Washington D.C. – There is a nationwide database that collects and maintains auto claims history. To ensure fair auto insurance premiums, make sure that the information about your claims in this database is accurate.
The database is called C.L.U.E. AUTO by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Over 95% of the insurance companies writing auto insurance provide claims data to this database. The type of information that insurers report include policy information, such as name, date of birth and policy number; claim information, such as date of loss, type of loss and amounts paid; and vehicle information. There is also a field on the C.L.U.E. report called Fault Indicator. This is where the insurer providing information to LexisNexis Risk Solutions indicates who was at fault for a particular accident. The accuracy of the Fault Indicator field is critical. When you apply for auto insurance, insurers will obtain a copy of your C.L.U.E. report and possibly do that as well when your comes up for renewal. “An accurate C.L.U.E. report is essential as it will be an important component of the auto premium calculation,” said Mark Romano, Director of Insurance Claims Projects at CFA and a National Claims Expert.
The C.L.U.E. AUTO report is subject to the requirements of the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Consumers should periodically request a copy of their C.L.U.E. AUTO report from their auto insurance company or directly from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. They should review all of the data fields for accuracy, paying particular attention to the Fault Indicator field. Also, make sure there is no claim information listed more than once or any claims that are not known to the consumer. If the report is not accurate and information needs to be corrected or updated, the consumer should request correction in writing to both LexisNexis Risk Solutions and the insurance carrier involved. LexisNexis Risk Solutions can be contacted for C.L.U.E. AUTO reports and correction requests at: LexisNexis Consumer Center, P.O. Box 105108, Atlanta, GA 30348-5108. Telephone 1-800-456-6004. The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. 1681e(b) states:
“(b) Accuracy of report. Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.”
Once a formal request has been made to correct an inaccuracy in the C.L.U.E. AUTO report, LexisNexis Risk Solutions is subject to The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. 1681i(a) which states:
“(a) Reinvestigations of Disputed Information (1) Reinvestigation Required…if the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in a consumer’s file at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency directly, or indirectly through a reseller, of such dispute, the agency shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate and record the current status of the disputed information, or delete the item from the file …before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer or reseller.”
The consumer will need to follow up and obtain another copy of their C.L.U.E. AUTO report after the 30-day period to make sure that the appropriate changes were made. It is important to keep good records of all requests made to update the C.L.U.E. AUTO report in case inaccuracies continue. If they do, it is recommended that the consumer contact the state department of insurance for assistance.
The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit association of more than 250 consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.