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Previous homeowner’s insurance claims could affect your rates

Most home buyers aren't familiar with C.L.U.E. --

Most home buyers aren't familiar with C.L.U.E. -- the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange -- but they should be. Credit: Getty Images / courtneyk

Some things it’s OK to be clueless about, but not C.L.U.E. — the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. If you’re asking, “What’s that?” no worries, so are many people.

C.L.U.E. is used by insurers to report and check the claims history of homes and drivers. However, according to a new survey from, only 5 percent of those polled were even somewhat familiar with the C.L.U.E. database, and 86 percent were unaware that insurers use the claims history of previous homeowners to set premiums for new policies.

A C.L.U.E. Home Seller’s Disclosure Report has the skinny on losses at your home address within the past five years. If you haven’t had any losses, the report states that. The report, which the property owner can request at, doesn’t display the homeowner’s name, social security number or date of birth, but includes date of loss, type of loss, status, amount paid, policy type and insurance company name. The report maintains data for up to seven years, and is a godsend for home buyers because it clues them in on prior claims and potential risks. For sellers with nothing to hide, it’s a seal of approval of sorts.

Don’t underestimate the power of the report. senior insurance analyst Laura Adams says in most states, an inquiry about property damage can be added to your C.L.U.E. report and used against you, even if you never file a claim.

Janice Goldman, author of “Let’s Talk About Money: The Girlfriend’s Guide to Protecting Her Assets,” says, “I like to think of C.L.U.E. as a credit report for your home. I strongly encourage any potential home buyer to request one before making an offer.”

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