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Specialty Consumer Report – Get Yours

Specialty Consumer Reports are to you what what credit reports are to your credit worthiness. In a front page featured article [3], Bankrate-writer Amy Crane discusses what these things are, what they’re used for, and how you can get a copy of your specialty consumer report. The level of detail in these specialty reports is staggering and it’s information you probably wouldn’t want to share with even your closest friends.

It’s essentially a significantly more in-depth credit report that includes information such as your medical condition, insurance claim history, living situation related history (tenant history, mortgage history, etc), and a whole host of other details about your life. Companies will use this information, typically not covered in such detail (or even at all) in a credit report, to assess your risk and decide whether or not to extend you services. It is of great importance to a automobile insurance company to learn whether you have a history of submitting claims or whether you’re pretty quiet and an easy money maker for them.

The specialty consumer reports come in a few varieties and through the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you are able to get these reports (if they exist) just as you can get your credit report. It is very important that you get your reports and fix any inaccuracies!

CLUE Insurance Reports: The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange is a database that insurers report paid underwriting claims and the reports are used to assess the likelihood you will report a claim. It’s widely believed that past history is an indicator of the future. There are two major agencies you can contact to get your CLUE report:

Medical History Reports: The MIB, Medical Information Bureau, is where medical insurers can go to find background information about you and your medical history. These reports, of which they claim only 15-18% of people who have applied for insurance are tracked, will report everything about your medical history, your current medical state, and even whether you participate in dangerous activities. You can reach the MIB by visiting their website [6] or calling 1-866-692-6901.

Residential-related Reports: When you tried to rent that apartment, do you remember signing a form that permitted the landlord to check your credit and do a background check? This report is probably what that background check was – it reports all the prior reference checks, rental history, and they are based on the reports of prior landlords.

Banking History: The track whether you bounced a check, had an account closed, etc. and they have reports on your history that you didn’t think your bank shared.

You can request your data once a year, just like your credit report, and what you’ll get is the information they use to produce a report – not the actual report you’d get if you were a bank or landlord or whomever else uses them. The procedure for fixing mistakes, adding explanations, etc. depends on the reporting agency but they want to have the most accurate information so they’ll probably be very receptive to corrections. The Bankrate article goes into greater detail so if some of these points are unclear I suggest you read Amy’s article.