Walmart Announces Plan To Sell Insurance

ileads insurance market minute
Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Insurance Agencies Can Beat Writer’s Block By Pre-Planning Online Content. This week we’re bringing you:

 

New insurer focuses on sharing economy*

CSAA Insurance Group on Tuesday launched Mobilitas Insurance Co., a commercial insurer focused on the sharing economy and mobility sector that has partnered with Lyft Inc. to provide ride-sharing coverage in 11 states from Oct. 1.

Mobilitas, which is based in Glendale, Arizona, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSAA, will create customized insurance coverages available online or via an app for businesses and individuals in the sharing and mobility space, CSAA said in a statement.

Under the partnership with Lyft, Mobilitas will provide a blanket auto policy for Lyft drivers in Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Read more in-depth here.

 

Aon offering intellectual property cover*

Aon PLC is offering coverage for intellectual property used as collateral in a loan, the broker said Tuesday.

The first deployment of the coverage was in a deal involving Indigo Ag, an agriculture technology company, which is borrowing over $100 million from a lender utilizing its intellectual property as collateral, the Aon statement said.

The value of that collateral is insured by a group led by Markel Specialty, using an insurance-linked security structure. Hudson Structured Capital Management was the largest capacity provider, the statement said.

Jim Gray, executive underwriting officer of professional liability at Markel Specialty, said the insurer “looks forward to building this new market with Aon in the future.”

Edouard von Herberstein, the partner at HSCM Bermuda, said, “We believe there are significant and growing opportunities and interest in that sector.”

“As an innovative company using microbial and digital technologies to facilitate the positive transformation of the agriculture system, Indigo sought to find a way to collateralize its extensive IP asset portfolio,” said Jim Young, Indigo’s chief financial officer, said the deal allowed his company to “collateralize its extensive IP asset portfolio.”

Read more in-depth here.

 

Walmart announces plan to sell insurance*

Walmart is making its first foray into the health insurance space, with its newly established insurance brokerage selling Medicare insurance plans in time for this year’s enrollment period.

The retail corporation’s brokerage, Walmart Insurance Services, will be participating in this year’s Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare insurance plans, which runs from October 15 through December 07 annually.

Walmart Insurance Services will provide Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans at launch. These plans are offered by major health insurance carriers, including Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Simply Health, Wellcare (Centene), Clover Health, and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The brokerage also hinted in a statement that more carriers may be added in the future.

“We want customers to feel confident in selecting a Medicare plan that best fits their needs, budget, and lifestyle,” said Walmart Insurance Services general manager David Sullivan. “And we want to be a trusted partner on their healthcare journey. Helping customers select the right Medicare insurance plan to meet their needs aligns with Walmart’s mission of helping people save money and live better.”

Read more in-depth here.

 

Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

You can also schedule a call here

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    5 Reasons Mortgage Rates Will Rise In 2021

     

    iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

    Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about The 2020 Refi Wave: Where Activity Is Strongest, Where It’s Not, And What’s Ahead. This week we’re bringing you:

     

    New home sales hot but not bubbly*

    Credit standards prevent bubble 2.0 action

    The recent new home sales data is at levels last seen in 2006, with monthly supply back down to the low levels seen the last time new home sales data was really strong.

    For the first time in more than a decade we have the demand needed to prompt builders to really push housing starts. This growth in demand is consistent with what I have been saying for many years – if interest rates stayed low, good housing demographics in the years 2020 to 2024 would substantially drive up demand for housing, including new home sales. .

    However, we did have a bump on the road getting here.

    Compare today’s housing market with that in 2018, when mortgage rates were heading toward 5% and monthly supply went above 6.5 months. The monthly supply of new homes was mostly higher every month in the previous expansion (2008-2019) than any period from 1996-2005. At that time, the new home sales sector got so bad that I put it in the penalty box. Many assumed that this was the peak for new home sales – but I cautioned against this idea.

    In December 2018, I wrote: “Despite the terrible optics for the new home sales market, I caution everyone not to assume that we have hit our peak and are heading for an epic crash in housing starts and new home sales. New home sales and starts are still very low.”

    Now in 2020, we are seeing a spike in new home sales back to levels we enjoyed post 1996.


    Read more in-depth here.

     

    Forbearances Ending at a Faster Pace*

    Black Knight said its weekly forbearance survey found the number of mortgages in active forbearance decreasing at an accelerated rate. Those mortgages fell by 2.6 percent or 95,000 loans over the last week, bring the decline over the last month to 357,000 loans. It was the fifth straight week of improvement and Black Knight noted that since peaking in late May, the total number of forbearances has fallen by 1.17 million or 24 percent.

    As of September 22, 3.6 million homeowners remain in COVID-19-related forbearance plans, or 6.8 percent of all active mortgages, down from 7 percent last week. Together, they represent $751 billion in unpaid principal. Some 78 percent of those remaining loans have had their terms extended at some point since March.

    There are 1.1 million plans still set to expire by the end of September as servicers work to assess them for termination or renewal. This is .6 million fewer potential expirations than a week earlier.

    Read more in-depth here.

