Your Credit Score and How It Relates to Insurance (Part 5)

There is nothing in this world that is perfect and mistakes happen all the time. And, in the area of consumer credit reporting mistakes and errors are a common problem. Most people have heard it more then once, check your credit report and correct any errors. It is best to check at least once a year and considering that Insurance companies are permitted to look at consumer credit without your permission checking often is an even more important thing to do. You may be paying more on your auto or homeowner insurance because of an error on your credit report and not even know it.

The three national credit bureaus do not share information, it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report from each of them. Each report may have different errors. If you correct errors on one credit report, it may not fix the errors on the other credit reports.

The three national credit bureaus are:

30 days

When a consumer reports an error to the credit bureau, they must investigate the error and get back to the consumer within 30 days. The credit bureau will start an investigation and contact the reporting party. The creditor will have to verify the validity of their report. If the investigation shows the information is wrong or if there is no proof it’s true, the credit bureau must correct your credit report.

Consumers can ask the credit bureau to send a notice of the correction to any creditor or insurer that has checked your file in the past six months. Once the error is corrected, it’s a good idea to get a new copy of your credit report several months later to make sure the wrong information has not been reported again.

If the information in your credit report is correct, the credit bureau will not change the information in your credit report. However, the FCRA lets you file a 100-word statement explaining your side of the story, and the credit bureau must include your statement with your credit information each time they send it out.

When there are errors on your credit report or you have added a statement be sure to:

  • Tell your insurance company. Don’t wait until the credit bureau investigates the errors to contact your insurer.
  • Ask if the errors will make a difference in your insurance.
  • If the errors are big, tell your insurer that you are disputing the information and ask if they will wait to use your credit information until the errors are corrected.
  • If the negative credit is correct and you add a statement to your report, Make sure your insurance company has a copy of your statement, and ask if they will take include the statement and consider it when reviewing your credit reports.

Small errors may not have much effect on your insurance credit score. But if the errors are big, if can make a big difference in your premium. It is a good idea to make sure your insurance company has a copy of your statement, and ask if they will take include the statement and consider it when reviewing your credit reports.

Photo credit for this blog entry: sxc (no use restrictions for this photo)

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Glossary of Insurance Terms:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J-K | L | M | N | O | P | Q-R | S | T | U-V | W-Z

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