If your insurance company has taken an “adverse action” against you as a result of your credit, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting bureau they used.
However, the three national credit reporting bureaus do not share information with each other. So it is a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from each of them because each report may contain the same or different errors and correcting errors on one credit report may not fix the errors with the others.
You may have to pay a nominal fee (probably less than $10) for each report. Under federal law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you have been denied credit or insurance, if you are on welfare, if you are unemployed, or if you are a victim of identity theft.
If you find errors in your credit report, advise the credit bureau. Immediately notify your agent and insurance company and ask if these errors will make a difference in your insurance purchase. Find out whether the insurance company will defer using your credit information until the inaccurate or erroneous information is corrected. Do not wait until the matter is resolved by the credit bureau.
The credit bureau will contact the reporting entity (bank, credit card company, collection agency, court clerk, etc.) to verify the information. The bureau must investigate and respond to you within 30 days.
If the disputed information cannot be verified, or if the reporting entity agrees the information is incorrect, the credit bureau must remove, complete, or update the information. At your request, the credit bureau must send a notice of the correction to any creditor that has checked your file in the past six months.
If the reporting entity verifies the information is indeed correct, the credit bureau will not remove the information from or correct the information on your credit report. However, the FCRA permits you to file a 100-word statement explaining your side of the story, and the reporting bureau must include your statement with your credit information each time it is sent out. Make sure your insurance company has a copy of your statement and ask if they will take it into account.
Once the errors are removed or corrected, it’s a good idea to obtain a new copy of your credit report several months later to make sure the incorrect or erroneous information has not been reported again.
Most consumer groups suggest that you get a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus once a year to make sure there are no errors or to correct them before they become big problems.