The distinction between an inquiry and a claim is an important one. An inquiry is generally regarded as a call by a consumer to a company representative or agent to discuss terms of coverage, including the extent of coverage on a specific loss.
C.L.U.E. reports indicate losses by type. Consumers contacting their company or their agent to discuss an actual loss might be considered reporting a claim, even if the company does not end up making a claim payment. This is because when a loss occurs, the policy requires the company to take specific actions within specified time frames. Consumers should be specific as to whether they are filing a claim or only making an inquiry.
For instance, a consumer may contact his/her agent to report an event, such as a broken water pipe, and to determine the extent of coverage in order to decide whether or not to go forward with the company's claims process. A consumer discussing this situation in general may be making an inquiry, but if discussing an actual loss, may be making a claim. The insurer might not reimburse the consumer for this loss for a variety of reasons: the amount of damage may be below the deductible, the consumer may decide to pay for the damage, or there may be no coverage for such a loss under the policy terms.
If the consumer filed an actual claim and the insurer made no loss payment on this claim, this information would be recorded by the company and may appear on a C.L.U.E. report.