Achieving Greater Revenue and Loan Growth via the Property and Casualty Insurance Market

The Market

 

Banking and Insurance Coming Together

As the line between banking and insurance continues to fade, the benefit of leveraging both markets becomes clear. Insurance premium financing (IPF) is a primary example. Most insurance products are financed and the market for financing insurance paper is significant. When one considers the importance of having commercial insurance in force, it is easy to understand the low default rates. Net interest margins are also higher than many other asset types.

Furthermore, for banking entities that own insurance operations (brokerages or carriers) there is incredible opportunity to capture extra revenue. In these cases, the bank-owned insurance entity is producing a product that often requires financing. If the insurance entity isn’t providing the financing, someone else will – and potential revenue is lost. Cross-selling further enhances the opportunity.

Proof of this concept is everywhere. Most automobile manufacturers own and promote their own financing arm. Virtually every major gasoline company offers a branded credit card. Many other industries are following suit.

 

Convert Challenge into Opportunity

 

The challenge, of course, lies within the stringent requirements and unique compliance issues faced by banks, when compared to non-bank-owned insurance concerns. Input 1 converts these challenges into opportunities by providing a comprehensive solution for bank-owned IPF operations. Our software and Internet-support services have been used by bank-owned insurance financing operations throughout North America for over 25 years.

Our approach is highly detailed and analytical. We assist our clients in establishing new or refining existing IPF operations with policies and procedures that pass the scrutiny of federal and state regulators. This ensures bank assets perform and retain their value.

Input 1 is the only premium finance loan servicer and software developer selected by financial leaders such as G.E. Capital, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, ING Capital, M&T Bank, Mizuho Bank, DZ Bank, Wintrust Financial Corp and BB&T to support their premium finance lending activities. If your bank owns a brokerage or insurance carrier operation, or if your bank is simply looking for an asset type with highly favorable profitability and risk characteristics, you could benefit from the superior programs, service, and technology that Input 1 has to offer.


Overview

 

Insurance premium financing is the business of extending credit to a policyholder to pay for premiums when the insurance carrier requires payment in full at inception of coverage. Premiums are advanced either directly to the insurance carrier or through an intermediary (i.e. insurance broker) and repaid by the policyholder, with interest, during the policy term. By contract and statute, the finance company secures the right to cancel the insurance upon default and establishes a first position lien on the unearned premium of the policy.

 

Commercial Insurance Premium Finance Opportunity

 

  • Global Market Size of approximately $55 Billion in annual originations
  • The United States market represents approximately $40 Billion in annual originations
  • Net Interest Spread of approx. 4.50%
  • Variable loan sizes ($1,000.00 - $5 Million+), fee income and growth opportunities
  • Very low credit losses driven by the collateral of “unearned premium”

 

Considerable Growth Opportunity to Banks

 

  • Bank-owned insurance subsidiaries finance significant insurance premium through unaffiliated premium finance companies each year.
  • Banks that do not have a captive insurance subsidiary have opportunities to finance the insurance purchases for their customers and even greater opportunities with their retail agency customers


Premium Finance Characteristics & Benefits

 

Insurance premium finance provides valuable benefits to customers and the retail broker.

Product Attributes

Examples & Features

  • Terms commonly less than 12 months, e.g., 9 or 10 installments
  • High renewal rates
  • Full premiums are paid up front to the insurance carrier
  • Return of unearned premium must come to premium finance company on default
  • Collateralized by the unearned premium reserve on the insurance policy
 

Product Benefits

Customer & Insured

  • Minimize depletion of cash resources
  • More effectively match spending to insurance coverage benefits
  • Pay multiple policies with one invoice
 

Product Benefits

Retail Broker

  • Provide an attractive payment plan for policyholders
  • Earn placement fees for arranging financing
  • Earn commission dollars up front instead of over time

 


Why This Product is Attractive to Banks

 

Area of Interest

Premium Finance

Loan Growth

  • Loan averages can range anywhere from $1,000 to more than $5,000,000
  • High customer renewal rates (75%+)

Fee Income

  • Loan setup fees
  • Substantial late fee income
  • Other fees

Low Losses

  • The insurance policy serves as cash/collateral for the finance company
  • Commercial loan delinquency rates are low
  • Charge-offs in the sub-30 basis point range

Market Size

  • U.S. Market size of $40B+ in annual originations 
  • Potential market size of $500B+ (includes entire market, non-financed, and installment billed)

 

 

Customer

  • The customer requests to finance their insurance policy(s)

Retail Broker

  • Upon receipt of an approved insurance quote from the carrier, the retail broker produces a premium finance application for the insured

Premium Finance Company

  • Underwrites the loan application
  • Provides all notification to parties involved in order to establish an interest in the policy premium
  • Advances the premium proceeds to the insurance carrier or its authorized agent

Insurance Carrier

  • Receives the annual premium proceeds and acknowledges the premium finance company interest in the policy
  • Cancels the policy and refunds unearned premium at request of finance company

Collateral

 

Description

  • The premium finance company’s collateral is called the “unearned premium” which is the residual value of the unused portion of the insurance premium.
  • In the event of a delinquency, the premium finance company will cancel the policy and bill the insurance carrier for the unearned premium.
  • The insurance carrier is required by law to return the unearned portion of the insurance premium to the premium finance company.
  • The premium finance company will use the unearned premium to pay off the borrower’s loan balance, plus unpaid interest.

 

Loan Example

Annual policy premium $31,250.00
Down payment $6,250.00(20%)
Amount financed $25,000.00
Precomputed finance charge $628.13
Total payments $25,628.13
Total installments 9
Installment amount $2,847.57
APR 5.99%

 

 

Time
(Months)
Unearned Premium
($)
Loan Balance
($)
Collateral Coverage
(% of balance)
1 28,646.00 25,628.00 112
2 26,042.00 22,781.00 114
3 23,438.00 19,933.00 118
4 20,833.00 17,085.00 122
5 18,229.00 14,238.00 128
6 15,625.00 11,390.00 137
7 13,012.00 8,543.00 152
8 10,417.00 5,695.00 183
9 7,813.00 2,828.00 274
10 5,208.00 0 -
11 2,604.00 0 -
12 - - -

Risk & Mitigation

 

There are three primary areas of risk for a premium finance company.

 

Risk: Operating Control

Mitigation

  • Using an experienced third-party administrator, and/or a proven software system designed to manage this asset type, will help banks maintain control on the operational aspects of this business, including: underwriting, terms, rates, procedures, collection, notifications, etc.
 

Risk: Carrier Insolvency

Mitigation

  • Frequently monitor insurance carrier concentrations
  • Maintaining a floor for acceptable insurance carriers with which to do business (i.e. must be A.M. Best Rated B+ V or better)
 

Risk: Agent Fraud

Mitigation

  • Implement a comprehensive due diligence process for agents
  • Limit the number of retail brokers who will receive funds directly
  • Develop proper fraud-prevention strategies to monitor agent transactions

 

  Written By: Todd Greenbaum and Chris Farfaras
 
 
 
 
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