Coronavirus Raises Fears Of Increase In Insurance Fraud

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 Has Lloyd’s Just Found The Answer For Pandemic Insurance Cover?. This week we’re bringing you:

 

P/C insurers report a sharp decline in first-half net income: A.M. Best*

U.S. property/casualty insurers reported a 21.6% decline in net income to $25.0 billion in the first half of this year, as realized capital gains fell $5.5 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, A.M. Best Inc. said in a report Tuesday.

Premium credits issued to policyholders in the second quarter due to pandemic-related exposure declines because of stay-at-home orders and government-ordered business closures pushed P/C insurer underwriting and dividend expenses higher in the first half, A.M. Best said.

The P/C industry’s first-half underwriting expenses rose by 5.5% as some insurers recorded policyholder credits as an expense rather than a premium reduction, Best said. Read more in-depth here.

 

Insurers expect higher returns post-pandemic*

The coronavirus crisis appears a rolling nightmare for the insurance industry as it is assailed by huge claims and locked in damaging legal fights with customers.

But in recent months investors have quietly poured billions of dollars into insurance companies, betting the pandemic will ultimately prove the catalyst that ends a period of fallow returns for the industry.

Their calculation is simple, if risky, one: the wave of claims from the pandemic won’t overwhelm insurance companies but will allow them to justify hefty price rises for new policies.

It is the pitch insurers have been making this summer to pension funds, private equity houses, and sovereign wealth funds as they seek funds to back new business. Read more in-depth here.

 

Coronavirus raises fears of an increase in insurance fraud*

As if the insurance industry didn’t have enough to worry about amid the coronavirus pandemic, from how business interruption coverage lawsuits will be decided to how long term remote working arrangements will impact insurers’ services, they also have to keep an eye out for an uptick in insurance fraud. After all, hard economic times often bring about an increase in fraud, including more opportunistic fraud, such as policyholders faking claims or exaggerating the nature of a loss, as well as a potential increase in liability and casualty fraud as businesses, come under greater stress.

“The last three or four months when [the pandemic has] created economic instability in our country and around the world, it has also created, unfortunately, some desperate and opportunistic circumstances, so we see an uptick in fraud, particularly on the auto side,” said Mike Flato, chief claims officer for Liberty Mutual, during a Q&A on the future of insurance at the Connected Claims USA virtual summit. 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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    Here Are 2020’s Hottest Housing Markets According To ZIP Code

    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 Homes Flying Off Market At Record Pace – 46% Accept An Offer Within 2 Weeks. This week we’re bringing you:

     

    Mortgage refinancing will be more expensive as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raise fees*

    Consumers will have to pay more to refinance their mortgages after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they are raising fees for lenders on the loans.

    The change is designed to shield the two entities from the additional risk brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to lenders, Fannie Mae specifically cited “market and economic uncertainty resulting in higher risk and costs.”

    The price adjustment adds 0.5% of the loan amount to the consumer’s cost. That amounts to $1,400 on the average mortgage originated today. It will begin in September, which means it will basically apply to all refinances that aren’t already in process.

    The move was met with strong criticism from the mortgage industry, seen as a slap in the face of the one sector of the economy that has been thriving during the pandemic. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Homebuilding is on Fire; Best Pace in Over a Decade*

    Residential construction rates soared in July with both permits and starts increasing from their June pace by double digits and topping 2019 numbers for the same period. Completions also rose, but at a more subdued rate.

    The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said permits were issued during the month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,495,000, an 18.8 percent gain from June. That June rate was also higher than originally reported, revised from 1,241,000 to 1,258,000. Permitting is now up by 9.4 percent from the same period in 2019.

    Permitting was significantly higher than had been forecast – with estimates among analysts polled by Econoday of 1,200,000 to 1,380,000 units. The consensus was 1,300,000.

