During 2019 several insurance tracking vendors have canceled their relationships with numerous lenders throughout the country. Unfortunately, these vendors in many cases did not give adequate notice or time for the lenders to react and find an alternative. If you have already been forced to make a quick decision or are facing that decision, this blog post covers some options for you.
It is very common for community lenders to acknowledge the shortcomings of insurance tracking and force placing CPI coverage on borrowers. We often hear from community lender executives and collection departments, that even though CPI coverage and outsourced tracking still entails a lot of work and causes a lot of problems, they really don't see any other solution other than switching to another insurance tracker. Many are very excited to find out that there is another option.
As a community lender, you believe that your service and product are by far an overall better value for your customers than larger regional or national lenders you compete with. Why do you believe that and why is it actually true?
Many lenders using Collateral Protection Insurance or a CPI / force-placed type of product for their consumer loan portfolios are unaware of the potential ramifications that they may face if their programs are not administered correctly by the provider. I say “their” programs intentionally because to borrowers the CPI or Collateral Protection Insurance product is your program and to regulators and class action attorneys CPI was your choice to insure your loans - (and guess who has the deepest pockets)?
As new vehicle sales prices continue to rise, many lenders are feeling the pain in the way collateral protection premiums are calculated. Without any action at all on the part of the insurance company or the lender, your borrowers are paying more and more for coverage. The reason? Collateral Protection premiums are based on a percentage of the loan balance. As vehicle prices increase, loan balances are at all-time highs, and in turn, force-placed insurance premiums are higher than ever.
Trust and Relationship
I placed this first intentionally because it is the most important by far. Customers, borrowers, and members want a service provider that is trustworthy and see the bigger picture of a long-term relationship. They will use your products because of the great service you provide, and the value you bring to them as a trusted financial advisor. Good agents and insurance companies operate under the same principles.
Insurance rates in every sector have risen substantially in recent years, outpacing inflation by a good margin. Here’s a look at some of the stats:
Health Insurance costs have gone up by over 20% in the last 10 years
Auto Insurance rates have gone up by more than 30% in the last 10 years
Homeowner Insurance premiums have risen over 40% in the last 10 years
Natural disasters, home prices, and the increased cost of construction have affected homeowner insurance pricing the most. Health insurance premiums have risen due to many factors. Why have auto-related premiums gone up so much? Here are the top 5 reasons why auto insurance rates are going up:
As reported in USA Today, this month used car payments hit a record $400 per month and used car vehicle values jumped over $20,000 for the first time. Higher demand for used vehicles, along with continued inflation in new car pricing and higher interest rates, have pushed payments to their highest level on record in the used car market. Both factors combined have also increased pressure on loan terms, as they now average 66.9 months according to Edmunds, also the highest ever.
Regulation Z or the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) provides a specific carve-out exemption and special treatment for the Blanket Single Interest (or VSI as its commonly called) product for various reasons. Predominantly we believe the regulators knew that a great majority of US banks already use the coverage and it is a growing product in credit unions and other lending sectors, which has provided a great option to protect the loan portfolios of lenders efficiently while keeping the cost to customers to a minimum.
VSI or Single Interest Insurance is a customer-centric, efficient, compliant way for lenders to insure their entire consumer loan portfolio for a small one-time fee on each new loan. There are many advantages of the blanket product as compared to other options such as tracking insurance in-house or outsourcing tracking. VSI allows you to eliminate all insurance tracking and yet still cover all of your collateral without the needless hassles between you, loan officers, borrowers, and insurance companies.