Do Insurance Companies Share Claims History?
Are you looking for cheaper insurance? If your claims rose recently and you wonder if another company can give you better rates, you should know that your claims follow you. If you want to change insurance companies because your premiums are getting out of hand with your current company, but it’s due to a large number of claims, you may not find the reprieve you desire.
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Insurance companies do share claims history, but not directly. Keep reading to learn how they share information with one another.
Every time you make a claim, the insurance company records it in one of two databases:
- CLUE – Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange
- A-PLUS – Automated Property Loss Underwriting System
Auto insurance companies also use your Motor Vehicle Report to see your driving record to help assist in their decision.
Insurance companies must subscribe to the databases to get information from other insurance companies. If they do, insurance companies will have access to any claims you made over the last several years. Think of it as a credit report but in the insurance industry – it gives insurance companies a look at your insurance history, allowing them to make a solid underwriting decision on your application.
As a part of the application for new insurance process, you give insurance companies permission to view your information in these databases. If you don’t provide the necessary permission, many insurance companies will deny your application.
The Information Insurance Companies See
Within each database, insurance companies can see the important information about your claims including the amount of the claim, type of damage, and reason for the damage. Insurance companies can see whether a company approved or denied your claim. In fact, insurance agents can even include information about issues you inquired about but never officially filed a claim for; this will vary by insurance agent, but knowing that the potential is there can help you.
In addition to the information about your claim, insurance companies can see:
- Your personal information
- Information about your house
- Information about your vehicles
- Claims made by someone other than yourself (prior property owner)
How Long do Insurance Companies Keep Claim Information?
Once an insurance company enters your claim information into one of the two databases, it stays there for several years. Information in the CLUE database stays there for seven years and information in the A-PLUS database stays there for five years.
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How do Insurance Companies Use the Information?
Insurance companies need to make an informed decision on your likelihood of filing a claim. They use the databases to see your claim history. Do you file a lot of claims? Are the claims your fault or the fault of someone else? Insurance companies use this information to decide how to proceed.
Having claims in the database may not mean that you can’t get a new policy. However, the new insurance company may offer inflated premiums to make up for the risk of numerous premiums. Because it affects your premiums and likelihood of securing coverage, you should make sure your report is accurate.
Ensuring the Accuracy of the Database Information
Incorrect information in either database can result in higher than necessary premiums. Just like you should check your credit report for accuracy, checking your CLUE and A-Plus reports can help too. You have access to one free report from each database every 12 months.
Once you have the reports, review them for:
- Claims filed
- Wrong settlement amount or type
- Incorrect personal information
If you notice any incorrect information, call the appropriate agency to correct it:
- CLUE – LexisNexis 1-866-312-8076
- A-Plus – Verisk 1-800-627-3487
The bottom line is that insurance companies do share information, just not directly. They keep the databases updated for future knowledge of other insurance agents or even themselves. The claims history helps insurance companies set premiums and figure out coverage options.
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