    Single-family permits were issued at the rate of 983,000 compared to a revised (from 834,000) June rate of 840,000 units. This was a 17.0 percent change for the month and 15.5 percent year-over-year. Multifamily permitting jumped 23.5 percent to 467,000 but that number was down 0.4 percent on an annual basis. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Still Reeling From Last Week, Mortgage Rates Tiptoe Lower*

    Mortgage rates managed to improve modestly for the average lender today, but they remain significantly higher than they were before last week’s regulatory drama. By the time we consider the size, scope, and the precipitous imposition of the new refi fee, we’ve never seen anything remotely similar. Lenders were definitely taken by surprise and they’ll definitely be paying dearly for all refis that were already locked. Read more in-depth here.

     

    In a super-low rate environment, how can lenders get purchase loans done without putting refis on the back burner?*

    Consumers are shopping around for rates, pushing the fallout rate for refis

    Last week, the MBA reported that refinance activity rose to its highest level since May, now accounting for 65.7% of total applications – and everyone involved in the mortgage process is working hard to make sure those transactions go through. But as companies continue to compete on low rates, lenders are trying to balance maintaining a strong purchase presence with meeting client expectations in the refi market.

    Lenders are faced with strong external pressures on both kinds of loans, but with purchase loans, there is a homeowner waiting to move into a house, which exerts its own kind of stress. As companies try to manage longer appraisal turn times and a finite number of underwriters and support staff for all loans, refinances might get put on the back burner. To top it off, low rates are pushing homeowners to shop around — even walking on deals when they realize that the numbers they see advertised don’t meet their expectations.

    According to Sean Johnson, branch manager at loanDepot, historically low rates have been the greatest driver of the refi boom, but people working from home is also a factor. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Here are 2020’s hottest housing markets according to ZIP code*

    Colorado Springs tops the list

    Compared to last year, the housing market this year has seen some big changes. Notably, people are moving inland from the large cities as the pandemic has created a coastal exodus, prompting apartment dwellers to seek more space and big yards.

    Realtor.com released its hottest ZIP codes of 2020 report on Tuesday, which revealed that more towns in the Northeast made the list than last year.

    “The hottest zip codes have bucked the national trend of a housing market slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist said in the report.

    “Even during the pandemic, homes in the hottest markets were selling at a blistering pace, with the median days on market in all of the top neighborhoods being under a month,” Hale said. “Likewise, all of the hottest zip codes saw demand increase, with rising views per property on realtor.com compared to last year.”

    Although the east coast was hit first and arguably the hardest by COVID-19, seven ZIP Codes from that area made the list – although outside of the bigger cities. Read more in-depth here.

     

    Featured iLeads Solution:

    Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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

     

    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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      Has Lloyd’s Just Found The Answer For Pandemic Insurance Cover?


      Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Ralph Lauren Sues Insurer For $700 Million Over Restricted Business Loss Claim. This week we’re bringing you:

       

      Businesses and insurers globally face survival showdowns*

      (Reuters) — Wynand du Toit’s safari camp in South Africa’s Pilanesberg National Park lies abandoned, its tents ripped open by baboons and its survival in the balance after his insurer rejected his COVID-19 claim.

      In the United States, Miami restaurant owner Luis Debayle has laid off two-thirds of his staff and is desperate for an insurance payout that could help avert the prospect of closure.

      Meanwhile, Munich beer garden boss Christian Vogler is heading to the German courts in an attempt to wrestle about €1 million ($1.2 million) from his insurer.

      Businesses around the world, hamstrung by lockdowns, are facing often-existential showdowns with insurance companies that are reluctant to pay out on business interruption policy claims for a disaster unknown in living memory. Read more in-depth here.

       

      Small businesses and insurers battle over Covid-19 interruption claims*

      Read more in-depth here.

       

      CFC takes life sciences insurance solution to new level*

      Specialist insurance provider CFC is expanding its life sciences insurance solution to accommodate the needs of mid-market companies on a global basis, according to a press release.

      CFC will now be able to provide excess products liability, E&O, and clinical trials solutions for global clinical research organizations and companies manufacturing or selling medical devices, functional food and dietary supplements with a revenue threshold of £2.5 billion (around $3.3 billion). The provider can also offer limits up to $15 million.

