My job involves talking with community lenders on a daily basis. Specifically, I work with credit union and bank executives on their collateral portfolio insurance. This includes consumer, mortgage, and commercial equipment portfolios. I am regularly surprised to find that many managers, executives, and others are unfamiliar with the policies they have in place or how they manage risk in their portfolios. While being a leader in a lending institution carries dozens of responsibilities across multiple departments and disciplines, keeping on top of your insurance is something you can’t let fall by the wayside. Not only are uncovered or under-covered losses unacceptable, but in-depth knowledge of your policy can help with compliance. As a new year approaches, here are some good questions to ask yourself and your staff to make sure you have the best possible grasp of how your collateral portfolios are protected.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking to several executives at a mid-sized credit union about the differences between the CPI program they currently use to protect their consumer portfolio and the Blanket VSI policy that could replace it. We talked through the advantages and disadvantages of each, from the amount of staff time CPI takes compared to the simplicity of Blanket, the direct and hidden costs each program holds for the credit union (CPI has several hidden costs), and the perceptions each program can give to the credit union’s members. When we reached the point in our discussion about member benefit and perception, the credit union’s Risk Management Officer, (who was tasked with playing devil’s advocate throughout the entire meeting) brought up the subject of borrower’s claims and it led us to an in-depth conversation on this apparent benefit a CPI program may have for credit union members.
Many community lenders across the United States deal with CPI every day. It’s a popular strategy used to insure consumer auto portfolios, and in many cases is considered the paradigm for that type of portfolio protection. At Unitas Financial Services, we make no secret of the fact that we believe blanket insurance is a superior product that holds numerous advantages for lenders, from easing compliance considerations to increasing lending efficiency. We love to expound on how blanket products are a lender’s best friend, but perhaps we don’t talk enough about the advantages blanket coverage has over CPI from a borrower’s perspective. To that end, I’ve laid out some differences between blanket coverage and CPI and how they affect consumers.
Last week I stopped in at a recreational vehicle dealership to browse travel trailers. As I spoke with the salesman, he mentioned they had been having a problem for most of the year.
In every town, city, and state across our country community lenders play a vital part in the mortgage economy. Their pivotal role has been highlighted yet again in 2020 as they help families and businesses face the unique challenges this year has presented to all Americans. While they exist in every community, no two community lenders are the same. For that reason, no two mortgage portfolios are exactly alike.
Less than four months into the Twenties of the 21st Century, uncertainty has hit our world and our economy in ways that can aptly be described as unprecedented. Our country and our industry face challenges on a scale that would have been hard to imagine only a few short months ago. When I first sat down to write this, I intended to focus on blanket insurance concepts and how they might be of assistance to community lenders as they strive to be more efficient and better protected.