Homeowners Don’t Have A CLUE, But Insurers Do

This is really only tangentially related to advertising in the sense that we are constantly shown happy/safe/it’s-all-gonna-be-alright imagery from insurance companies in their advertising.
But I didn’t know this: Insurers now keep records on the history of your home and use that info to deny you coverage. MSN MoneyCentral has more:

Insurers increasingly are using a huge industry database, called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or CLUE, to drop or deny coverage based on a home’s history of claims or damage reports.
Insurance companies are terrified of rising losses from water and mold damage. So a single report of water-related problems may be enough for insurers to shun your home.

Now, if you had a history of filing dubious claims, that’s one thing. But here’s the kicker:

But the company that operates CLUE, ChoicePoint of Alpharetta, Ga., said that the database collects damage reports as well as claims. The information stays in the database for up to five years, said James Lee, ChoicePoint’s chief marketing officer.

ChoicePoint, of course, is the data-collecting behemoth that has a penchant for selling your personal information to criminals.
Should you care? If you plan on selling your home, hell yes you should. The article tells the story of one couple who has had trouble securing coverage after being dropped by State Farm:

The Garders say they have been told by their real estate agent and others that they may have a tough time getting a good price for a home that’s already been rejected by many insurers.
“You are totally blackballed,” said Jan Garder, 49. “They should not be able to hold a consumer hostage like this.”



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.