     

    Refi Sugar High: How to balance your lending diet*

    Stay in the purchase game even during the refi boom

    As the Fed pulls out all the stops to stimulate economic activity, mortgage rates have reached record lows. In light of rampant uncertainty and economic hardship, homeowners are leaping at the opportunity to save thousands in annual payments, and the refi market is booming. This sounds like great news for lenders, for whom millions of newly refi-eligible mortgages mean a lot of new business coming in.

    But just as we saw in the early 2000s, a boom is just that — a short-term rise, which will inevitably be followed by a drop. It’s like a sugar high: for about a half-hour, you get a rush of energy, and then you crash. Of course, no one knows when the refi sugar high will end, but we know it eventually will. When it does, will you be prepared for its potential shortcomings?

    To help prepare, the industry experts at TMS have compiled a list of proactive steps to take to make sure that, when refi sweets are less abundant, your business will already be nutritious. You are what you eat, after all.

    Tip #1: Balance your diet

    In all likelihood, the boom has given you more conventional refi volume than you can handle, and you’re devoting the lion’s share of your resources to processing them. You’ve probably staffed up on loan officers equipped to handle this influx, and you may be shunning riskier, less immediately gratifying business.

    Read more in-depth here.

     

    Perfect Storm For Home Prices?*

    Regulators don’t take a break when the housing market is doing well

    The growth of home prices nationally continued to accelerate in July according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. The National Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose 4.8 percent in July on an annual basis compared to a 4.3 percent year-over-year gain in June. There was 0.8 percent appreciation month-over-month before seasonal adjustment and 0.4 percent afterward.

    The 10-City Composite grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent, up from 2.8 percent the previous month while to 20-City Composite posted a 3.9 percent increase compared to 3.5 percent in June. Each composite gained 0.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The 10-City change was 0.5 percent and the 20-City was 0.6 percent post adjustment.

    The report notes that data for March through June out of Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit), previously unavailable due to coronavirus related office closures is now online. However, there were not enough records for the month of July to generate a current valid index for the Detroit metro area.

    Read more in-depth here.

     

    More New Homes Bought With Non-Conventional Financing in 2019*

    Non-conventional lending enjoyed a substantial increase in its share of the market for financing new home purchases in 2019. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says, while conventional loans continued to dominate those purchases, its share shrunk from 71.4 percent of the market in 2018 to 65.0 percent in 2019 while non-conventional mortgages increased accordingly, from 28.6 percent to 35.0 percent.

    A conventional mortgage is a home loan that isn’t backed by a government agency. Non-conventional forms of financing include loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), VA-backed loans, cash purchases and other types of financing such as the Rural Housing Service, Habitat for Humanity, loans from individuals, state or local government mortgage-backed bonds.

    NerdWallet says conventional mortgages often meet the down payment and income requirements set by the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they often conform to the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA), the GSE regulator. Conventional loan borrowers who put at least 20 percent down don’t have to private mortgage insurance which is typically required with lower down payments or government-backed loans.

    Read more in-depth here.

     

    5 reasons mortgage rates will rise in 2021*

    David Stevens looks into his mortgage crystal ball

    Let me be contrarian: Get ready, because mortgage rates are going to rise in 2021. Now before you respond, just read the rest as to why.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association in its most recent forecast sees two things that stand out. First, 2020 will prove itself to be the second-biggest mortgage year in history. Topping $3 trillion will put it only behind 2003 in single-family mortgage production history.

    Second, the MBA joined the GSEs and other economists who forecast a significant drop in mortgage production in 2021, with most estimating declines in the range of $700 – $800 billion year over year.

    Some will try to argue, “but wait, Powell said the Federal Reserve would keep rates low for the foreseeable future! You must be wrong.” There is a difference here. Yes, the Fed will likely keep short rates low, but mortgage rates and some longer-term Treasuries likely won’t enjoy the same ride.

    Here are the reasons why upward pressure on mortgage rates could stall the refinance wave and cut overall national originations volume in 2021:

    1. The Fed: The Federal reserve is the single biggest buyer of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the world. According to the Urban Institute, “In March the Fed bought $292.2 billion in agency MBS, and April clocked in at $295.1 billion, the largest two months of mortgage purchases ever; and well over 100 percent of gross issuance for each of those two months. After the market stabilized, the Fed slowed its purchases to around $100 billion per month in May, June, and July. Fed purchases in July were $104.6 billion, 35 percent of monthly issuance, still sizable from a historical perspective.”

    Read more in-depth here.

     

    Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

    At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

    We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

    You can also schedule a call here.

    Get Started

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      Insurance Agencies Can Beat Writer’s Block By Pre-Planning Online Content

      ileads insurance market minute

      Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Nationwide Study Reveals Approach Agents Need To Take To Consumers. This week we’re bringing you:

       

      American Financial Group exits Lloyd’s market with sale of insurance unit*

      American Financial Group (AFG) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell GAI Holding Bermuda and its subsidiaries – which comprise the legal entities that own Lloyd’s of London insurer Neon Underwriting – to private markets asset management firm RiverStone Holdings Limited.

      AFG previously announced its plans to exit the Lloyd’s marketplace through the sale of Neon earlier this year.