      “The life science sector is possibly one of the most dynamic and has expanded faster than most other industries in recent years, fuelled by an increasing patient and consumer demand for high-quality products and treatments,” said Sean Burke, CFC’s life science team leader. “While it hasn’t escaped the impact of the global pandemic, it is an industry sector that could make tremendous future contributions to economies around the world as it continues to pioneer treatments for new and existing conditions.” Read more in-depth here.

       

      Has Lloyd’s just found the answer for pandemic insurance cover?*

      Insurtech start-up Thimble has been selected to take part in the Lloyd’s Lab accelerator program, in which the company will develop an insurance solution to address the pandemic coverage gap of small businesses.

      According to a release by Thimble, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses to learn the hard way that their business interruption insurance does not cover losses related to the outbreak. Not only has this trend led to a severe blowback for the insurance industry, but it has also led to multiple lawsuits from business owners seeking payment, Thimble explained.

      As part of the Lloyd’s Lab accelerator, Thimble will tackle this issue by developing low-limit parametric contingent business interruption coverage that would protect businesses from future pandemics. The insurtech hopes that the development of the coverage solution will serve as a “first line of defense” for small businesses that pay them once the parameters of the insurance are met. 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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        Ralph Lauren Sues Insurer For $700 Million Over Restricted Business Loss...

        iLeads Mortgage 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 How Pandemic Insurance Can Be Available To Businesses In The Future. This week we’re bringing you:

         

        NCCI on the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic*

        “Business as usual” is what the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has promised as it navigates through COVID-19 challenges to complete its workers’ compensation rate filing season for 2021. The organization, which gathers workers’ compensation data, analyzes industry trends and provides objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations in 38 states, intends to “make rate filings […] according to the normal schedule,” despite a distinct lack of COVID-19 data and ongoing uncertainty around how the pandemic will develop.

        The NCCI has made several COVID-related changes over the last few months, as Jeff Eddinger (pictured), senior division executive – regulatory business management at the NCCI, explained: “We began collecting payroll for furloughed workers, so that [it] would not be used in the premium calculation for those workers that were at home and not performing their usual job duties. A second rule change we made was to exclude COVID claims from the experience rating calculation. In addition to that, we’ve also been tracking orders or proposed legislation on different COVID compensability presumptions.” Read more in-depth here.

         

        Bet against the banks but don’t bet against the insurance companies*

        There is a grim calculus for insurers handling coronavirus claims, laid bare by Legal & General’s half-year results. It paid out £36m in life insurance claims to the families of those who sadly died from Covid-19 – but made a £32m gain from mortality, as it will pay out pensions for fewer years than expected as the elderly pass away.

        In late March, the Bank of England strong-armed banks into halting dividends and bonuses and made it clear that insurers should consider doing the same too.

        But while the guidance made sense for banks, facing huge losses from bad debts, for insurers coronavirus has turned out very differently – with some parts of their business doing rather well. Read more in-depth here.

         

        Ralph Lauren sues insurer for $700 million over restricted business loss claim*

        Ralph Lauren is suing its insurer after the American fashion label was barred from claiming the full amount of its business loss insurance.

        The fashion company saw first-quarter losses of $112 million, and revenue dropped 66% overall compared to last year. Ralph Lauren’s wholesale business for the quarter also saw a staggering 93% drop.

        When Ralph Lauren filed a claim for its financial losses resulting from the pandemic, its insurer Factory Mutual Insurance allegedly attempted to limit coverage. The fashion company had purchased the “all-risk” insurance policy just last year, which is worth $700 million.  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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          Homes Flying Off Market At Record Pace – 46% Accept An...

          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 Housing Affordability Best in Four Years, Purchase Rate Locks Surge. This week we’re bringing you:

           

          Biggest Jump in 2 Months For Mortgage Rates*

          With most lenders still easily able to quote a 30yr fixed under 3%, mortgage rates are very low in outright terms. But relative to the recent trend and the general level of volatility, today was a bit rough. Rates rose as fast as they’ve risen since early June, ultimately hitting the highest levels in more than 2 weeks.

