[TowerTalk] homeowners insurance

Joe Giacobello k2xx at swva.net
Fri Mar 24 10:01:13 EST 2006

I have heard of CLUE from a friend, who is a retired insurance agent, 
and my current agent.  Given the penalties that the insurance companies 
impose for a small claim or two (e.g., cancellation or extremely high 
premiums), it seems sensible to select a relatively high deductible so 
one is at least protected against a catastrophic event.  You'd have to 
eat the small claims, but they seem to just create coverage problems 
anyhow, which may be much more costly in the long run.

I have often thought that the CLUE record system was a violation of 
anti-trust legislation:  interlocking directorate or some similar 
collusion among competing companies.  I wonder if any of the attorneys 
out there have an opinion on this?

73, Joe

Jim Jarvis wrote:

>Although insurance companies are in business to make money,
>they've gone through a distinct change in the last few years.
>In part, this is due to another profit-seeking enterprise,
>called CLUE... Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.
>It gathers data from all sources about....YOU....and
>shares it across the industry.  Actually, it SELLS it to whomever
>is willing to pony up.  For 39 bucks, I can find out your complete
>credit history, licensing history (cars, boats, planes, radios),
>any interaction with law enforcement...any judgements, etc.
>The insurance industry was riding high, reaping major profits from
>invested premiums, until the big hurricanes of the 90's years
>rolled across Florida and racked up tons of damage.  Then there w
>as the billion dollar loss from 9/11, which wracked the reserves
>of the co-insurance companies. (yes, even insurance companies lay-off risk)
>So...the pot of premium cash is pretty thin these days, and
>investment profits are way down.
>The result?  In the US at least, if you've had a claim on
>your homeowners policy...and it's significant...prepare to
>be cancelled.  Have two claims in a year?  I guarantee you'll
>be cancelled.
>Now, that's well and good...but it goes beyond that.  I had my home,
>auto, boat, and umbrella liability policies with Aetna for 30+ years.
>They sold to Travellers.  THEN I had a claim...backwash of a hurricane
>rolled through Vermont, broke off stuff from high pines which damaged
>my roof, and knocked over a big oak which wiped out a tower guyset,
>totalling that.
>They counted it as two claims, although from the same event.  They paid.
>I was cancelled.  But they also sent notice of refusal to renew my auto,
>or liability umbrella.  Poof.  30+ claimless years, and off you go.
>THAT wouldn't be so bad, but they saw fit to share that information with
>the rest of the insurance industry via CLUE....so I'm finding it difficult
>to get coverage for home or liability umbrella, even at rates which are 2-3x
>that of market.
>I would be careful of even reporting a POSSIBLE claim, even though your
>sales agent encourages you to do so, and then vacate it.  I had a big tree
>hit the VT house, and reported it.  Two days later, when we had cleared the
>debris, I advised them that I was vacating the claim, that no real damage
>done.   When they cancelled my contract, they indicated the counted that
>against me, as well.
>This is NOT a homeowner friendly industry.
>jimjarvis at ieee.org
>jimjarvis at verizon.net
>TowerTalk mailing list
>TowerTalk at contesting.com

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