Since I have had no homeowner insurance claims in the ten years I have lived in our home, there was no property report available.

C.L.U.E. Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange

C.L.U.E. also allows insurance companies to access and use prior loss information when evaluating insurance applications. Participating insurance companies share data with C.L.U.E., which then provides it to insurance companies who request reports about consumers.

There are two types of C.L.U.E. insurance reports: auto and personal property (homeowner). Information about losses can remain in the database for up to seven years.

My C.L.U.E. insurance report contained information similar to that in the ISO report. And, again, it also showed a records search for claims on our homeowner insurance policies, but since we haven’t made any claims, there was no information available.

To Request Your Insurance Claims Report:

Here’s a tip: If you are considering a home to purchase, ask the seller to request his or her free property insurance reports and share a copy with you. Not only will you find out about claims that could affect the value of the home (basement water leaks, for example) but you will also be able to talk with an insurance agent about whether those claims will make it more difficult or expensive to insurance that property.

Next week: Employment reports and how they play a role in getting a job.

[Featured product: Monitor your credit reports and scores]

To read the full series on Specialty Consumer Reports, you can find them all right here at Credit.com:

Part I : Introduction
Part II: Checking History Reports
Part III: Insurance Reports
Part IV: Employment Reports
Part V: Medical Reports
Part VI: Tenant / Rental History Reports

Editor’s note: Updated October 10, 2013 to provide current information about Verisk reports.

Image: Ashleigh Nushawg, via Flickr.com

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