Free CLUE report tool may help reduce home, car insurance costs

TULSA - When Pat shopped for insurance coverage a few months ago, she thought she was getting a good deal.

"They told me if I change my car insurance over I would get multiple discounts," Pat said.

Eventually though, Pat says she found out she was paying several hundred dollars more a year than necessary.

"$700 to me is a lot of money," she said.

There's a little known tool folks like Pat can use to help make sure they're getting the best deal when buying insurance.

It's called a CLUE report, which stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report.

There's one for your property, and one for your auto.

It's the same information insurance companies use when deciding whether to cover you, and how much to charge.

"This is good consumer information to have," says State Insurance Commissioner John Doak.

He says it's much like your credit report.

CLUE lists your claim history for the past several years.

FIND YOUR CLUE REPORT (http://bit.ly/10wXrnK)

You can get it free once a year.

"If you haven't had claims in a number of years you might want to run it to make sure there are no erroneous claims being associated with you," Doak said.

If you do find a mistake, there's info telling you how to correct it, since those errors could be costly.

"That could lead to potentially higher rates for consumers if those claims aren't their own," Doak said.

Commissioner Doak says you can also use the report to make sure old claims are removed when they should be.

That, too, can help you save some cash.

The time frame for dropping claims, though, varies from one company to another.

It's something you should ask your agent about.

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