Q. WHAT IS A CLUE REPORT?


A. The CLUE database enables insurers to exchange information – without notice to you – about claims for loss of property. Here’s a simple example of how the exchange system works:

  • Insurance companies feed information about property loss claims, even inquiries about coverage, into a central database.
  • If you file a claim for loss against your homeowner policy, for example, the insurance company adds this information to the national database.
  • The CLUE database is maintained by an information vendor, not another insurance company.
  • If you apply for homeowner’s insurance with another company because you move to another part of the country, the new insurance company can access the CLUE database and learn of your past claims.
  • The CLUE report shows the new insurer information about any claims you files under your previous insurer’s policy. CLUE also includes information about inquiries you made, even if a claim was never submitted or paid. Who maintains the database?
The major issuer of CLUE reports in ChoicePoint, a Georgia company that is one of the country’s biggest compilers and sellers of personal consumer data. A property loss database is also maintained by Insurance Services Office (ISO) which calls its database the Automated Property Loss Underwriting System, or A-PLUS. However, because ChoicePoint dominates the insurance risk market, reports of property loss have come to be known generically as CLUE reports.




Q. ARE CLUE REPORTS ONLY FOR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE?


A. No. CLUE reports can relate to property loss claims made against automobile insurance policies as well as homeowner policies. CLUE reports for homeowner’s insurance have received more attention as homebuyers discover that the home they are about to purchase comes with its own CLUE report. If that report includes reports of water or mold mitigation, or even inquiries, the buyer may have to pay a higher premium or find it difficult to get insurance, even though the buyer has no claims in his history. How long does the information stay on the CLUE report? Five years from the date the loss is reported. This may include losses for a property before you owned it.




Q. WHAT DO CLUE REPORTS CONTAIN?


A. The CLUE report includes personal information such as your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. Tied to your identifying number is a record of any auto or homeowner loss claims you have submitted to an insurance company, including:

  • Date of loss
  • Type of loss claimed
  • Amount paid by the insurance company

The CLUE database may also include notations of property “damage” – even if the insurance company didn’t pay a cent. Any hint of water damage to a property, for example, is likely to trigger a negative mark on the property’s CLUE report. Well-intentioned consumers who call an insurer to merely inquire about coverage for water damage have been shocked to have their insurance cancelled.




Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLUE REPORT AND AN INSURANCE SCORE?


A. The CLUE report is the history of claims on a property [home or car] that stays with the property. An insurance score is a compilation or indication of likelihood that an individual will file a claim and is influenced by credit scores. Insurance scores stay with the individual even if they move.




Q. HOW CAN I ORDER A CLUE REPORT?


Only the homeowner can order their home’s clue report:

ChoicePoint (CLUE)
1000 Alderman Drive
Alpharetta, GA 30008
ChoiceTrust.com





Buying a House FAQs

Q. WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?


A. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspection is like giving it a complete physical. If problems or symptoms are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.




Q. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?


A. The standard home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating and cooling systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows; the foundation, basement, visible structure, grading and drainage, and attached structures such as decks, sheds and garages.




Q. WHY DO YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION?


A. Financially and emotionally, your new home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. You will enjoy many years of happiness--if you have chosen wisely. At first glance, it may be in great shape. But there may be certain problems, some of which you can live with, but others that could be a financial burden. In making a decision of this magnitude, make it with confidence. Additionally, the home inspection will note positive aspects of the home, as well as maintenance required to keep your home in good shape. The inspection also helps you to get a much better understanding of the property than you could ever get on your own.




Q. DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?


A. You should attend the inspection to get its full benefits. The inspection gives you the chance to ask questions directly and to see your home through the inspector’s eye as he goes through the home. This will give you a better understanding of the inspection report as well as the property itself.




Q. HOW LONG WILL THE INSPECTION TAKE?


A. The time required generally depends on the size of the home. For example, an average 2,000 square foot home will take between 2-3 hours to inspect. Another factor that may affect inspection time is the condition of the home. If the home has a lot of problems, additional time may be required for the inspector to describe those problems and discuss what options the buyer may have to repair those problems.




