Question: I'm thinking of changing auto insurance companies, and I want to get a quote from an independent agent. I was at-fault in a minor accident earlier this year and filed a claim with my current provider. No ticket was issued, and no accident report was completed. Will the existence of this incident be available to other insurance companies?
Answer: Yes, even without the accident report, or a ticket associated with the accident, showing on your motor vehicle record (MVR), other auto insurance companies will find out about this incident and the resulting claims.
When applying for car insurance, you will answer questions about what is on your driving record, such as traffic tickets, as well as other incidents, such as accidents, so that the car insurance company can assess your risk as a driver, which is a main rating factor in calculating how much your car insurance premium will be.
You need to give accurate information during the quoting process because if you go on to buy the car insurance policy from the new car insurance company, they will verify the information you have given them. If the information you've given isn't correct, then the rate quote will need to be recalculated based on the new information the insurer finds.
Verification is done not only by pulling your driving record from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, but also by looking at your claims history. Claims are found out about by requesting a report that pulls information from a national property loss database that car insurance companies have entered claim information into.
Claims history reports are often referred to as “CLUE reports” because the database maintained by LexisNexis Risk Solutions called the comprehensive loss underwriting exchange (or C.L.U.E for short) is the one most commonly used by insurers.
An automobile C.L.U.E. report shows the requesting car insurance company a seven-year history of any reported car-related property loss, including the date of loss, type of loss and information on paid-out claims.
Thus, even though your recent minor accident won’t show up on your MVR, you did report it to your insurer and file a claim, so it will show up on your claims report that any new insurance company will look at. This means it could affect your premiums if they surcharge you for the incident.
It’s a great idea to go out and compare quotes to see if you can find cheaper car insurance, especially if your current car insurance company raised your rates due to this recent minor accident and its claims. We always suggest motorists do this at least once a year, if not every six months when your policy renews. Just make sure you put accurate information on the application on that you can get an accurate quote.
If you’re curious and want to know what all is on your CLUE report, you can order your own copy. You are allowed one free copy a year and can obtain it by contacting LexisNexis Services at 1-866-312-8076 or by going on the LexisNexis site, where you can sign up and view the report online in just a few minutes.