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Buying a new home or insurance policy? You need this free report

If you’ve shopped around for car or home insurance, you may have had a conversation about past claims that your new insurance company sees in your history

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There’s a free report that every person has access to, once a year, that could potentially save you a lot of money the next time you’re looking to buy a home, car or even a new insurance policy, but many consumers have no idea about it.

For real estate agent LaKisha McGee, finding the right home can involve lots of leg work, patience and information.

“It is your biggest investment,” said McGee. “It’s already a lot to go through when you’re buying or selling a home. As much security as I can give my clients, I would like to do that.”

One of the available tools providing security for her clients is their past history of insurance claims.

McGee said a seller can show potential buyers there have been no insurance claims filed on a home. McGee said if a buyer is closing a deal on a house, they can request a summary of claims history to compare to the seller’s disclosure.

“If you are purchasing a car from someone else, a home from someone else, it's that much more due diligence that you have at your fingertips,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

That report is called a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or C.L.U.E report, which lists claims filed for a house or vehicle for the past seven years.

Gonzalez said most insurance companies consult it when taking on a new customer.

“The same way that a credit card company is going to look at your credit report when they're putting together your interest rates and they're approving you for a new credit card, that's how most home and auto insurers look at a C.L.U.E. report,” explained Gonzalez.

A C.L.U.E. report lists information like the date, type of loss and the amount paid on an insurance claim.

NerdWallet Insurance Editor Caitlin Constantine explains that consumers can see their own annual report for free.

“It's really important to check your report at least once a year to make sure that it's accurate and to dispute any errors you find. You could end up paying more for insurance than you should if your C.L.U.E. report has claims on it that you didn't actually file,” said Constantine.

That’s why McGee always recommends obtaining the C.L.U.E. report for her clients.

“When you know better, you do better, right?” McGee said. “So if I know that this is available to me and I know how it can help me, then I know I can ask for it.”

How to request your report

The C.L.U.E. database is run by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Consumers can request their own report by mail, phone or this website

If requesting online, click on the “request a consumer disclosure report” button. You’re asked to provide your Social Security number or driver’s license.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions said it’s asking for that information to confirm the identity of the person requesting the report. Consumers can expect a response within two weeks.

And if you see something out of the ordinary on the report, act quickly.

“If you spot an error on your C.L.U.E. report, reach out to LexisNexis. You can contact them by email, by phone or by mail to request a correction. Once they hear from you, they typically have 30 days to investigate the error and decide whether to remove it,” said Constantine.

Consumers can also add a personal statement to an item in the report.

Consumers can only request a copy of their own report. If you want to see a report for a home you may buy, the owner would have to request it and share.

McGee said it may be something a buyer considers during an option period and a seller could have it ready to share.

“When you know better, you do better, right? So, if I know that this is available to me and I know how it can help me than I know I can ask for it,” explained McGee.

On its website, LexisNexis Risk Solutions says more than 99% of car insurers and more than 90% of home insurers provide claims data to the C.L.U.E. database.

Your claims history may also be in an A-PLUS loss history report run by the Verisk database.

Have a consumer complaint? Call 1-844-NBC-RESP or click here to let us know, so we can help.

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