Errors in These 3 Reports Can Send Your Car Insurance Rates Soaring

Surprise! Insurers can check your auto claim history before setting your premium. Here's why you must learn what they know about your past.

Errors in These 3 Reports Can Send Your Car Insurance Rates Soaring Photo by pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

Hopefully you get a free credit report every year. Your credit scores — which affect your finances in many ways — are based on the information in those reports.

Don’t stop there, though. You can also get free copies of the reports that impact your car insurance premium.

Just as your credit report is a summary of your credit history, these reports offer summaries of your insurance claims and losses.

Insurers may use these reports to evaluate you. So, if a report contains errors, it can cost you.

How to get a copy of your car insurance report

According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), three companies generate car insurance reports. They — and the CFPB’s descriptions of them — are:

  • CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange): Collects and reports information on … automobile insurance coverage and losses.
  • Drivers History: Provides reports to its insurance clients containing information and data collected from open public sources and governmental agencies regarding driving violations issued to specific individuals.
  • Insurance Information Exchange (iiX): Collects and reports motor vehicle records, including traffic violation data to insurance providers and prospective employers.”

Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, all consumer reporting companies must give you a copy of the information in your car insurance report if you request it.

Most consumer reporting companies — including CLUE and Insurance Information Exchange — must give you a free copy of your report once every 12 months. Others — including Drivers History — can charge you a “reasonable fee” for your report. That fee is currently capped at $12.

To request a copy of your car insurance report, contact one — or all — of the three companies above directly.

The CFPB’s “list of consumer reporting companies” contains each company’s website address, phone number and mailing address. In the case of CLUE and Insurance Information Exchange, the list also contains a link to an online form you can use to request a report.

Why you must check your car insurance report

If you only pull your report from one company, perhaps make that CLUE. According to the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, more than 95 percent of auto insurers provide data to CLUE.

That data can include:

  • Policy information (such as name, date of birth and policy number)
  • Claim information (such as dates of losses, types of losses and amounts paid)
  • Vehicle information
  • “Fault Indicator”

An error on this report can cost you money in the form of unnecessarily high insurance rates. The Consumer Federation of America urges you to periodically request a copy of your CLUE report.

A company called LexisNexis Risk Solutions maintains CLUE reports. You can request your report from this company three ways:

  • By mail: Print the request form and mail it to the address at the top of the form.
  • By phone: Call 866-312-8076.
  • Online: Visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ “FACT Act Disclosure” webpage and click on the red “Order Now” button.

Once you get the report, review all of the data fields — particularly the “Fault Indicator” field. The federation explains:

“This is where the insurer … 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 CLUE report and possibly do that as well when your [policy] comes up for renewal.”

If the report is not accurate, the Consumer Federation of America urges you to request correction in writing to both LexisNexis Risk Solutions and the insurance carrier involved.

Federal law protects you when disputing consumer reports. According to the CFPB:

“If you find information in your consumer report that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the legal right to dispute the report’s content with the consumer reporting company and the company that shared the information to the reporting company, such as your lender.”

For more tips to help drive down your premium, check out “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.”

Have you ever checked your car insurance reports? Tell us about your experience below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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