This is a recap and follow up to a post that I wrote several years ago on the often-overlooked insurance process involved in a real estate home purchase. Performing office meetings at real estate offices and speaking to mortgage brokers on a multiple state basis, I find it is an appropriate article to begin the first of many articles William Raveis Insurance shall provide to increase awareness of the insurance side of the real estate and mortgage business. Property insurance is required if there is any mortgage, or, in the case of a lease, any landlord requirement. This post speaks to what has become a little known fundamental step in the insuring process that every insurance agent and every insurance carrier performs. Please spend a moment to review the article, digest it and provide me your thoughts, ideas and concerns or if you have found out that claims do impact home insurability the hard way.
As a home seller you want to make sure that your home is as appealing as possible to potential buyers. You will make minor repairs, fix up the flowerbeds and clean the home from top to bottom. With all this activity do not forget to get a copy of a C.L.U.E. or A-PLUS report.
As a home buyer, you want to make sure that the house you have decided to make into a home will not come to haunt you in the form of higher insurance premiums or denial of property insurance.
C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a database featuring loss information submitted by insurance companies. A C.L.U.E. report provides a seven-year history of losses that have been filed against insurance policies covering a specific property.
There are two major property claim databases, CLUE and A-PLUS (Automobile-Property Loss Underwriting Service, five year loss history). Property claim databases enable insurers to check the claim history of both the homeowner and the property that the homeowner is purchasing.
Many people may be more familiar with the Automobile form of a CLUE report. This report reflects damages that the car has been involved in, normally reported through personal lines insurance companies.
CLUE reports are playing an important role in the real estate transaction. In several states, real estate agents have stated that their deals were falling through because insurers were canceling new policies after examining claims information. It is not only the home that is being purchased that is checked. The new homebuyer needs to be aware of their claims history as well, for claims that they may have made in the past five years could now allow their current insurance company the legal right to not issue a policy on the new property. In ordering a claims history report, the buyer can order a report on his or her own address. The insurance agent will order a report on the property that is to be insured as well as on the person that is purchasing the property.
As an insurance agent, I have been informing real estate agents as well as clients of the need to know the claims history of a property that they will be listing or representing to a buyer. On the listing side, having the homeowner order a clue shall serve two purposes:
First it will allow the potential buyer to know, in advance, if there will be any insurance claim issues that could impact the premium cost of insurance negatively; it is a great sales tool to present at open houses. Second, for the real estate agent, knowledge is power. Knowing what the claim history is on a property will allow the agent to know in advance if there could be issues that would cause the house to be uninsurable, have higher insurance costs or that could cause the potential buyer to back out of the deal. Knowing what the claim was: water damage, fire, burglary, lighting and liability, will allow the seller to explain what was done to mitigate any future claim.
This is one more piece of a predictive modeling format that property insurers have added to their repertoire, that also includes insurance scoring (use of financial factors), education credits, alarm requirements, and some of the more traditional guidelines ( dog breed, trampolines, swimming pools with diving boards or slides).
Most importantly to realize is CLUE reports are being used and that locating competitive insurance rates could be jeopardized if there are multiple claims. You, as a real estate agent or a consumer, need to begin the insurance purchasing selection as early as possible in the home buying process.
William Raveis Insurance is available for any assistance or to answer any questions regarding any form of Personal Insurance. Keep us in mind for Property, Automobile, Umbrella, Apartment complexes and Life insurance.
CLUE reports can be ordered directly by the consumer through https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/
A-PLUS reports may be ordered directly by consumers for their own property at 800-627-3487.