Another database. This one is particularly nasty. CLUE is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It is run by an Atlanta company, ChoicePoint.
The story about CLUE, and the many many people who have been Scr**ed by it occasionally makes it into the written press, but never enough to get the public really worked up. There are loads of stories about it on Internet. And if you own a home, either you are in CLUE, or about to be.
I suggest this story to start out: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.ht.../buggs/1717784
And then: http://realtytimes.com/rtnews/rtcpag...30512_clue.htm
And visit ChoicePoints recently "upgraded" site:
I must warn you however, that as you read all of ChoicePoint's nicey-nicey family stuff, you may start to gag. Here is a company that created an idea, and now all the insurance companies "need" it. And, now that more consumers know about it, ChoicePoint can make even more $$ by letting us send them $ to check on our own entries. What a business!
If you note more than a "hint" of sarcasm here, I feel it's well warranted!
Culled out of a lot of these stories are the following points to live by:
1. Your insurance agent IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. At least not anymore with CLUE. Anything you say can and will be used against you (and, you know, they don't even read you your Miranda Rights, first!).
You don't have to file a claim to have trouble! Just a conversation, or them asking you a question is all it takes. And, you may not realize that you have trouble till you are about to sell! Of course, there are the stories of people who bought a house, then found they couldn't get insurance!
2. Never ever say anything about water damage, or heaven forbid, the "M" word... mold!
3. Do whatever you can to avoid any sort of water accident. In my experience, Water Heaters don't just suddenly gush all over. They leak for quite a while first, but many people don't ever look, or they know its leaking and just don't want to bother then.
The rubber hoses from faucets to the Washing Machine are another common one. How often do any of us turn those valves off when we are done?
Replace the rubber hoses with the hose type that has the braided metal jacket on the outside. That won't guaranty no leak ever, but the jacket prevents them from swelling and suddenly going kablooey! The slight swelling on an all-rubber hose before it lets go is easy to miss.
It is easy to go to the hardware store or home center of your choice and pick up those reinforced hoses (measure for length first to avoid too-short hoses!). Both ends of each hose just screw on. On some really really old Washers, you may have to pull the back off to get at the machine's hose end. But most have the hose connections to the fill valve readily accessible 'round back. Lean over and use a mirror to see, if need be.
4. And if it happens, not a word to your ins. co., fix it yourself or pay to have it fixed. Silence is golden (at least long term it will be
5. Fix any roof leaks promptly! And Quietly!
6. In termite country, keep looking for signs of trouble, and dirt tubes in spring and early summer.
Well this post got longer than I planned, but if it prevents anyone some pain, it's worth it!