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How can I check my auto insurance claims history?

Important facts to know...
  • A CLUE report chronicles seven years of insurance claims history
  • Procuring claims information from insurance companies and maintaining copies of reports are other options
  • Reviewing a CLUE report allows for disputing any information that is not accurate
  • Access to a claims history/loss report makes completing a request for a quote easier

An insurance history is almost forever. Filing a claim on an auto insurance policy creates a record known as a claims history. As long as the statutory time period has not expired, vital statistics are going to be presented in the report.

The existence of a claims history is a huge benefit since the alternative would be trying to recall by memory if accurate, documented records no longer exist.

The average person may not remember the exact dollar figure of a particular claim from several years ago.

The average insurance company is probably going to ask about the dollar figures when someone requests a quote to buy a new auto insurance policy. The data recorded in the history provides all the relevant information.

The insurance company is surely going to ask about previous claims when the would-be buyer is asking for a quote. The claims history provides an accurate profile of the customer and allows the insurance provider to effectively assess risk.

A person who has filed multiple claims is going to quote a higher premium.

The best way to procure an accurate quote is to provide equally accurate information to the insurance agency’s representative when requested.

Yes, the insurance company does eventually gain access to an applicant/policyholder’s claims history. Regardless, it is best to provide clear information on a quote application and request to avoid any problems or unforeseen issues in the future.

Additionally, the insurance company is going to look at the following information:

A lack of filing claims may not automatically translate into a very low rate if negative information shows up on these other databases. Yet, smart comparison shopping may yield very appealing rates.

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What is a CLUE report and the connected claims history?

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Information relating to insurance claims — both auto and homeowner’s — are logged on a person’s CLUE report. A CLUE report, a report compiled by the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is maintained by the reporting service LexisNexis.

The insurance company reviews the CLUE report when underwriting an application. The information on a CLUE report dates back seven years. The insurance company might not take the entire seven-year claims history into consideration.

The underwriter may only put significant emphasis in claims filed over the previous three or five years. Claims that fall outside of that time period might not be taken strongly into consideration by the insurance company when setting a rate.

Or the insurance underwriter could set a price based on the full seven years of claims and loss reports. This is why comparison shopping is so important.

Varied rules among numerous insurance companies could mean the same loss history yields a variety of rates. Some may be surprisingly competitive.

The information on the claims history does reveal a lot.

A claims history is also referred to as a “loss report” is displayed in the CLUE report.

The report logs the following information:

  • name of the insured person
  • the date and type of the claim
  • what insurance company covered the claim
  • whether the claim was improved or denied
  • how much money was paid out on approved claims

The “average insurance customer” does not realize he/she can order their own CLUE report. Signing up for the report and requesting it be mailed out is definitely possible.

Working directly with current and past insurance providers is another option.

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Request Information from the Insurance Provider

An auto insurance provider is going to keep a log of an auto claims history. Calling or sending a secured email requesting the claims history is an option.

Often, pulling up and printing out the data from a personal online account with the current insurance company is possible. With previous insurance providers, calling or sending a request in writing since online accounts are probably closed once the customer moves on.

Regardless of what the insurance companies report, it is still best to order a CLUE report since this will have all seven years’ worth of information on one document.

Additionally, a CLUE report may contain errors that are not present on any insurance company’s records. Discovering the errors can lead to filing a dispute to get the record corrected.

There is one other simple and easy way to boost accuracy when recalling a claims history. Keep all the records related to past claims.

Keep Hardcopy Records

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Who really wants to keep a massive pile of paperwork in the house? Excess paperwork does take up a lot of space, which is why cleaning out drawers and filing cabinets make sense. Certain hard copy items really should not be thrown away, though.

Federal and state tax documents, for example, are wise to keep. Copies can be ordered if papers were lost. 

Keeping copies of all claims reports issued by an insurance company and/or an adjuster makes things a lot easier. Would it not be better to have that information at hand when trying to fill out an online quote request questionnaires?

That said, as is the case with ordering information from the auto insurance company, it still does not hurt to order a copy of the CLUE report.

Make Digital Copies

Whether ordering a CLUE report, requesting information from an insurance company, or holding onto personal files, it does not hurt to make a digital backup of the information. Hard copies can get lost or destroyed.

Ordering new copies may take time. Simply snap a picture of the documents on a smartphone and storing the digital image for safekeeping would be helpful. Storing the information in the cloud might be best since computer hard drives and flash drives could be damaged.

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