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Auto Insurance Premiums Unexpectedly Going Up?

Check your accident record for errors.

Has your automobile insurance premium risen substantially even though you haven’t been in any accidents and haven’t received any tickets for driving infractions?

The problem could be an error in your C.L.U.E. report.

What’s that?

The database is called C.L.U.E. Auto by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. More than 95 percent of auto insurance carriers provide claims data to it — data such as policy information; names, birth dates and policy numbers; claim details, such as date and type of loss and amounts paid; and vehicle information.

There is also a field in your C.L.U.E. report called the fault indicator — where the insurer indicates who was at fault for a particular accident.

The accuracy of that indicator is critical, because when you apply for car insurance and perhaps even when your policy comes up for renewal, insurers will obtain a copy of your C.L.U.E. report. That report is a key factor in calculating your premium, said Mark Romano, director of insurance claims projects for the Consumer Federation of America.

That’s why you should periodically request a copy of your C.L.U.E. report from your insurance carrier or directly from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Check all parts of it for accuracy — especially the fault indicator field. Also, make sure there is no claim information listed more than once and no claims that are unknown to you.

If you find an error, request a correction in writing. Write both to your insurer and to LexisNexis Consumer Center, P.O. Box 105108, Atlanta, GA 30348-5108.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires LexisNexis Risk Solutions to then reinvestigate the matter and, if an error is confirmed, to delete the item from your file within 30 days from the date your letter was received.

Then follow up and obtain another copy of your C.L.U.E. report after the 30 days to ensure the changes were made. Keep a good record of your written requests, and if problems continue, contact your state’s department of insurance for assistance.

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