Buying a Home…Ask for a CLUE Report
People purchasing a used car have most likely heard of CARFAX vehicle history reports to help them avoid buying a car with costly hidden problems. Less likely are buyers to know that there is a way to discover some of the repair history of homes they are interested in.
Lexis Nexis C.L.U.E. (Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange) is a claims history database that enables insurance companies to access consumer claims for the previous seven years when they are underwriting a risk or rating an insurance policy.
An insurance underwriter could identify a previous claim for substantial damage to a property and try to find out whether the repairs were completed properly before assuming the risk as a new insurer. Similarly, a buyer could benefit from knowledge of former claims that may affect the value of the property or possible, future repairs.
A CLUE report can discover insurance claims on a home to investigate whether the repairs were done properly. These reports are not directly available to potential buyers, but their property casualty insurance agent could order a report subject to successful negotiations with the seller to agree on a contract of sale.
If a buyer had a CLUE report on a home that they were buying and were concerned about specific issues, the buyer could address those things with the inspector during the inspection period. Conversely, the CLUE Report could detect items that may not be visible during a home inspection.
In some cases, a listing agent might suggest a seller get a CLUE report in the spirit of full disclosure to potential buyers. Even if there were claims and the work was done properly, a high number of claims could affect the premium paid by a new homeowner.
A current homeowner can request one free CLUE report every twelve months online or by calling 888-497-0011. They can also email consumer.documents@LexisNexisRisk.com. Please be ready to provide your first and last name, social security number, driver's license number and state in which it was issues, date of birth, current home address and phone number. For more information, see Lexis Nexis Consumer Portal.
If a buyer doesn't have a property casualty insurance agent, your real estate agent can recommend one.