Q. MY HOUSE IS BEING BUILT NEW. WHY SHOULD IT BE INSPECTED?


A. An inspection of a new property is important to help you spot any shortcuts the contractor or builder may have taken. A trained certified home inspector will be able to spot certain telltale signs that might otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye. Especially valuable is an inspection before the drywall is put up. This allows you the chance to identify and fix problems when they are much easier to spot and repair.




Q. HOW MUCH WILL A HOME INSPECTION COST?


A. The cost of a home inspection varies based upon a number of factors, including size, age, special services requested, etc. Typically, the cost starts at $250-$350 for a 2000 square foot home. Fees are slightly higher for larger homes. However, cost should not be a factor in deciding whether or not you get your home inspected or in determining which certified home inspector you choose. Rather, you should consider the home inspection as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.




Q. CAN'T I DO THE INSPECTION MYSELF?


A. Even the savviest do-it-yourselfer will not have the level of training, knowledge, equipment or expertise as a certified professional home inspector. They are familiar with the complex elements of home construction; understand how the home's systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they may fail. Most importantly, they are a disinterested third party that can be totally objective about the condition of the home.




Q. WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS SOME PROBLEMS?


A. No house is perfect. If there are problems, and typically there are some, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy the house. However, if there are major problems, you may want to go back to the seller to either get the problems corrected or to re-negotiate to reflect needed repairs especially if they are safety issues.




Q. CAN A HOUSE FAIL ITS INSPECTION?


A. No. A home inspection is not the same as a code inspection. While the inspector will be familiar with many of the local and national building codes, his objective is to describe the physical condition of the house and indicate what may need repair or replacement.





6 Steps to Successfully Buy Your House

 

DO YOU HAVE A C.L.U.E.® ? REPORT

You call your insurer to ask about your home’s coverage, and a few months later the policy is cancelled. Your automobile insurance premium is raised because your credit report shows you were late paying your credit card bill.

 

DOES THIS SOUND PLAUSIBLE?

Think again. Innocent inquiries to your insurance agent or information that seems to have no bearing on your driving ability can make premiums skyrocket. Worse, your insurance might even be cancelled. Inquiries, even those that do not result in a claim, can appear in a little-known database called CLUE, or its smaller competitor A-PLUS. And your insurance “score” which is largely based on your credit rating, can determine how much you pay for homeowner’s or automobile insurance.

If you’ve seen your CLUE report (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) and you know your insurance score, chances are you’ve already been turned down for automobile or homeowner’s insurance. But probably, you, like most others, are clueless about CLUE. The CLUE report and the insurance scoring system are tools insurers use to decide your risk profile, or how likely you are to file a claim against your policy. Insurers feed information about paid claims – even your inquiries about coverage that don’t result in a claim – into a national database for use by insurers. Information included in the database, along with your insurance score, makes up your risk profile. Insurers use the profile to decide whether you get new insurance – even to decide if you get to keep the insurance you already have. If information is inaccurate, you can be left without insurance while you work out the errors.

Q. WHAT IS A CLUE REPORT?


A. The CLUE database enables insurers to exchange information – without notice to you – about claims for loss of property. Here’s a simple example of how the exchange system works:

  • Insurance companies feed information about property loss claims, even inquiries about coverage, into a central database.
  • If you file a claim for loss against your homeowner policy, for example, the insurance company adds this information to the national database.
  • The CLUE database is maintained by an information vendor, not another insurance company.
  • If you apply for homeowner’s insurance with another company because you move to another part of the country, the new insurance company can access the CLUE database and learn of your past claims.
  • The CLUE report shows the new insurer information about any claims you files under your previous insurer’s policy. CLUE also includes information about inquiries you made, even if a claim was never submitted or paid. Who maintains the database?
The major issuer of CLUE reports in ChoicePoint, a Georgia company that is one of the country’s biggest compilers and sellers of personal consumer data. A property loss database is also maintained by Insurance Services Office (ISO) which calls its database the Automated Property Loss Underwriting System, or A-PLUS. However, because ChoicePoint dominates the insurance risk market, reports of property loss have come to be known generically as CLUE reports.




