Ask a Florida public adjuster: “Should I ask for a CLUE report when buying a new home?”

I think the most commonly overlooked question when buying a house has to do with the
claim history. As a public adjusting firm in Florida, we have had clients that have had
multiple claims, year after year on their homes. Sometimes our clients have two claims
occurring simultaneously. For example, we have seen many times that there is a leak
from an air conditioner and another leak from a plumbing source. That’s two claims at
the same time!

“Knowing if the house has had claims can be very useful if you are searching for a house to buy.”

Most people are unaware that a home’s claim history stays with the house. It’s true.
Unlike a person’s driving record, which follows the driver no matter what car he buys, a
home’s claim history stays with the house, so any subsequent owner will have to
potentially deal with a higher insurance premium, and of course, a greater chance that
there will be future claims. Even if the seller discloses any known issues with his house,
the buyer can still request a CLUE report which will detail the home’s PRIOR claim
history. What can you do with this information? Well, if in fact, you find that there have
been multiple insurance claims, but you still feel that you want to purchase the home,
you can use it as a bargaining tool. You can also use the information you learned from
the CLUE report to back out of the deal if you feel that owning the home is too risky.

How do you obtain a Florida CLUE report?

A CLUE report in Florida can be obtained online, by email, by phone, or by mailing a
CLUE REPORT request form. If you are a Floridian, you are entitled to one free copy of
your clue report per year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states you must request it
directly from LexisNexis. Please click the link above to start the process.

  1. Call 1-888-497-0011to to reach Lexis Nexis about requesting your CLUE
  2. Email LexisNexis:
  3. Go directly to the site: and fill out a request form.

What exactly Is a CLUE Report?

Quite simply, it tells you about the claim history of a property or a person. The word
“CLUE” stands for “comprehensive loss underwriting exchange.”

The only thing is that when you are ordering a CLUE report on a property you are
buying, you have to order it from the seller. Only the owner of a property can obtain
their own CLUE report, and then they can share it with you, of course. If the seller
refuses to cooperate and he won’t get the report, then maybe the seller is hiding

Not surprisingly, when you inquire about buying a new policy of your own, your
insurance company will order and read your CLUE report, which helps them determine
how much they are going to charge you, or whether or not they even want to sell you a
policy at all. Just think, the last time you were inquiring about buying insurance, one of
the questions you always hear is, “ Have you had any claims in the last 3 years or 5
years?” They ask you this question not because they can’t find out the answer on their
own, but because they also want to see if you are lying. You may as well tell the truth
because they will check your answers anyway.

Do you think your Insurance Rate will go up if you file a claim?

Year after year, insurance rates seem to be rising whether you have had claims in the
past or not. Perhaps the reason for this is the perceived increase in the number of
natural disasters. In Florida, we seem to get hit hard by hurricanes. In other states,
there are fires and tornadoes. And then, there is the cost to rebuild, which has gone up,
due to inflation. Material costs and labor costs have gone way up. So, replacing a roof
in 2022 is practically double the cost compared to only 10 years ago. In fact, in Florida for example, a $1M dollar house in 2022 was about $400,000 in 2012. These numbers
are factored into the cost of any new policy. Unfortunately, we encounter people every day who
have never filed a house claim for damages in their entire life, and who are seeing
drastic increases in their premiums. Ironically, we have clients all the time who would
have never filed a claim, but because their rates have skyrocketed, have made the
decision to put a claim in.