ORLANDO, Fla. — Action 9 has a consumer alert about a report that insurance professionals use to set your premiums.
“It’s a process. You wouldn’t even think to look for it,” Jill Vita said referring to auto insurance claims that she didn’t know existed. “I was completely shocked, completely shocked.”
According to Vita, she was shopping around for better insurance deals when she was told about six claims that pulled up on her family’s insurance report. She said some had been incorrectly linked to her daughter at a time when she was too young to drive.
“It’s like what you don’t know can hurt you because you have no clue that this is there,” Vita said.
C.L.U.E., which stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is a claims history database generated by LexisNexis. Insurance carriers use it to see a consumer’s recent claim history and set their premium.
While Vita admits her family had several windshield repairs over the past five years, she never thought they would be filed as claims that could be used against her, but they appeared on her C.L.U.E. report, and she says she was told she couldn’t get a lower premium because of it.
“Then they’re basing my premium based upon this data that they’ve reported,” Vita said.
“Most consumers are not familiar with a C.L.U.E. report and what information is contained on there and how the insurance companies use that report to determine their insurance rates,” Tasha Carter said.
Carter is the state’s insurance consumer advocate with the Department of Financial Services. She says, in Florida, if you have a comprehensive policy, carriers can’t charge deductibles for windshield claims but that doesn’t keep them from raising your premium based on those events. She also said it’s a good idea to check your driver’s license history as well as getting a copy of your C.L.U.E. report.
“I recommend that consumers check their driving record at least annually to determine if there are any inaccuracies,” Carter said.
Vita thinks insurance carriers should be more transparent with consumers about what they report.
“I would like to get a bill passed, that if insurance companies are putting something on your claim, on your record, they have to notify you,” Vita said.
Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their C.L.U.E. report once a year through LexisNexis online. That way you can dispute any inaccuracies that might be costing you higher premiums.
You can also get your driver’s license history online through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
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