      At the close of a sale, AFG expects the release of all its funds at Lloyd’s, including the release of the letters of credit and the collateral pledge facility that AFG guarantees in support of Neon’s funds at Lloyd’s.

      The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to customary conditions, a release said.

      Read more in-depth here.

       

      Insurance-linked securities rebound from pandemic disruption*

      Issuance of insurance-linked securities slowed when the COVID-19 pandemic roiled markets earlier this year, but interest in the nontraditional reinsurance mechanisms has since picked up as investors continue to be attracted to investment vehicles that allow them to diversify their portfolios.

      While established ILS products offer investors investment opportunities that are not closely correlated to mainstream financial markets, some more recent ILS structures are not so far removed, expert say.

      In addition, they say, volatility in equity and fixed-income markets has in some cases distracted investors from ILS products, which include catastrophe bonds and other securitized products.

      The ILS market, from a new issuance point of view, “shut down for a few weeks in March and April,” according to Paul Schultz, Chicago-based CEO of Aon Securities, a unit of Aon PLC. The market, however, saw “good levels in the second quarter despite the COVID-19 interruption.”

      Read more in-depth here.

       

      Insurance agencies can beat writer’s block by pre-planning online content*

      Insurance agencies that want to keep customers’ eyes on their websites would do well to plan their online content a few months in advance and keep a steady flow of information coming.

      The payoffs of a defined and robust online marketing plan are manifold. Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC) found that insurance companies that blog more than 16 times per month receive more than four times the number of leads, versus companies that publish four or less posts. However, a key challenge to getting started with online marketing is coming up with topics to write about. To that end, ITC has released a free e-book to help agents brainstorm ideas and create content. The e-book provides a full calendar year of planned digital content, including topics that are insurance consumer-centric and evergreen.

      An important benefit of planning content in advance is avoiding the dreaded writer’s block while ensuring that posts appear on a tight schedule.

      Read more in-depth here.

       

      Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

      At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

      We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

      You can also schedule a call here.

      Get Started

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        The 2020 Refi Wave: Where Activity Is Strongest, Where It’s Not,...

        iLeads Mortgage Market Minute
        Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about What Will The Fed Do To Mortgage Rates?. This week we’re bringing you:

         

        Low mortgage rates fuel demand for valuation and settlement services*

        VRM Mortgage Services CEO shares how the company is navigating an unusual year

        HousingWire recently spoke with Keith Murray, president and CEO of VRM Mortgage Services, about the importance of diversity in an organization and how VRM has continued to serve its clients in an unusual year.

        HousingWire: The term we keep hearing to describe 2020 is “unprecedented.” How has VRM continued to serve its clients in such unusual times?

        Keith Murray: VRM has always taken a community-first approach to serving the needs of our clients. We do this with a talented team of professionals that we support with superior technology and continuing education to keep abreast of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted real estate markets across the country.

        Since our vendor partners are our eyes and ears on the ground, we support them as well, with a variety of educational offerings though our VRM University platform. By marrying the best of the best of internal and external resources, VRM has continued to deliver superior results for our customers during these historic times.

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        Homeowner Equity Surged in Q2*

        There was another big surge in the amount of equity on the balance sheets of American homeowners in the second quarter of this year. CoreLogic reports that the 4.3 percent gain in home prices over the past year sent home equity shooting up by 6.6 percent.

        The report shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 63 percent of all properties) saw an average gain in equity from the second quarter of 2019 of $9,800. The collective nationwide increase was $620 billion.

        This is especially important at this point, as equity may provide some insulation for homeowners during the pandemic. During the housing boom millions of buyers used low down payment mortgages and there was an epidemic of cash-out refinances, leaving many homeowners with little equity. When prices began to fall, millions fell quickly into negative equity, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. This left them with little flexibility to refinance or sell their homes to get out of financial difficulty.

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        Refresher on The New Refi Fee and Its Effect on Mortgage Rates*

        Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two government sponsored agencies that guarantee timely payment of principal and interest to the investors who front the money that finances the American mortgage market. This guarantee means that more investors are willing to participate and at more advantageous rates for homeowners. Naturally, not every mortgage is repaid perfectly. Sometimes, payments are missed. In more serious situations, loans can end in foreclosure, short sales, etc. In those cases, the housing agencies are there to act as a backstop ensuring investors are made whole.

        In order to foot that bill, Fannie and Freddie collect fees on loans that they guarantee. Shockingly, these are called guarantee fees (or guaranty fees” with a “Y” in the case of Fannie Mae). The mortgage industry and the rest of this article will typically refer to them as G-fees.

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        [PULSE] Even during origination surge, don’t forget to brush up on compliance*

        Regulators don’t take a break when the housing market is doing well

        It’s really easy to get caught up in the moment in the mortgage industry. During this particular moment, the prevailing thought is “throughput!” It’s no secret that much of our space is busy trying to push mortgage loans through the pipeline without losing them as their sales funnels overflow.

        So who could possibly be thinking about compliance right now, except maybe, compliance officers?

