12/26/2005Insurance Companies Raise Rates for Roadside Assistance
Several companies report use of roadside assistance coverage to raise the insurance rates of those who become stranded.
Insurance companies are raising rates on people who lock their keys in the car or become stranded on the side of the road. Several major insurers report claims made under roadside assistance policies to the Coverage Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) database controlled by Choicepoint, Inc. The system records any inquiries or claims made under automobile or homeowners' insurance policies for five years. Insurers use the database to raise the premiums of their customers.
Several insurance companies, for example, refused to cover Andrea Davis, 31, after she had two flat tires and locked her keys inside her 1999 Isuzu Rodeo. Davis learned her old insurance company, Geico, had reported her three claims to CLUE. Davis paid Geico $12 a year for roadside assistance, but the company never disclosed that using flat tire assistance would raise rates.