What is a C.L.U.E. Report?

“C.L.U.E.” stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a compilation of claims made against a property, collected in a national insurance company database. This report can tell a potential buyer how many insurance claims a property has had over the last five years, when those claims were made, what type of loss was claimed, how much was paid to settle the claim or if the claim was denied—information that can be extremely helpful in discovering hidden problems, prior to purchase.

Who Can Get a C.L.U.E. Report?

A C.L.U.E. report can only be requested by the owner of a property or an insurer, so if you are planning to buy a home and want to review a C.L.U.E. report, you will have to ask the owner to request it. Like a personal credit report, property owners can order a C.L.U.E. report, free of charge, once a year by visiting LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a consumer reporting agency.

Why Sellers Should Order a C.L.U.E. Report Before Listing a Property

Adding a copy of a home’s C.L.U.E. report to other mandatory disclosure documents can provide an important selling point, demonstrating to potential buyers that the property has a “clean bill of health.” Additionally, it’s a good idea for sellers to request this report in advance, to make sure there are no errors and to have time to correct any erroneous information before the home is listed.

Why Buyers Should Require a C.L.U.E. Report Before Making an Offer

Other than simply wanting to know more about the property you plan to buy, this report may indicate larger problems—like mold remediation services, water damage, roof damage, backed up septic issues, electrical issues, household fires, etc.

If the seller hasn’t already provided a C.L.U.E. report, and it cannot be secured before making an offer, buyers may want to make their offer contingent upon a clean C.L.U.E. report.

That said, it’s also important to know that some insurance companies don’t participate in the comprehensive underwriting database, which means any C.L.U.E. reports requested on properties insured by these companies will come back blank.

Insurance Issues and C.L.U.E. Reports

Some situations revealed in a C.L.U.E. report may save a buyer from a property that would be uninsurable, or which would be extremely expensive to insure. (Note: A Natural Hazards Disclosure Report will tell you if the property is in a high-risk area, which may also impact the cost of your insurance.)

Without a C.L.U.E. report, a buyer may not discover a problem with the house until the deal has progressed to closing, when the insurance cost comes in much higher than expected or when the insurance company refuses to insure at all.

NOTE: C.L.U.E. reports are also available for automobiles (C.L.U.E. Auto Report) and for individuals’ personal insurance scores (C.L.U.E. Personal Property Report). Both can be obtained here.