        This is not a suggestion where you drop what you’re doing, push your production team into training and staff up the compliance department. Who’s got time for that when the fish are jumping into the boat? But when you do get a little time to look ahead, it may be time to realize that, at some point, you’ll want to revisit your compliance program. Is it current? Is it continuous? Is it working? Is someone keeping an eye on it?

        Enforcement agencies and regulators don’t take a break when the market is going well. They have jobs to do, too. Things like the Fair Housing Act and Dodd-Frank are still with us, no matter how aggressive or lax you believe the agencies responsible for enforcing them should be or are. You don’t have to look too far through the pages and articles of HousingWire to find a few examples of that. And being too busy on the sales and production side, unfortunately, is never an effective defense to most regulatory violations.

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        Home Sales Surge to Best Levels in 14 Years*

        Existing home sales continued on a roll for the third consecutive month, hitting the highest level in August since December 2006. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said sales of pre-owned single-family houses, townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartment were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of

        Home Sales Surge

         

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        [PULSE] The 2020 refi wave: Where activity is strongest, where it’s not, and what’s ahead*

        The MBA expects a near 17-year high for refis in 2020, but the market may be cresting

        The housing and mortgage markets have been the rare bright spots in an otherwise fragile economy brought forth by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mortgage origination volume this year is on track to be the highest in more than 15 years, led by a strong wave of refinances.

        Just how busy have lenders been? 2003 was the last time refinance activity was as high as the $1.75 trillion MBA is forecasting for 2020.

        Mortgage rates have reached record lows, driven by the unprecedented economic weakness, as well as the Federal Reserve’s substantial efforts to keep the economy afloat by cutting short-term rates to zero and purchasing more than $1 trillion dollars of mortgage-backed securities. Homeowners are benefitting from lower monthly payments, while lenders are struggling to manage high volumes – all during a time when their employees continue to work remotely, and many temporary origination flexibilities remain in place.

        The Refi Wave

         

        Read more in-depth here.

         

        Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

        At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

        We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

        You can also schedule a call here.

        Get Started

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          Nationwide Study Reveals Approach Agents Need To Take To Consumers

          ileads insurance market minute
          Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Munich Re Stops Selling Pandemic Business Cover. This week we’re bringing you:

           

          Ohio governor signs COVID-19 legislation*

          Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, has signed into law legislation that protects businesses and others from lawsuits arising from exposure to COVID-19, so long as they do not show intentional misconduct.

          The legislation follows similar laws that have been enacted by Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, and Tennessee, according to tracking by law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

          Ohio’s H.B. 606, which was signed into law by Gov. DeWine on Monday, provides civil immunity to businesses as well as schools, health care providers, business, and other entities from lawsuits arising from the exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any of the virus’ mutation, so long as these entities do not demonstrate reckless, intentional or willful misconduct, according to the legislation.

          Read more in-depth here.

           

          California governor signs COVID-19 presumption, outbreak reporting laws*

          California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed into law measures to make it easier for front-line workers to receive workers comp benefits if they contract COVID-19 on the job and require employers to promptly report potential coronavirus outbreaks to public health authorities.

          S.B. 1159 creates a presumption that first responders, health care workers, and police officers who test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of performing labor or services contracted the virus at work and are entitled to workers’ compensation unless their employers can show that they contracted the virus elsewhere.

          Read more in-depth here.

           

          Employers grapple with COVID-19 presumption laws*

          Employers nationwide are following the legislative push to accept COVID-19 claims by the presumption in worker’s compensation, changes that aren’t necessarily guaranteeing that such infectious disease claims will be greenlighted but instead promise a surge in litigation and confusion, experts say.

          Given the new laws’ many nuances, employers are “worried about staying on top” of the presumption trend, said Ralph Touch, Fleetwood, Pennsylvania-based senior vice president of claim operations at Gallagher Bassett Services Inc.

          “For the very first time we have the entire insurance industry learning new laws on the fly,” he said. “These are very big changes, and they are happening quickly. We are applying a disease (to worker’s compensation) that you could get walking down the street.

          Read more in-depth here.

           

          Nationwide study reveals approach agents need to take to consumers*

          Eighty-four percent (84%) of consumers are reevaluating their budgets and insurance coverage in light of the current economic uncertainty, according to the latest research from Nationwide’s Agent Authority study.

          The study found that consumers felt working with a trustworthy and accessible insurance agent was a priority – but there are ways agents can enhance those relationships, Nationwide said.

          “Our most recent Agent Authority survey shows agents are bringing immense value to consumers, especially in times of so much uncertainty,” said Jeff Rommel, senior vice president of property and casualty sales and distribution at Nationwide. “Consumers are identifying new opportunities for agents to step up and strengthen relationships at a time when their personal lines clients are taking a closer look at their insurance needs.”

          What customers want

          According to the survey:

          • 44% of consumers are reviewing one or more of their insurance policies.
          • 31% looked further into what their insurance policy covers.
          • 26% contacted their agent to discuss coverage.
          • 13% of consumers asked their agents to look at different carriers to find a better price or coverage.
          • In addition to insurance, some consumers are looking to their agents for guidance on topics like retirement (26%) and cybersecurity (16%).
          • Consumers are evenly split on their preference for an in-person vs. digital experience with their agent; 51% prefer to have an agent where they’re located, while 49% prefer a digital experience.

