The Detroit Post
Friday, 03 December, 2021

Are Home Insurance Claims Public Record

Carole Stephens
• Tuesday, 29 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Mortgage companies require insurance, so they do not lose money if the property is damaged. In general, home insurance covers most issues such as flood damage, fire damage, and may include liability coverage, which is needed if a person is injured on your property and you need to make a claim to pay that person’s medical expenses.

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For instance, places close to the coast may require additional flood insurance for hurricanes, and properties in states prone to earthquakes require specific insurance to handle any related damage. However, it’s possible in some states to discover another person’s insurance company through public documents and, if necessary, to raise the possibility of a third-party claim directly to the company (for instance, if you sue to make a property owner pay for injury or damages caused by some aspect of his property).

Some states may require homeowners to record their insurance companies with the local tax office. ); Coverage statement that describes exactly what structures or features are covered and the value or extent of the coverage, as well as the types of coverage (liability vs. property); Exclusions statement that spells out what is not covered by the insurance policy; Conditions statement that details the responsibilities of the homeowner and the insurance company as well as the procedure for making a claim and for the company deciding whether to cover the claim; Endorsements that may affect the extent or cost of the coverage.

However, if the coverage is denied because the injury was caused by negligence or lack of maintenance (such as allowing a floor to rot so the person fell through a hole) you may both have to pay the injured person’s medical expenses and have to pay more for insurance in the future due to the negligence. If you’re a homeowner, there’s a document that’s important to know about, called a CLUE, or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.

A CLUE will show situations in which the insurance company attributes a claim to poor maintenance of the building. For instance, if the roof leaks but cannot be attributed to a tree falling on it, your homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to pay a claim for water damage.

A prospective buyer may decide not to purchase the property if maintenance issues are a concern. It is a database used by insurance agents to help calculate the risks when a customer is applying for a home insurance policy.

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As a rule, only the parties involved are given access to the complete and updated homeowners insurance record. The policy owner and the insurance company are considered to be the parties involved in this case.

Insurance companies don’t have the right to disclose any information to unrelated parties, except when mandated by the law. The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or CLUE is a database that keeps a list of previous claims made by insurance customers.

With the information on this database, insurers are able to determine the risk involved when dealing with a specific client. The information found in the CLUE database would include the client’s social security number, property address, and any additional data regarding the insurance claims made by the homeowner.

Since the CLUE database contains details that may increase one’s insurance premium, the federal law mandates that the policy owner may contest the information found here. Due to this fact, the insurance owner can contest any misleading or wrong information found on the CLUE database.

Since insurance claims are subject to the approval of the insurance company, it will show if the homeowner is diligent when it comes to the maintenance of the property. These databases allow insurance companies to get information related to any homeowner claims you file.


Companies use the reported data to screen insurance applicants and rate their risk. The FACT Act gives you the right to request one free copy of your consumer insurance file each year.

CLUE and other similar databases allow insurance companies to exchange consumer data involving insurance claims histories, including those relating to property loss. Under federal law, you have the right to access and dispute information contained in your CLUE report.

Insurance companies load into CLUE or other databases the personal information that consumers provide. Claims that may increase your premium include those involving water damage, dog bites or falls.

Sometimes paying costs out-of-pocket can be less expensive than the hike your premium may take if you build a history of filing small claims. Insurance companies share information with each other about a person's and a house's claims history in a giant database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (also known as CLUE).

Insurance companies are particularly concerned about water damage claims, which could eventually lead to very expensive mold problems. Only homeowners can order a report, so you or your real estate agent will need to ask the seller for a copy.

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Then, search for a homeowners' insurance policy as soon as possible after you sign the contract on the house -- rather than waiting until closer to closing -- so you'll have extra time to find coverage in case you get rejected by at first. And before you sell a house, get a copy of your CLUE report and make sure the information is accurate because prospective buyers may be checking you out.

Also make good repairs and keep receipts in case the buyer's insurance company wants proof that any damages have been fixed. Picture it: You're days away from closing on a new home, your financing is secured, your belongings are packed and now all that's left is a phone call to your insurance agent to take out a home insurance policy.

You learn your dream home is insurable because the previous owner has a history of insurance claims. Despite home inspections and real estate disclosures required by law, this can happen.

It was particularly a problem a decade ago when home insurers in Texas stopped selling new policies after suffering heavy financial losses after a sharp increase in mold and water-related claims. A typical example goes like this: The homeowner discovers a leaky bathroom faucet and calls his insurance agent to discuss whether he should file a claim on his home insurance policy.

Insurance companies say it is standard procedure to record such telephone inquiries in this manner, if there are no laws against it. A few states, such as Oregon and Texas, have laws that prohibit home insurance companies from taking a policyholder's question about a potential claim (an inquiry) and using it when setting insurance rates or premiums.

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Database, owned by LexisNexis, enables insurance companies to access information on claims that have been filed within the last seven years. When you apply for home insurance, your insurer will request a loss history report to determine whether you, the buyer, or the seller have filed any claims during the past seven years.

The database also includes damage reports that were later closed when the owner made the repairs himself. Providing information to a potential buyer makes the home you are selling more attractive anyway, says Bill Madison, chief executive officer of LexisNexis insurance services division that handles C.L.U.E.

“At the same time, a potential buyer will achieve a greater comfort level when making an offer on a property for which the loss history is known.” It is specifically designed for use in the real estate disclosure process and only lists losses reported by insurance companies that are associated with the address in question.

“By having a home's claims history, the buyers have the information they need to confirm if all the necessary repairs were done properly,” says Salvatore. “If a burglar robbed the home in the past, the buyers can find out if the house is now secure.

If the answer is no, the buyer can rethink the purchase, or negotiate a lower price,” says Salvatore. Madison suggests that buyers request the home seller's disclosure report” as a contingency to a real estate closing.

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If someone breaks into your house and steals your new TV, it might be better to go out and buy a new one at your own expense, particularly if you've had a claim or two within the past three years. If your insurer denies you a policy based on previous claims or the rates are simply unaffordable, don't get discouraged.

If you’ve ever shopped for auto or home insurance and wondered what’s behind a surprisingly steep price, your past claims could be the culprit. You might assume your current insurer is the only one that knows the claims you’ve made, but that’s typically not the case.

In some cases, they can learn about issues you simply asked your insurer about, even if the problem never resulted in a claim. If a company determines your odds of filing future claims are too high, it might deny your application.

For example, if an insurer found you’d had multiple car crashes and made several collision insurance claims to fix your vehicle, it could factor that into your rates or decide you’re too risky to have as a customer. Declining to give insurers access to your reports would probably result in denial of your application, according to advocacy group Consumer Action.

Claims made by a prior policyholder, such as the former owner of your home, if they increase the chances of future damage Twenty-two states ban home insurers from treating inquiries as claims, according to the Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility.

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But to help prevent inquiries from coming back to bite you, make it clear that your question is hypothetical. That’s why it’s smart to verify the accuracy of your CLUE and A-PLUS reports before you apply for new auto or homeowners insurance.

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