Anytime you file a liability claim against an insurance policy, the activity is report to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE. Your CLUE score is then accessed by insurance companies when you apply for new coverage or renewals, and your premiums will be based, in part, on the results of your CLUE score.

A common misconception is that one type of policy will not influence your premiums for another type. The truth is, any monetary claim you file, and even some types of insurance inquiries or quotes, will be listed in your CLUE report. What this means is that all of your insurance claims are grouped together to give potential insurers an immediate view of your insurance behavior patterns. Filing several auto insurance claims, for example, can greatly increase the amount you pay for home insurance.

One way to avoid getting caught in the CLUE trap is to file fewer claims. If your claim is only a little more than the amount of your deductible, it might make better financial sense to go ahead and pay for the repairs out of pocket, saving the insurance for more costly incidents and keeping your CLUE score as low as possible. It may seem counter-productive to pay for insurance and then handle the repairs out of pocket, but in the long run paying for those small claims will save you a great deal of money in premiums, not on one type of policy, but on any type of liability coverage you buy.

Keep in mind, too, that your CLUE report is only one of several factors that determine your car insurance rates. Other factors include your credit score, which is a gauge of your financial stability, and such things as where you live, what your occupation is, and even such personal information as your marital status, your education level, and even your gender and age.