          Read more in-depth here.

           

          Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

          At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

          We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

          You can also schedule a call here.

          Get Started

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            What Will The Fed Do To Mortgage Rates?

            iLeads Mortgage Market Minute
            Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about Why is the housing market thriving in a pandemic?. This week we’re bringing you:

             

            It hasn’t been this hard to get a mortgage in six years*

            An index measuring mortgage availability drops to the lowest level since March 2014, MBA says

            Mortgage credit in August was the tightest in more than six years as a weak economy prompted lenders to tighten standards, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report on Thursday.

            The group’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index fell 4.7% to 120.9 last month, the lowest since March 2014, indicating stricter requirements to get loans. The index plunged from record highs seen in late 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.

            The drop in the availability of credit was “driven by a reduction in supply from both conventional and government segments of the market,” said Joel Kan, an MBA associate vice president.

            Measuring credit availability by loan type, the Conforming MCAI that tracks loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fell 8.6% to the lowest in the data series that goes back to 2011, the report said. The Jumbo MCAI measuring high-balance loans fell 8.9%, and the Conventional MCAI that measures loans not backed by the government fell 8.7%.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Almost 20 Million Homeowners are Prime Refi Candidates*

            Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Market Survey published yesterday reported a 7-basis point decline in the 30-year mortgage rate over the previous week and reported that the resulting rate, 2.86 percent, was a new record low. Black Knight reports that this new rate has had a big impact on the pool of refinance candidates.

            The company says there are now 19.3 million “high quality” refinance candidates, the largest number ever. This is 43 percent of all active 30-year mortgages. Black Knight defines a refinanceable loan as one where the homeowner has a credit score of at least 720, at least 20 percent equity in the home, and the potential for a 75-basis point reduction in their mortgage interest rate. These homeowners have potential savings averaging $299 per month, a national aggregate of $5.8 billion per month if all homeowners took advantage of the opportunity. That is the largest aggregate ever available through refinancing.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Mortgage lending volume in 2020 likely to break records*

            Origination volume will reach $3.9 trillion, boosted by $2.4 trillion in refis, Fannie Mae says

            Fannie Mae, the world’s largest mortgage financier, said mortgage lending this year probably will reach an all-time high of $3.9 trillion.

            The dollar-volume record will be boosted by $2.4 trillion in refinancings, the highest level since 2003 and more than double the level seen in 2019, the mortgage giant said in a forecast on Tuesday.

            “We continue to believe that a low-rate environment will support refinance demand over the forecast horizon,” Fannie Mae said in the forecast. “At the current interest rate of 2.86%, we estimate that nearly 69% of outstanding first-lien loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance.”

            The low rates likely will boost the sales of new houses to 777,000 this year, a gain of 14% from 2019, the forecast said.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Mortgage modifications are on the rise, MBA says*

            About 9.48% of forbearance exits were due to loans being modified by servicers

            Forbearance exits, measuring how many borrowers cancelled agreements to suspend mortgage payments, rose to a one-month high in September’s first week. This was led by a surge in loan modifications, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association on Monday.

            Total exits from forbearance rose to 0.23% of servicers’ portfolios in the first week of September, almost double the 0.14% in the prior week, MBA said.

            About 9.48% of forbearance exits were due to mortgages being modified by servicers, meaning the terms of the loan were permanently altered and the borrower was brought current. A week earlier, modifications were cited for 6.56% of mortgages that exited forbearance, the MBA report said.

            The overall share of mortgages in forbearance fell to 7.01% of servicers’ portfolios, down from 7.16% in the prior week, MBA said. About 3.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

            The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance dropped 15 basis points from the prior week to 4.65%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance, primarily mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration, fell 50 basis points to 9.12%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities increased by 28 basis points to 10.71%.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Lenders Upbeat About Profits, Loan Demand*

            Mortgage lenders had an excellent second quarter in terms of profitability according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Fannie Mae’s Lender Sentiment Survey for the third quarter indicates they expect that situation to continue. Forty-eight percent of respondents believe their profit margins will increase compared to Q2 while 37 percent say profits will be about the same. Only 15 percent believe there will be a decline.

             

             

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            What Will The Fed Do to Mortgage Rates?*

            What will the Fed do to mortgage rates? This is actually a bit of a trick question. The Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates. The Fed’s policy rate applies to overnight loans between large financial institutions. The only way it directly influences mortgage rates is by serving as the basis for the PRIME rate. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are often based on the Prime Rate.

            For all other mortgage rates, charting a connection to the Fed Funds Rate is significantly more challenging. Indeed, there are many examples of mortgage rates moving in the opposite direction. In other words, mortgage rates have often fallen after a Fed rate hike and vice versa.

            But the Fed Funds rate isn’t the only aspect of Fed policy. It’s in those other policy tools that we find much better correlation between Fed actions and movement in the bond market (which ultimately dictates mortgage rate movement). Specifically, the Fed’s bond buying programs have been had a bigger impact than anything. When markets expect the Fed to start or maintain bond buying, rates fall significantly. When the Fed threatens to remove or decrease bond buying, rates move higher.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

            At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

            We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

            You can also schedule a call here.

