Are Auto Insurance Claims on My Credit Reports?
When you file a claim on your auto insurance policy, it is reported to insurance claims databases compiled LexisNexis. LexisNexis is the most widely used by the insurance companies. These companies are consumer reporting agencies, just as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. In fact, LexisNexis’s insurance services use to be ChoicePoint, which use to be Equifax Insurance Services.
The difference is that the three credit bureaus house consumer credit information and LexisNexis houses insurance claim information. Therefore, the actual claim won’t be reported to the three credit bureaus, but outcomes from the claims could. Two examples are: 1) you could be sued in court to pay damages resulting from the car accident; or 2) the insurance company may not cover all of the costs of the accident and you can’t pay the difference.
The first example could result in a civil suit and a judgment. Even is the judgment is eventually paid and satisfied, the existence of a judgment is considered a severe delinquency and can reduce your credit scores significantly. In addition, it remains on your credit report for seven years from the date filed. And, if it’s refiled (a little trick lawyers play) then it’s another seven years.
In the second example, you are unable to pay costs not covered by the insurance company. Failure to the pay bills reflect poorly on your credit. If the bills are turned over to a collection agency, the agency reports this to the credit bureaus. Now you have an account that shows that the original our account was over 180 days past due and was charged-off and also a collection account. A collection is considered a severe delinquency and can deduct 100 points from your score. It remains on your credit report for seven years from the time they became 180 days delinquent.
What you may find surprising is that your credit can impact your insurance premium. If you have poor credit, this could be reflected in a higher premium. Most insurance claims won’t impact your credit unless something related to it such as unpaid bills, collections or a judgment results.
If you’ve filed an auto insurance claim then LexisNexis likely has a record of it in their “CLUE” database. CLUE stands for Comprehensive Underwriting Loss Exchange. You can get a copy of your CLUE report, if you even have one, at https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/fact_act_claims_bundle/landing.jsp.
If you haven’t filed an auto claim in the past seven years your CLUE report will be empty.
Credit Reporting Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, founder of www.creditexpertwitness.com and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. You can follow John on Twitter here.