WASHINGTON – Nov. 16, 2016 – Homebuyers often shop around for the best rate on a homeowners insurance policy, but 86 percent of Americans don’t realize that the policy amount is based, in part, on the home’s claim history.
Sellers who make too many property insurance claims could harm future buyers, yet most buyers are unaware that actions take by a home’s previous owners may be considered when an insurance company sets a premium under their new policy.
Many insurers use CLUE – an acronym for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange – to report and check the claims history of homes. Yet, only 12 percent of buyers say they ask for a CLUE report before buying their current home, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 adults by InsuranceQuotes.
“Consumers of all ages, from millennials to seniors, are almost entirely unaware of how the CLUE database affects their insurance rates,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes. “In most states, an inquiry about property damage can be added to your CLUE report and used against you, even if you never file a claim.”
Only the owner of a property can request a CLUE report. Homebuyers, therefore, need to ask sellers to obtain a copy on their own behalf.
“The CLUE report, which maintains data up to seven years, is a valuable tool for homebuyers because it reveals prior claims and potential risks,” Adams says. “It also helps home sellers provide full disclosure about their property’s condition.”
Homeowners can get a CLUE report free once every 12 months.
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