Insurance companies use your claims history as a rating factor to help determine how much you’ll pay for auto and home insurance. A Comprehensive Exchange Underwriting Loss (Hint) Report reveals any insurance claims made by a policyholder in recent years on her potential home or vehicle. For example, a track report will show if an insured filed a claim for damage after a storm or fire, or if the car was involved in an accident. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team, made up of four licensed property and casualty agents, has broken down the report’s clues and what it means for you.
what is a trail report and how does it work?
Track Reports collect insurance history for a location or a vehicle. The report will contain details on any reported insurance claims made in the last 5-7 years, no matter how small. There are two types of lead reports: one for home insurance claims and one for auto insurance claims.
Ordering a trail report before you buy a home can help you know what to expect when applying for homeowners insurance. While claims from previous owners shouldn’t affect your premium, knowing what claims have previously been filed on the home can help you, as a prospective buyer, determine if there may be hidden damage that needs to be addressed before you close on the purchase.
Lead reports can be beneficial to buyers by helping to ensure that a particular home is the right choice. Claims with large payouts or repeat claims could be a red flag to potential buyers, indicating that the property is prone to damage. however, track reports can also provide positive news. If a claim payment financed new roofs or windows after a natural disaster, the prospective buyer can rest assured that those areas of the home will be in good condition for years to come.
how do you generate a track report?
Only homeowners and insurance providers can officially request a track report, but you can request a copy from the home seller to learn more about a property’s history. Most home insurance companies contribute claim history information to the leads database, which is maintained by the research company Lexisnexis. When a homeowner files an insurance claim for incidents such as water damage, fire damage, or criminal activity on the property, for example, most insurance company reports are entered into the leads database.
Your insurance company uses the information from the track report as a guide to setting rates to insure your new home. Although claims filed by previous homeowners should not affect your insurance premium, claims you have filed on your previous homes could. This is because, in the eyes of an insurance company, if you filed a claim in the past, you are more likely to do so again in the future.
what’s in a clue report?
Whether drawn by an insurer as part of the underwriting process or if you request your own owner track report, you must include the following for all home and automobile claims the individual has filed:
- insurance company name
- date of losses and claims
- the type of loss: fire, wind damage, etc.
- whether or not the claim was denied
- if the claim was not denied, the amount the insurer paid
- owner’s insurance policy number and claim number
- the homeowner did not make any insurance claims in the last few years.
- the individual house was covered by an insurance company that does not report claims to lexisnexis, so the claims will not appear on the trail reports.
- request a track report online
- contact lexisnexis at 888-497-0011
- request a report by emailing [email protected]
- request a copy from a landlord (if a prospective homebuyer)
- Before you buy insurance: It can be helpful to have a trail report on hand before you buy insurance. sometimes a tip report can include inaccurate information, especially for people with common names. For example, you may find a claim on your report that should actually be on someone else’s report. Claims listed incorrectly can drastically affect your insurance rates, and requesting a hint ahead of time will allow you to dispute inaccuracies with lexisnexis before you buy.
- When Appraising Your Own Home: Showing a blank clue report to a potential buyer can be a powerful tool in making a sale. After all, a buyer can be more confident in the quality of their property if they have no claims. If you’re not selling your home, you can use your Clue Report to help you decide if you should buy supplemental insurance. For example, if a flood affected your home in the past, you might consider adding a flood policy for the future.
- When buying a home: Repeated claims in a Clue Report could indicate future risk from similar claims. a home hit repeatedly by tornadoes might not be one you’re interested in buying. You can also use the Clue Report to note any past damage caused by a claim.
how long do claims stay on a trail report?
what are some things that are not in a track report?
can I challenge what’s in a tip report?
can I see my track report online?
How is a trail report different for auto and home insurance?
The report won’t include specifics, like what part of the house was damaged, but if you’re buying a house, it should give you enough information to ask the owner to explain the details. Track reports also typically include the address of the property, as well as certain information related to the policy holder, including the policy holder’s name and policy number.
what if a trail report is blank?
Track reports often provide homebuyers with useful information about the property’s condition and claims history. however, you may find that a track report is blank. Although a blank report may cause confusion or concern, it actually indicates one of two things:
The claims listed in the track reports generally cover the last 5-7 years. occasionally you will find that no claims have been made within that time period. however, a blank track report does not necessarily mean no damage occurred at the scene, just that no insurance claim was filed. the owner may have taken the damage out of his pocket instead of filing a claim. Also, not all insurance companies use the required database for track reports. in these cases, a requested track report may return blank.
how to get a copy of a track report
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can get a free track report for your home once a year from lexisnexis. To access a track report, you can:
If you’re selling your home, it can be beneficial to have a lead report available to show potential buyers, especially if it’s blank because you haven’t filed any insurance claims in the past. Even if you’re not in the market to sell your home, you may want to get a Clue Report to check for inaccuracies, as the information can affect your insurance rate.
what to do with a track report
Whether you’re ordering a track report for your current home or one you’re thinking of buying, the first thing you should do when you receive your track report is read it carefully. After you’ve read your report, what you do with it depends on the situation.
It is important to note, however, that a recent claim on a home may not be an immediate deciding factor. In fact, a property with a recent claim can have positive ramifications if the damage was properly addressed, said Michael Barry, senior vice president, head of media and public affairs for the Institute of Insurance Information.
how do trail reports affect your homeowners insurance?
a trail report can have a positive or negative impact on your insurance premium. Since most insurance companies report to lexisnexis, you can be fairly confident that the report is a good indicator of the health of your home.
Each insurer will have its own methodology for determining rates, so it can be helpful to know how different track report results may affect your premium. If she has filed a claim for damage caused by a hurricane or windstorm, for example, insurers may assume that there is a higher than average chance that she will do so again. to account for that probability, they may increase your premium. Theft and vandalism claims that appear on her report can also negatively affect her rate.
Track reports can also bring good news. Indications that losses were handled properly, such as a new roof being put up after a hail storm, can offer potential buyers peace of mind. Plus, a no-claims trail report can be used as a positive marketing message if you’re selling your home.
a track report is not an inspection
With a Clue Report, home disasters or past mishaps may come to light, but the report shouldn’t be the only way to assess risk or damage. Prospective buyers should use the Clue Report to tell the home inspector about any repairs that have been done, said Karl Newman, president of the Northwest Seattle Insurance Council, so the inspector can make sure the job was done. correctly.
It’s worth noting that a Clue Report is not a substitute for a home inspection, as it lacks the details to allow you to pinpoint exactly where problems might arise. A home inspection is considerably more comprehensive and provides additional information beyond what a clue report provides.
a track report doesn’t give a score or recommendations, newman noted. “It’s an additional tool to evaluate the home and the cost of home insurance,” he said. it simply reports what insurance claims have been filed in recent years. it is not a substitute for an inspection or disclosure by the seller.