          Some prospective borrowers will now be looking at an eighth of a point (0.125%) increase versus yesterday’s rates. That comes out to roughly $20/month on a $300k mortgage. Others will experience the shift in the form of higher upfront costs (or a lower lender credit). Either way, today is noticeably more expensive than yesterday. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Pandemic Reveals Flaws in Loan Reporting*

          New research by dv01, a loan data agent (LDA) providing securitization reporting and analytics on consumer unsecured, mortgage, small business, and student loans, says the pandemic has revealed serious weaknesses in the reporting structure for mortgages. The company found significant numbers of unreported loan modifications and says it was these types of reporting errors during the global financial crisis (GFC) which led to an increase in price volatility when those errors were later corrected.

          A new white paper says that, in stark contrast to the GFC, consumer loan performance across asset classes has remained relatively strong. Dv01 has released bi-weekly reports of both loan performance and the relief efforts by issuers and servicers to aid borrowers but has found significant irregularities and inconsistencies across the multiple parties involved in the mortgage process. Even four months into the pandemic there are numerous cases of underreported or entirely omitted modification behavior. Data report quality varies across deals and even between reporting parties within a single deal and there appear to be significant differences between online lending and that of the mortgage industry. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Here’s why we won’t see a housing crisis after COVID-19*

          Recent job gains should reduce some forbearance loans

          August is upon us, and the growth in the rate of new infections appears to be slowing. Vaccine development is progressing with some promising early results. The time has come to start thinking about what life will be like on the other side of this crisis. What can we expect post COVID-19?

          Some things will not have changed. I already hear murmurs from the fear-mongering housing bears that once the forbearance plans expire, we can expect to see a collapse of the housing market in America like we haven’t seen since the bubble years. This is the same sorry song the bubble boys have been singing for the last eight years, with just a new verse.

          But there are several economic conditions today that were not present before the previous housing collapse that almost ensure that a catastrophic failure will not happen. Read more in-depth here.

           

          How a cloud-based tax platform benefits mortgage servicers*

          CoreLogic works with over 22,000 taxing authorities in the U.S.

          HousingWire President and CEO Clayton Collins recently sat down with Eric Christensen, product management executive at CoreLogic, to discuss recent updates to the company’s DigitalTax Platform.

          CoreLogic has invested more than $35 million into its DigitalTax Platform over the last three years, providing customers with a unified and consistent view of property tax data across the mortgage ecosystem. Features of the DigitalTax Platform include near-real-time data as well as on-demand portfolio analytics and reporting, which gives customers timely and actionable insights.

          The DigitalTax Platform is engineered on a cloud platform for both tax information and making tax payments, allowing customers to transition from a static to a dynamic environment using things like real-time tax collector data and portfolio analytics. The platform is fully integrated with the top loan servicing systems through tested and developed IP technology. Read more in-depth here.

           

          Homes Flying Off Market at Record Pace—46% Accept an Offer Within 2 Weeks*

          Key takeaways for the 4-week period ending August 2:

          1. A record-high share of homes are selling fast: 46% of homes sold within the first two weeks on the market, the highest level since at least 2012 (as far back as our data on this measure goes).
          2. Home sale prices were up 9% year over year to another new all-time high of over $311,000. “The combination of ultra low inventory, very high buyer demand, and super duper low interest rates is a very successful formula for sellers, not so great for buyers,” said Brian Morales, a Redfin agent in Orange County, California.
          3. Pending home sales were up 10% year over year and have plateaued over the last month, up just 0.2% from the four-week period ending July 5. Sales declined an average of 1.4% over the same period the last two years.
          4. The supply of homes for sale continued to fall; year over year, new listings were down 2.7% and active inventory of homes for sale was down 28%.

          Read more in-depth here.

           

          Featured iLeads Solution:

          Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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

           

          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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            Housing Affordability Best in Four Years, Purchase Rate Locks Surge

            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 U.S. Homeownership Rate Soars To An Almost 12-Year High. This week we’re bringing you:

             

            How a pragmatic approach to eClosings helps lenders succeed during COVID-19 and beyond*

            A digital closing expert weighs in

            Many lenders are thinking about digital closings in a way that’s preventing them from achieving the ROI they want. Many have been solely focused on Remote Online Notarization (RON), since RON is seen as the quickest solution to the immediate challenges that COVID-19 has created.