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              Munich Re Stops Selling Pandemic Business Cover

              ileads insurance market minute
              Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Commercial Insurance Rate Hikes Near Double Digits In Q2: Willis. This week we’re bringing you:

               

              This time the insurance industry lost after reading the small print*

              When can one say a notifiable disease has occurred within a “vicinity” if the whole country is in lockdown? For fans of dense legal disputes, the high court’s judgment in the big Covid-19 business interruption insurance case offered hours of rhetorical fun. For non-fans, here’s a summary: the insurance industry quibbled over the small print in policies and thus reinforced every damning caricature of its way of working.

              Not in every case, to be clear. As might be expected when the court was considering 21 sample wordings in policies, there were differences and nuances; individual firms even won on a few examples. But, taken as a whole, the industry looks grubby.

              Victory for the Financial Conduct Authority, which brought the test case to provide legal clarity, may have been partial but it was also significant. Barring a successful appeal by the insurers, thousands of small businesses with “non-damage” clauses covering instances of business interruption should now get some money.

              Read more in-depth here.

               

              Travelers wins another COVID-19 coverage ruling*

              Another federal court in California on Monday ruled that an insurer does not have to cover business interruption losses for a policyholder that closed its operations due to government-ordered COVID-19 lockdowns.

              A Travelers Cos. Inc. unit is not obligated to pay a lost income claim submitted by Mudpie Inc., a San Francisco children’s clothing and toy store, because the store did not suffer a physical loss under the terms of the policy, the court ruled.

              In Mudpie Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. of America, which was heard in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the store said it had lost income after it was forced to close earlier this year to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

              Read more in-depth here.

               

              New Jersey latest COVID-19 comp presumption state*

              Gov. Phil Murphy, D-New Jersey, on Monday signed into law a bill that provides workers compensation benefits for essential workers who acquire COVID-19.

              Lawmakers in July passed S.B. 2380, which creates the rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 is an occupational disease during a declared state of emergency for certain workers.

              According to the law, essential employees are classified as those whose job duties are considered essential during an emergency response and recovery operation; public or private sector employees whose job duties are essential to the public’s health, safety, and welfare; emergency responders and workers at health care facilities and those performing jobs that support a health care facility, such as laundry, research, and hospital food service.

              Read more in-depth here.

               

              Munich Re halts sale of pandemic business coverage*

              German reinsurer Munich Re has halted the sale of coverage to protect against business losses in future pandemics, the Bloomberg has reported.

              The decision is reported to have been made after the firm took a €1.5 bn ($1.8 bn) hit due to Covid-19 in the first half of this year.

              Munich Re reinsurance head Torsten Jeworrek told the news agency: “We are currently examining whether we will offer new contracts that include pandemic protection in property and casualty insurance in the future.

              “For the moment it has been suspended, for example with respect to event cancellations.”

              According to the report, a major portion of these losses were brought by the cancellation of events in the wake of the pandemic this year.

              In March, Munich Re issued a profit warning and stopped a share-buyback program due to a spike in Covid-19 claims. The company did not issue the new profit guidance for this year.

              Read more in-depth here.

               

              Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

              At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

              We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

              You can also schedule a call here.

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                Why is the housing market thriving in a pandemic?

                iLeads Mortgage Market Minute

                Welcome back to iLeads Mortgage Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the mortgage market. We hope you enjoyed last week’s edition where we talked about Here’s Why Mortgage Rates Are Outperforming. This week we’re bringing you:

                 

                Here’s how COVID-19 has transformed RON adoption*

                Today’s Daily Download episode features an interview with Aaron Davis, CEO of Florida Agency Network, one of Florida’s largest RON providers. In this episode, HousingWire examines a recent article that delves into one key component that is hindering RON adoption. Davis discusses how RON adoption has changed in the era of COVID-19, what it will take for increased RON and eNote adoption in the secondary market and how RON has transformed the borrower experience overall.

                Ramirez’s article is part of our HW+ premium membership community. When you go to sign up, use the code “hwpluspodcast100” to get $100 off your annual membership.

                For some background on the story, here’s a summary of the article:

                Read more in-depth here.

                 

                The Uncommonly Strong Case For Locking a Mortgage Rate*

                Almost everywhere you look, low mortgage rates are in the news. Experts are claiming they’ll remain low or move lower for years to come. They might be right! But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait to refinance or to lock your rate if you’re already in the loan process.

                It is true that mortgage rates improved noticeably earlier this week. Part of the improvement is due to overall gains in the bond market following last week’s Federal Reserve scare. When the Fed updated its policy framework, the bond market was briefly spooked. A spooked bond market means higher yields/rates.

                The next 5 business days brought a deliberate recovery for longer-term rates. This can be seen in the following chart of 10yr Treasury yields (a benchmark for all longer-term rates in the US). Definitely make a note of the bounce toward higher rates today, as that helps build the case for locking to some extent.

                Read more in-depth here.

