Your Car Insurance History
Auto insurance companies keep detailed records of your information. Some of the information they track includes the details of your vehicle and your driving patterns. If you've made claims on your insurance policy in the past, this will also be on your record. Understanding how past claims affect your current policy can help you make an informed decision about what to do if your vehicle is damaged.
How Insurance Companies Track Your Claims History
Insurance companies track your claims history through the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE. This database is operated by Lexis-Nexis and is accessible to most vehicle insurance companies.
A company can request a report of your auto claims AND personal property claims history. The report includes up to seven years of past claims.
The information contained within a CLUE claim report includes:
- Your name.
- Your date of birth.
- Policy number.
- Date of loss.
- Type of loss.
- Amount the company paid.
- Description of the covered property.
- Vehicle information.
- Property address or address of the incident.
CLUE contains information about paid-out claims, initiated claims (that were not followed through), AND denied claims.
How Insurers Use CLUE Reports When Setting Up Your Policy
A car insurance company may pull up your CLUE report when your current policy is set to be renewed OR if you're applying for a new policy with a new provider. This helps auto insurance carriers determine how much of a risk you pose and therefore how much to charge you.
The report also allows insurers to determine whether to offer you any coverage at all. Studies show a correlation between your claims history and the likelihood that you will have a future claim.
How Your Car Insurance History Affects Your Current Policy
Your current policy's coverage and cost are also affected by your car insurance history. The price of your policy may go up if you have a recent OR long claims history.
Claims for accidents may result in a pricier insurance policy because of your driving record. If you've made claims under the comprehensive section of your policy, this could also drive up the price.
Insurers have the right to increase the price of your policy even if you were not at fault. This is also true if you had to make claims for the under-insured or uninsured motorist sections. As you file more claims, you become a bigger risk, which leads to higher costs for your policy, lower coverage options or possibly a denial of insurance altogether.