Find out why your car insurance is so high

Jacob Allred

So I’m sure you are all aware of Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.), right? What?! You’ve never heard of it? Okay, me neither until today, but I’ll save you some time and give you the highlights of what I’ve learned.

C.L.U.E. is sort of like your credit report, but instead of tracking your credit cards, they track your personal auto and property claims. So what does this mean exactly? Well let me share the details of my personal auto C.L.U.E. report:

  1. $60 for windshield repair after I caught a rock on the highway.
  2. Another $60 for windshield repair for another rock.
  3. $1,142 to fix someones bumper after my wife accidentally backed into their car. Even though I wasn’t driving the car, the accident goes on my report because the policy was in my name.
  4. This is the one that makes my blood boil: $7,979 for “BODILY INJURY” and $1,125 for “PHYSICAL/PROPERTY DAMAGE”. About 2 years ago I was stuck in traffic. A van drifted into my lane and their side mirror scraped from the back of my car to the front, and took off my side mirror. I was found at fault even though they hit me because the cop was mad that I didn’t merge earlier (her words, not mine). We were going maybe 2 MPH and nobody was hurt. Their van wasn’t damaged (heck, the only part that touched my car was their side mirror). But because the people in the van were scummy thieves, I’m stuck with $9,104 in damage on my C.L.U.E. report.

So aside from making me hate mankind, why are these items important? Whether you are aware of it or not (and most people aren’t), all auto insurance companies pull your C.L.U.E. report before giving you insurance. This report plays a huge part in how much you are going to pay for insurance.

But these companies are keeping track of more than your auto claims. The personal property report keeps tabs on claims against your home or apartment insurance property policies.

But wait, there’s more! Curious how much it will cost you to fix your bumper after an unreported fender bender? In most states, simply asking about a claim is enough to get a negative mark on your report. There have been reports of people having their home insurance policies canceled after calling to inquire about the cost of fixing water damage, even though they didn’t actually report water damage or file a claim.

There are also reports of people paying outrageous rates for their insurance policies because of mistakes on their reports.

So what can you do about it? Luckily, federal law lets you get a free report every year. It takes about 5 minutes and you’ll need to be able to answer the same sorts of questions you’d answer when getting your credit report (like what streets you’ve lived on). If something is wrong, you can dispute it and possibly get a lower insurance rate. If you live in a consumer-friendly state (like California) you can sometimes even get valid information taken off if it violates reporting laws.

So request your free report today and see what it says. It might surprise you.