Ask Kim

Kiplinger

How to Find a Home's Claims History

Kiplinger.com

[QUESTION]I'm buying a house and heard I should get the CLUE report. What is it, and how do I get it? --N.S., Sioux City, Iowa

See Also: 8 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House

[ANSWER]The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) is a database in which insurers share information about home insurance claims to help identify a property's risks when setting premiums. The CLUE report shows the amount, type and date of each claim over the past five years, so it can alert home buyers to potential problems that could cause costly damage and perhaps affect their insurance rates.

Home buyers can't order the report, but your real estate agent can ask the seller for a copy of the "Home Seller's Disclosure Report," a version of the CLUE report that excludes personal details. Sellers aren't obligated to provide the report but will likely do so when they're motivated to sell. Homeowners can order the report for $19.50 at Personalreports.lexisnexis.com (click on "additional reports").

See Also: How Smart a Home SELLER Are You?

If claims indicate a chronic issue, ask what the homeowner has done to fix the problem. For example, if there was a water backup in the basement, find out whether the owner installed new drain tiles or added backup power to keep the sump pump running during an electrical outage, says Rebecca Korach Woan, CEO of Chartwell Insurance Services in Chicago.

EDITOR'S PICKS

Copyright 2017 The Kiplinger Washington Editors

More from Kiplinger.com

See more stories in this category

Back to Previous Page

Ask Kim

When to Take Your First Required Minimum...

[Question]I turned 70 this year, and I am wondering if I must take an RMD from my IRA this year or if...

Land a Retail Job for the Holiday Season

[Question]I'd like to get a part-time job during the holiday season and earn some extra money. What is...

The Big Pension Decision Military Service...

[Question]I've been reading about the new military blended retirement system. When do I need to decide...

How to Qualify for a Health Savings Account...

[Question]I'm choosing my health insurance policy for 2018 during open enrollment now. How high does...

A Child-Care Tax Break for Working Parents

[Question]My husband and I will be having our first baby this spring, and we'll be paying for child...

Next Page >
Provided by Kiplinger