Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From the P&C Files: Get a CLUE!

As we've mentioned, Bob and I frequent an online consumer bulletin board, where we offer advice when appropriate. One of the frequently asked questions is how to find out if a recently deceased loved one had any life insurance. Unfortunately, there is no central repository of that information.

About the closest thing to that kind of data warehouse would be the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), about which we've written several times. The MIB doesn't have records of issued policies, but can be helpful in determining whether or not a person had applied for life or health insurance. It does not, however, collect actual claims information.

Which may or may not be a "good thing" depending on one's perspective.

But if you've had a claim on your homeowners policy, that information is available to other agents and carriers. And it's not just your claims, but your home's claims; that is, even if you sell your house and move away, that claim will (essentially) follow it.

This information is readily available to companies and agents via a CLUE report. And here to explain that is our P&C guru Bill M:

CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a database subscribed to by most Insurance Companies. A reported claim will show up as a claim for the individual insured and as a claim on that property location. When looking at a new property for someone, a CLUE report will show both claims that the individual has had as well as claims at the location being looked at.

For example:

Maybe you've never had a claim, but the previous owners' had several. Well, that's going to show up and may affect your rate.

That's the part I hadn't known, and that I suspect a lot of readers hadn't, either. Thanks, Bill!

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