Pa. Insurance Department Urges Homebuyers to ‘Get a CLUE’

Scranton, PA – Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today released a brochure helping consumers learn how to access what is known as the CLUE report, showing previous claims filed against a property a homebuyer is considering buying to make sure claims are disclosed and that homeowners insurance rates are set using accurate information.

“I’m encouraging homebuyers to get a CLUE, and ask the current homeowner to request a copy of the CLUE report, which stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, and lists any claims filed on the property for the past seven years,” Acting Commissioner Altman told a first-time homebuyers’ workshop conducted by NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NWNEPA) in Scranton. “The CLUE report will help ensure homebuyers are aware of this vital information before they decide to purchase a property.”

The CLUE report includes information on the date of any specific damages, the type of claim filed by the policyholder, and how much money was paid by the insurance company over the past seven years. This is important information for a homebuyer as past claims may reveal a problem with the property, and revealing any past problems and claims is a requirement for the home seller. 

Information on past claims and damages may also be used by insurers to set homeowners insurance premiums for the property, so it is important buyers make sure insurers are using accurate information to determine rates.

Only the owner of a property can order a CLUE report, so a homebuyer must ask the seller to get this report.  Consumers get one free report a year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

“There are many instances in which the seller has not owned or lived in the home for seven years, and so may not be aware of all claims filed during that period,” Acting Commissioner Altman said. “Home sellers also benefit from having this report to ensure proper disclosure and avoid claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, or breach of contract, and to make certain the information is accurate.”

CLUE reports are owned and maintained by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. This information source is used by most insurers to report and check the claims history of a home. A homeowner can request a report at personalreports.lexisnexis.com, or by calling 1-866-312-8076

It takes seven to 10 days for a report to arrive by mail; three days by email. 

Consumers with any insurance questions or complaints can contact the Insurance Department at www.insurance.pa.gov, or by calling the Consumer Services Bureau at 1-877-881-6388.