Democrats & Liberals Archives

CLUEless: The Report That the Insurance Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About.

For those who don’t know, the insurance industry use something referred in the industry as the CLUE report to judge whether or not you are insurable.

Much like the credit industry, where companies like TransUnion, Equifax and Experian own, manage and publish your credit report rating, the insurance industry uses the CLUE report in the same fashion. The only difference is CLUE is secret.

That's right. CLUE is only available to the insurance company. CLUES (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) are financial reports on people and properties generated by national insurance industry data mining program and produce a rating similar to the credit reports that the financial companies use to judge your financial history. This powerful CLUE rating is the only thing that the insurance company uses to determine whether or not you're going to get a policy and if you're lucky enough to get the policy, what rate you pay. The CLUE report and the insurance scoring system use to how likely you are to file a claim against your policy. Insurers feed information about paid claims - perhaps even your inquiries about coverage that do not result in a claim - into a national database for use by insurers. Information included in the database, along with your insurance score, makes up your risk profile. Insurers use the profile to decide whether you get new insurance. At renewal time, your current insurer will probably review your claims history as well as your current insurance score to set your premiums - even to decide if you get to keep the insurance you have. When you shop for new insurance, the company may order a CLUE report. If information is inaccurate, you can be left without insurance while you work to correct the errors. These are very possible scenarios:

After you file a claim, your homeowner's policy is not renewed and you cannot find another company to insure you.

Your automobile insurance premium is raised because you filed for bankruptcy.
A claim on your homeowner's policy or information that seems to have no bearing on your driving ability can make your premiums skyrocket. Worse, your insurance might even be cancelled. And since the CLUE system maintains a five-year history on everything associated with you or the properties and keeps track of every possible interaction with your insurance company and produces a rating on your use, the possibility for problems are huge.

It's not you but the property that you own.

If a property that you purchase already has a history (i.e. you purchase someone else's home) you now inherit their property history and their history becomes your history. It basically becomes a venereal disease for insurance companies.

The insurance industry claims that this will speed up decision-making for the companies and deters insurance fraud, but this insurance coup has taken over the country has begun to take the 'eat your young' approach at dealing with the American people.

Affect change

Many states have recently passed laws to address consumer concerns about CLUE reports and use of insurance scores. Some laws prohibit use of inquiries that do not result in a claim. And some states now require notice when an insurer provides information to a claims database. The subject has become so controversial that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as of this writing, is considering a model state code. To learn more, see www.naic.org/committees_d_claims_history.htm. For information on your state's laws, connect to your state insurance commissioner at www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm.

It's time to tell your representative government what you think about the CLUE report and that we want access to this report.

Posted by john trevisani at November 11, 2005 1:54 PM