Q. ARE CLUE REPORTS ONLY FOR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE?


A. No. CLUE reports can relate to property loss claims made against automobile insurance policies as well as homeowner policies. CLUE reports for homeowner’s insurance have received more attention as homebuyers discover that the home they are about to purchase comes with its own CLUE report. If that report includes reports of water or mold mitigation, or even inquiries, the buyer may have to pay a higher premium or find it difficult to get insurance, even though the buyer has no claims in his history. How long does the information stay on the CLUE report? Five years from the date the loss is reported. This may include losses for a property before you owned it.




Q. WHAT DO CLUE REPORTS CONTAIN?


A. The CLUE report includes personal information such as your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. Tied to your identifying number is a record of any auto or homeowner loss claims you have submitted to an insurance company, including:

  • Date of loss
  • Type of loss claimed
  • Amount paid by the insurance company

The CLUE database may also include notations of property “damage” – even if the insurance company didn’t pay a cent. Any hint of water damage to a property, for example, is likely to trigger a negative mark on the property’s CLUE report. Well-intentioned consumers who call an insurer to merely inquire about coverage for water damage have been shocked to have their insurance cancelled.




Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLUE REPORT AND AN INSURANCE SCORE?


A. The CLUE report is the history of claims on a property [home or car] that stays with the property. An insurance score is a compilation or indication of likelihood that an individual will file a claim and is influenced by credit scores. Insurance scores stay with the individual even if they move.




Q. HOW CAN I ORDER A CLUE REPORT?


Only the homeowner can order their home’s clue report:

ChoicePoint (CLUE)
1000 Alderman Drive
Alpharetta, GA 30008
ChoiceTrust.com





 

Home Inspection FAQ

Q. WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?


A. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspection is like giving it a complete physical. If problems or symptoms are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.




Q. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?


A. The standard home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating and cooling systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows; the foundation, basement, visible structure, grading and drainage, and attached structures such as decks, sheds and garages.




Q. WHY DO YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION?


A. Financially and emotionally, your new home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. You will enjoy many years of happiness--if you have chosen wisely. At first glance, it may be in great shape. But there may be certain problems, some of which you can live with, but others that could be a financial burden. In making a decision of this magnitude, make it with confidence. Additionally, the home inspection will note positive aspects of the home, as well as maintenance required to keep your home in good shape. The inspection also helps you to get a much better understanding of the property than you could ever get on your own.




Q. DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?


A. You should attend the inspection to get its full benefits. The inspection gives you the chance to ask questions directly and to see your home through the inspector’s eye as he goes through the home. This will give you a better understanding of the inspection report as well as the property itself.




Q. HOW LONG WILL THE INSPECTION TAKE?


A. The time required generally depends on the size of the home. For example, an average 2,000 square foot home will take between 2-3 hours to inspect. Another factor that may affect inspection time is the condition of the home. If the home has a lot of problems, additional time may be required for the inspector to describe those problems and discuss what options the buyer may have to repair those problems.




Q. MY HOUSE IS BEING BUILT NEW. WHY SHOULD IT BE INSPECTED?


A. An inspection of a new property is important to help you spot any shortcuts the contractor or builder may have taken. A trained certified home inspector will be able to spot certain telltale signs that might otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye. Especially valuable is an inspection before the drywall is put up. This allows you the chance to identify and fix problems when they are much easier to spot and repair.




Q. HOW MUCH WILL A HOME INSPECTION COST?


A. The cost of a home inspection varies based upon a number of factors, including size, age, special services requested, etc. Typically, the cost starts at $250-$350 for a 2000 square foot home. Fees are slightly higher for larger homes. However, cost should not be a factor in deciding whether or not you get your home inspected or in determining which certified home inspector you choose. Rather, you should consider the home inspection as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.