            However, as lenders try to conduct business remotely and keep up with high loan volumes while switching from fully paper closings to completely digital RON closings, they experience firsthand how difficult this is. My goal here is to provide helpful guidance on how lenders can implement a successful digital closing strategy that goes beyond RON and addresses current pain points and long-term goals. You’ll be able to create a plan that works in any environment and scales digital closings quickly.

            Lenders need to have a digital closing strategy that’s successful in any environment and in every state, regardless of the speed with which individual states and stakeholders adopt new technology or change their policies. After onboarding dozens of lenders, we’ve learned that there are two concepts that are fundamental to success. Read more in-depth here.

             

            More Home Buyers are in the Market, but Shopping Takes Longer*

            In the second quarter of 2020, 11 percent of American adults were planning on purchasing a home over the next 12 months, and of those, almost half were actively engaged in doing so. Rose Quint, writing in the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB’s) Eye on Housing blog says that the 49 percent who were actively shopping was significantly higher than a year ago when 41 percent were in the game but was identical to the share in Q1. Quint says this suggests that the COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying record-low mortgage rates have converted some prospective buyers into active buyers.

            The share of buyers who were actively looking versus thinking about it differs significantly by age group. Of Millennials planning a home purchase in the next year, 57 percent are already actively looking but among Boomers, that share is only 37 percent. Among Gen Z and Gen X buyers the share who were active was 40 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Regionally those in the Northeast are the most likely to be actively engaged in the purchase process (57 percent), compared to 44 percent in the Midwest, 45 percent in the West, and 50 percent in the South. Read more in-depth here.

             

             

            Jumbo Mortgage Rates Are No Longer the Cheapest Mortgages Around*

            Record-low interest rates are helping home buyers lock in years of savings on future mortgage payments. But those searching for larger homes or in expensive markets aren’t reaping the same rewards.

            The average rate on a 30-year jumbo mortgage was 3.77% in mid-July, more than 0.4 percentage point above the average rate on smaller, conforming loans, according to Bankrate.com, a personal-finance website. From mid-2015 until this spring, jumbo rates had been consistently lower than or equal to the rates on conforming loans.

            The reversal is just one of the ways the coronavirus crisis has wreaked havoc on the mortgage market. The same force pushing most mortgage rates to record lows—investors piling into safe-haven assets like government bonds—has pushed jumbo loans out of favor. Read more in-depth here.

             

            Construction Spending Largely Unchanged as Shutdowns End*

            Construction spending held firm in June, inching down fractionally from the May level and increasing a bit compared to June 2019. The U.S. Census Bureau said total spending during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.355 trillion, down 0.7 percent from the $1.365 trillion spending rate in May. On an annual basis the rate was up 0.1 percent.

            On an unadjusted basis there was $123.377 billion spent compared to $117.226 billion the prior month. Spending for the first six months of the year was up 5.0 percent from the same period in 2019 at $667.920 billion.

            Privately funded construction expenditures were also down 0.7 percent month-over-month at a rate of $1.002 trillion compared to $1.009 trillion in May. The June rate was 1.9 percent lower on an annual basis. Read more in-depth here.

             

            Fed official says lockdown now or see sluggish recovery*

            The U.S. needs a national strategy to suppress the virus, Kashkari says on Face the Nation

            A member of the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee said on Sunday that the only way to secure a robust economic recovery is to lock down the country again and reopen with a focus on testing and tracing.

            The current path, which has state and local governments dealing with the virus in a patchwork fashion, will suppress economic growth for a year or more and lead to an increase in bankruptcies, according to Neal Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation.

            “If we were to lock down hard for a month or six weeks, we could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that it’s happening in the Northeast right now,” Kashkari said. “That’s the only way we’re really going to have a real robust economic recovery.”

            The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passed 155,000 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. has 4.7 million confirmed cases of the virus, about half of them occurring during July. The number of cases in America is almost double the number in Brazil, the country with the next highest number of infections. Read more in-depth here.