                 

                High home prices erase homebuyers’ increased purchasing power*

                Low housing inventory is to blame

                Homebuyer purchasing power increased 6.9% this July, meaning a homebuyer with a $2,500 monthly housing budget can afford a home priced $33,250 higher than a year ago, Redfin found, which it credited to historically low mortgage rates.

                But with home prices up 8.2% year over year in July, this homebuyer purchasing power is essentially canceled out, data from Redfin shows.

                “Low mortgage rates are motivating many people to purchase a home, particularly those who want more space to work from home,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a release. “But because there hasn’t been an increase in the number of homes for sale since rates started dropping with the onset of the pandemic, many buyers end up competing for the same homes, driving up prices.”

                For example: at a 3% mortgage rate, a homebuyer can afford a $516,500 home with a budget of $2,500 a month, up from a $483,250 home last year on the same budget. Essentially, the monthly payment on a $483,250 home has dropped from $2,500 a year ago to $2,339 today, Redfin said.

                But because of low housing inventory, there are fewer homes for sale that are affordable for someone with a $2,500 monthly budget compared to last year. This July, only 70.6% of homes nationwide were affordable for a buyer with that budget, down from 71.9% last July.

                Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Delinquency Rate Could Double Without More Federal Support*

                Mortgage delinquencies spiked in June and the serious delinquency rate, loans 90 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, reached its highest level in more than five years. CoreLogic in its monthly loan performance report, said 7.1 percent of all mortgages nationwide were at least 30 days past due, including those in foreclosure. This is 3.1 percentage points higher than the delinquency rate in June 2019.

                Further, the company predicts that, barring additional government programs and support, serious delinquency rates could nearly double from the June 2020 level by early 2022. Not only could millions of families potentially lose their home, through a short sale or foreclosure, but this also could create downward pressure on home prices – and consequently home equity – as distressed sales are pushed back into the for-sale market.

                Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Why is the housing market thriving in a pandemic?*

                Low mortgage rates coupled with a shift to working at home are driving demand, Yun says

                The deadliest pandemic in more than a century has failed to derail the housing market because of the lowest mortgage rates ever recorded coupled with a shift in how people use their homes.

                “The buyers are coming in because of the low-interest rates – that’s the No. 1 reason,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors said in an interview with HousingWire. “The secondary demand is coming from the work-at-home phenomenon that has people looking for bigger homes and caring less about commuting time.”

                People now see their home not only as a place to live but as a shelter during a national health crisis, Yun said. It’s also an office and, for families with children, often a part-time school.

                Mortgage rates began tumbling in mid-March after the Federal Reserve announced it would buy mortgage bonds and Treasuries to keep credit flowing amid the pandemic. It was similar to a fixed-asset program it created during the financial crisis a dozen years ago.

                The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has been under 3% since late July, as measured weekly by Freddie Mac. When Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced in March the Fed would purchase bonds, it was 3.65%.

                Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                At iLeads, we have many great solutions for mortgage LO’s at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                You can also schedule a call here.

                Get Started

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                  Commercial Insurance Rate Hikes Near Double Digits In Q2: Willis

                  ileads insurance market minute
                  Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Revealed – What Will Happen To Insurance Industry Employment In The Next 12 Months. This week we’re bringing you:

                   

                  Etihad Airways announces COVID-19 insurance*

                  Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based airline which services the US among other regions, has announced that it will provide COVID-19 insurance to its passengers.

                  Airlines around the world are trying to stimulate demand amid the pandemic. As people continue to travel, Etihad has decided to provide coverage for medical and quarantine costs for passengers who contracted the virus after taking one of its flights.

                  Etihad’s COVID-19 insurance, which is offered in partnership with insurer AXA AXAF.PA, covers medical costs of up to €150,000 (around $177,000) and quarantine costs of up to €100 (around $118) per day for 14 days for passengers who contracted the disease within 31 days of first traveling. It is included in the airfare of tickets for travel until the end of 2020 and is valid around the world.

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Ford partners with Metromile for pay-per-mile insurance on new cars*

                  Ford is giving new car buyers a way to save money on insurance now that millions of Americans are working from home and driving less than they were before the coronavirus hit the U.S.

                  The automaker said Thursday it is partnering with start-up insurer Metromile to give drivers easier access to the company’s pay-per-mile insurance offering. When drivers sign up on Metromile’s app or website, the odometer on their new Ford will immediately connect to Metromile’s software, which will start tracking miles.

                  Car insurers have faced controversy in the six months since Covid-19 forced offices around the country to close and put an end to live events and group gatherings. Major insurers said in April that they would start providing refunds, credits, or rate cuts to customers because of the plunge in drive time, but a number of class-action lawsuits have been filed by consumers who said they should have been given bigger discounts.

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Willis Towers Watson partners up for cyber research*

                  Willis Towers Watson has announced a partnership with the University of Oxford to conduct research on the cost of equity arising from severe cyber breaches.

                  The Willis Research Network will partner with the university to research three key areas of cybersecurity risk, focusing on:

                  • Increases in systemic risk – leading to an increase in the cost of equity – following severe breaches at publicly listed companies.
                  • The nature of cyberattack resilience – the success or failure of an organization after a cyberattack.
                  • The current risk landscape of AI-facilitated impersonation such as phishing, and the implications this has for the insurance sector.

