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How a little-known insurance report can save homebuyers thousands

Jan 24, 2024, 12:05 AM | Updated: 6:36 am

SOUTH JORDAN — You’ve heard the phrase, “If these walls could talk.” Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy when you’re buying a home that its walls could tell you what they’ve been through?

“This is most typically the biggest investment that someone’s going to make in their life,” said licensed realtor Jennifer Gilchrist with Keller Williams Realty.

She said there’s a little-known tool that can help you get a peek into a home’s history of damage: a CLUE report. CLUE, as in Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.

The report holds seven years of claims involving cars and homes. Most insurance companies use it to help determine your risk. To home buyers, it shows previous claims for stuff like multiple burglaries, roof damage and water damage, such as from a sprinkler break.

“It’s flooding into the home, and they had to have a remediation company come in,” Gilchrist said.

A CLUE report is no substitute for inspection, Gilchrist said, but it can point an inspector to damage.

“You can then have your inspector check for mold on that wall to see if there were any repercussions from that, or if the job was remediated as it should have been,” she said.

In Utah, sellers are required to disclose known material defects, but Gilchrist said people can be forgetful.

Jennifer Gilchrist

Realtor Jennifer Gilchrist tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt how a CLUE report can benefit a buyer by revealing a home’s insurance claims history. (Mark Wetzel, KSL TV)

“Sometimes, you don’t remember things that happened a long time ago,” she added.

So, a CLUE report can fill in memory gaps. But it is only available to mortgage and insurance companies and the homeowners themselves. A buyer can’t pull a home’s CLUE report on their own. You’ll have to ask the seller for it.

“You can request that in the offer to be provided as one of the disclosures a seller needs to provide to you by the disclosure deadline,” Gilchrist said.

Even if you’re not buying a home, pulling a free CLUE report once a year is your opportunity to have errors fixed that otherwise could increase the costs of your home or auto insurance premiums.

To request a CLUE report from LexisNexis, you can call 888-497-0011 or request one by clicking here.

You can request a similar A-PLUS report from Verisk online or by calling 800-627-3487.

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How a little-known insurance report can save homebuyers thousands