             

            Housing Affordability Best in Four Years, Purchase Rate Locks Surge*

            The last report from Freddie Mac put its 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) at 2.99 percent, up 1 basis point from the all-time low. Black Knight, in its new Mortgage Monitor, says that has made home affordability the best in four years. As of mid-July, it required only 19.8 percent of the nation’s median monthly income to make the mortgage payment on an average priced home using that 30-year FRM and a 20 percent down payment. That is more than 5 percent below the average over the 1995-2003 period. The required monthly payment, $1,071, is 6 percent less than last July despite an average $12,000 increase in home prices over that same period.

            Read more in-depth here.

             

            Featured iLeads Solution:

            Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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

             

            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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              How Pandemic Insurance Can Be Available To Businesses In The Future

              iLeads Mortgage 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 Why It’s Time For The Insurance Industry To Live Up To Its Promise. This week we’re bringing you:

               

              The unique advantage of independent agents in a pandemic*

              Independent insurance agents have a unique tool in their toolkit when it comes to helping small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. They have the advantage of true empathy. Why? Because the vast majority of agencies in the United States are small businesses themselves. They’ve had to weather the same storms as their small business clients; they’ve had to make the same transitions to enable remote working; and they’re all facing the same concerns and considerations about bringing people back to the workplace and safely ramping up in-person business.

              These similarities, and the potential camaraderie they produce, are going to be vitally important as insurance agents help small businesses through the reopening and return-to-work process, according to Dan Killins (pictured), loss control program manager at EMPLOYERS, a small business workers’ compensation provider. He told Insurance Business: “From my experience thus far with policyholders and agents, I think this is a huge opportunity for agents to deepen and solidify their relationship with their clients. The events that have happened are tragic, and, unfortunately, they’re ongoing – but this is an opportunity for agents to really bond and become a valued partner with their clients. Read more in-depth here.

               

              What impact is coronavirus having across the political and credit risk insurance market?*

              It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a widespread impact on the insurance market – but what about the credit and political risk sector, specifically?

              Brokerage giant Gallagher has attempted to address this issue through new research it carried out in early July.

              Speaking to insurers in the market it asked about claims trends and discovered that just one in three – 29% – reported claims that they considered to be attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it highlighted that this is likely because much of the credit risk underwritten in the segment typically comes from Governments and companies they own, as well as sizeable corporates. It believes that their exposures are easier for those firms to deal with – and, as such, it may not be until the fourth quarter of this year and beyond that we truly grasp the full picture.

              There were concerns expressed among current portfolios, however. In particular, underwriters pointed to aviation and oil and gas (both highlighted by 27%), as well as tourism (highlighted by 10%), as the main areas of concern. Read more in-depth here.

               

              Firms consider COVID waivers before bringing workers back onsite*

              As employers make plans to bring their employees back to the workplace in the fall, questions over liability and responsibility are leading some to require workers to sign waivers or acknowledgments concerning COVID-19. However, experts question whether these documents may be necessary, advisable or even enforceable.

              Companies are “absolutely” concerned about the liability issue of workers coming down with COVID-19 after returning to the workplace, said Matt Zender, Las Vegas-based senior vice president of workers compensation strategy at AmTrust Financial Services Inc.

              “I think the reason people are concerned about it is it’s not always 100% clear whether or not you have taken all the steps you might need to (to protect workers from COVID-19),” he said. “We see businesses feeling more comfortable having employees sign a waiver that indicates that they’ve done everything they possibly can imagine. But I’m not entirely convinced that the waivers will actually have any legal standing.” Read more in-depth here.

               

              How pandemic insurance can be available to businesses in the future*

              As businesses continue to see forced closures due to the pandemic, insurance company Chubb has created a partnership with the government to provide business interruption insurance. Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss the initiative.

              See more in-depth here.

               

              Featured iLeads Solution:

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

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              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 It’s Time For The Insurance Industry To Live Up To...

                iLeads Mortgage 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 Insurers Lobby For Federal Pandemic Insurance Program. This week we’re bringing you:

                 

                Does “All Risk” insurance cover pandemics?*

                The question of whether an “all-risk” insurance policy should cover business losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate industry headlines, as a Miami, FL-based casino sues its insurer over a denied claim.