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Commercial rate hikes near double digits in Q2: Willis*

                  U.S. commercial insurance rate increases were close to double digits in the second quarter with excess/umbrella and directors and officers liability seeing the biggest spike, according to Willis Towers Watson PLC’s commercial lines insurance pricing survey released Monday.

                  The aggregate increase for all lines reported by insurers was just under 10%, up from 3% in the prior-year second quarter, the survey found.

                  Specialty lines increases were well into the double digits, driven by D&O and medical professional liability lines, Willis Towers Watson said.

                  Byline of business, excess/umbrella and D&O liability lines saw a 20% rate increase for the second consecutive quarter.

                  Rate increases for commercial auto were near or above double digits and property rate increases were well into the double digits, Willis Towers Watson said.

                  Only worker’s compensation saw rate decreases, though they continue to slowly lessen in magnitude, the survey found.

                  Increases also varied by size, with large accounts seeing increases well above double digits, mid-market accounts at double-digit, and small commercial rising by mid-single digits, Willis Towers Watson said.

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                  At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                  We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                  You can also schedule a call here.

                  Get Started

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                    Revealed – What Will Happen To Insurance Industry Employment In The...

                    ileads insurance market minute
                    Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Coronavirus Raises Fears Of Increase In Insurance Fraud. This week we’re bringing you:

                     

                    Insurers face difficult choices with marijuana*

                    The workers compensation industry anticipated that marijuana would be a hot legislative topic in 2020 for both recreational and medicinal use. However, when the pandemic hit, attention shifted to the public health crisis surrounding COVID-19.

                    The drug’s current status as an illegal Schedule I drug according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the lack of large-scale studies on marijuana, and questions on dosing and efficacy are outstanding issues that may keep the drug a questionable option for treating injured workers.

                    Prior to the pandemic, “quite a few states either had case law or updated their regulatory framework around marijuana reimbursement to injured workers, but of course there has not been a change in federal law … so that really continues to be a barrier,” said Sandy Shtab, Tampa, Florida-based assistant vice president of advocacy and compliance for Healthesystems LLC.

                    That dichotomy continues to place insurers in a difficult position — particularly in states that have mandated its reimbursement either legislatively or in the courts — of following their state rules or abiding by federal law.

                    Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Workers compensation presumption laws challenge employers*

                    Workers compensation presumption laws, which place the burden on employers to prove that an injury or illness was not picked up on the job, have increased as states seek to expand benefits for first responders with cancer and mental health issues.

                    The trend has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as lawmakers seek to protect health care workers and others exposed to the disease through their employment.

                    But the addition of presumption laws for essential workers has raised concerns over how far the workers comp expansions may go and whether insurers and employers are prepared to deal with the associated expenses, which include legal costs as most presumption laws are “rebuttable,” meaning if an employer can prove the ailment was unrelated to work it can fight it in court.

                    Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    WIA swoops for New York agency*

                    World Insurance Associates has announced the acquisition of Jefferson Valley, N.Y.-based Countywide Insurance Agency. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

                    “We’re committed to developing and nurturing long-term relationships with our clients and carriers,” said Richard Strauss, who has joined WIA as manager of the Countywide Insurance Agency unit. “Our partnership with World Insurance Associates allows us to do so with the backing and resources of a nationally recognized company.”

                    Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Revealed – what will happen to insurance industry employment in the next 12 months*

                    A new report from The Jacobson Group and Aon has found that the insurance industry is set for slow, but steady employment growth over the next 12 months.

                    Jacobson and Aon’s semi-annual Insurance Labor Market study revealed that insurers plan to maintain or increase hiring as 2020 continues – 83% of companies surveyed said that they plan to maintain or increase staff during the next year.

                    However, that growth will not come easy, as insurers also indicated that they expect the difficulty in recruiting new employees to persist – despite industry unemployment being somewhere around 4.8%, the study noted.

                    Key findings of the study included:

                    • Forty-eight per cent (48%) of insurance companies said they plan to increase staff during the next 12 months – with the personal lines P&C segment comprising 60% of those companies with employment plans.
                    • Seventeen per cent (17%) are planning to decrease the number of employees – the highest total reported since January 2012, and the third highest total since 2009.
                    • Fifty per cent (50%) of medium-sized companies plan to add staff during the next 12 months.
                    • The primary reason to increase staff during the next 12 months is the anticipated increase in business volume, followed by business areas being understaffed. Forty-five per cent (45%) of companies indicated these as the primary reasons for hiring.

                    Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Featured iLeads Solution:

                    Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads insurance leads might be the answer. Learn more…

                    We are ready to help you navigate through the COVID-19 insurance environment.

                     

                    Finding highly affordable leads to keep sales coming in

                    At iLeads, we have many great solutions for insurance agents at a low cost. If you’d like to see how we can help you bring in consistent sales for a great price, give us a call at (877) 245-3237!

                    We’re free and are taking phone-calls from 7AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                    You can also schedule a call here.

                    Get Started

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