CLUE Program

Like CARFAX for Houses

The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange is useful for homebuyers because it shows the losses and claims on a house over the past five years. It you are buying a flipped home, or one that seems distressed, information on insurance claims may help you discover underlying issues or hazards.

Leverage or An Endorsement

Comprehensive Loss Underwriting ExchangeThe CLUE program is fast becoming a standard part of the homebuying process. Sellers of homes that have not had recent claims are using them to justify higher prices because they show that the house does not have recent problems. Buyers are requesting the reports in order to see if there were any recent claims on the house that could reveal more serious problems. For example, a history of flooding damage means that there may be such issues in the future. Fire damage repairs could indicate that there are other issues that have not been addressed. The nature of claims on the house can give valuable insight into a variety of issues, including neighborhood risks.

Getting a CLUE Report

CLUE reports are generated by Lexis-Nexis, and they provide dates of claims, the insurance companies involved, policy types, and if losses are the result of a named catastrophe, whether the claim happened on the property, and how much was paid as well as the cause of the loss. These reports can only be ordered by property owners or insurers, so if you want to see a report you should ask the home seller to get you one.

The classic example of why you would get a comprehensive loss underwriting exchange report involves water damage and mold claims. Many insurance companies would decline to underwrite the home since there would be a danger of future claims. Therefore, coverage for the homeowner would be more expensive and could be cost prohibitive versus a comparable home. The cost of a CLUE report is listed at $19.50 per address, but the buyer should keep in mind that the report has to be requested first by the seller. Real estate agents should encourage home sellers to get this report in advance.