Q. CAN'T I DO THE INSPECTION MYSELF?


A. Even the savviest do-it-yourselfer will not have the level of training, knowledge, equipment or expertise as a certified professional home inspector. They are familiar with the complex elements of home construction; understand how the home's systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they may fail. Most importantly, they are a disinterested third party that can be totally objective about the condition of the home.




Q. WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS SOME PROBLEMS?


A. No house is perfect. If there are problems, and typically there are some, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy the house. However, if there are major problems, you may want to go back to the seller to either get the problems corrected or to re-negotiate to reflect needed repairs especially if they are safety issues.




Q. CAN A HOUSE FAIL ITS INSPECTION?


A. No. A home inspection is not the same as a code inspection. While the inspector will be familiar with many of the local and national building codes, his objective is to describe the physical condition of the house and indicate what may need repair or replacement.





 
 

Title Insurance

Q. WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?


A. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspection is like giving it a complete physical. If problems or symptoms are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.




Q. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?


A. The standard home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating and cooling systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows; the foundation, basement, visible structure, grading and drainage, and attached structures such as decks, sheds and garages.




Q. WHY DO YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION?


A. Financially and emotionally, your new home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. You will enjoy many years of happiness--if you have chosen wisely. At first glance, it may be in great shape. But there may be certain problems, some of which you can live with, but others that could be a financial burden. In making a decision of this magnitude, make it with confidence. Additionally, the home inspection will note positive aspects of the home, as well as maintenance required to keep your home in good shape. The inspection also helps you to get a much better understanding of the property than you could ever get on your own.




Q. DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?


A. You should attend the inspection to get its full benefits. The inspection gives you the chance to ask questions directly and to see your home through the inspector’s eye as he goes through the home. This will give you a better understanding of the inspection report as well as the property itself.




Q. HOW LONG WILL THE INSPECTION TAKE?


A. The time required generally depends on the size of the home. For example, an average 2,000 square foot home will take between 2-3 hours to inspect. Another factor that may affect inspection time is the condition of the home. If the home has a lot of problems, additional time may be required for the inspector to describe those problems and discuss what options the buyer may have to repair those problems.




Q. MY HOUSE IS BEING BUILT NEW. WHY SHOULD IT BE INSPECTED?


A. An inspection of a new property is important to help you spot any shortcuts the contractor or builder may have taken. A trained certified home inspector will be able to spot certain telltale signs that might otherwise go unnoticed to an untrained eye. Especially valuable is an inspection before the drywall is put up. This allows you the chance to identify and fix problems when they are much easier to spot and repair.




Q. HOW MUCH WILL A HOME INSPECTION COST?


A. The cost of a home inspection varies based upon a number of factors, including size, age, special services requested, etc. Typically, the cost starts at $250-$350 for a 2000 square foot home. Fees are slightly higher for larger homes. However, cost should not be a factor in deciding whether or not you get your home inspected or in determining which certified home inspector you choose. Rather, you should consider the home inspection as an investment that will pay for itself many times over.




Q. CAN'T I DO THE INSPECTION MYSELF?


A. Even the savviest do-it-yourselfer will not have the level of training, knowledge, equipment or expertise as a certified professional home inspector. They are familiar with the complex elements of home construction; understand how the home's systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they may fail. Most importantly, they are a disinterested third party that can be totally objective about the condition of the home.




Q. WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS SOME PROBLEMS?


A. No house is perfect. If there are problems, and typically there are some, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy the house. However, if there are major problems, you may want to go back to the seller to either get the problems corrected or to re-negotiate to reflect needed repairs especially if they are safety issues.




Q. CAN A HOUSE FAIL ITS INSPECTION?


A. No. A home inspection is not the same as a code inspection. While the inspector will be familiar with many of the local and national building codes, his objective is to describe the physical condition of the house and indicate what may need repair or replacement.