                Operators of Magic City Casino filed the lawsuit in federal court in South Florida last week, The News Service of Florida reported. The complaint names four insurance companies, which allegedly wrongfully denied the casino over business interruption losses. The four companies named are AXA XL Insurance Group, Indian Harbor Insurance (an AXA subsidiary), Hallmark Specialty Insurance, and Ategrity Specialty Insurance.

                The lawsuit claimed that the four had sold “all-risk” property insurance policies to the casino, which includes covering business interruption losses. Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Why Elon Musk’s autonomous driving ideas don’t worry insurers*

                Five years ago, the impact of technology on auto insurers was thought to be straightforward: Self-driving cars were coming soon, and they would be so safe, and people would need car insurance about as much as printed newspapers.

                If only it had been so simple.

                Instead, technology is coming to cars, and insurance, much more gradually. Insurance companies like Allstate, Progressive, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico are embracing it, but in a measured way. And the impact on their business seems likely to be slow and steady, rather than rapidly transformative.

                Instead of self-driving cars, the auto industry is moving cautiously toward better safety equipment and information sharing. Research into autonomous and more-connected vehicles is helping to make those goals more attainable. And insurers are settling for baby steps like in-car monitors that let customers get discounts if they let carriers track how often they accelerate, swerve or stop suddenly — all behavior tied to accident rates. That means change is coming, but much more slowly, to a once-hidebound business that tech seers thought was next in line to get disrupted. Read more in-depth here.

                 

                Why it’s time for the insurance industry to live up to its promise*

                If the for-profit world of business is suffering as a result of the coronavirus, you can imagine the toll that the pandemic has taken on non-profit sectors around the world. Volunteering Australia noted that the decline in volunteering during COVID-19, and specifically from February to April this year, has been substantial, with 65.9% of volunteers estimated to have stopped volunteering. Similar trends have been observed in other countries, including Canada, the US, the UK, and across Asia-Pacific.

                The impact of the pandemic has also been reflected in the bottom lines of non-profit associations. Imagine Canada found that almost three-quarters of surveyed non-profits reported that donations are down, while a similar percentage of organizations in the US surveyed by La Piana Consulting reported a drop in revenue. 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 7 AM to 5 PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                You can also schedule a call here.

                Get Started

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                  U.S. Homeownership Rate Soars To An Almost 12-Year High

                  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 It’s Official: The U.S. Won’t See A Housing Bubble Crash Anytime Soon. This week we’re bringing you:

                   

                  Loans in forbearance fall for the sixth straight week*

                  Though the pace of borrowers exiting forbearance slowed

                  The total number of loans in forbearance fell for the sixth week in a row to 7.74% of servicers’ portfolio volume, according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association. As the country braces for the end of moratoriums and unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, the MBA estimates 3.9 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

                  The share of mortgages in forbearance backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped for the seventh week in a row to 5.59% – another three-month low for the GSE’s.

                  According to the report, the pace of borrowers exiting forbearance slowed last week as homeowners wait for deliberation of the HEROES Act, which would grant a 60-day mortgage forbearance automatically if their mortgage became 60 days delinquent between March 13 and the day the bill was enacted.

                  Despite falling 30 basis points the week prior, Ginnie Mae securities – mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Veterans Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – rose slightly by 1 basis point last week to 10.27%. Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Housing Affordability is Still a Challenge, but Improving*

                  The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB’) Housing Trends Report for the second quarter of 2020 found slightly less than a quarter of prospective homebuyers could afford a median-priced home in their local markets, leaving 77 percent shut out. However, Rose Quint, writing in NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog, calls that an improvement from a year ago when only 20 percent could buy. She says that lower interest rates are responsible for the change.

                   

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Jumbo Mortgage Rates Are No Longer the Cheapest Mortgages Around*

                  Record-low interest rates are helping home buyers lock in years of savings on future mortgage payments. But those searching for larger homes or inexpensive markets aren’t reaping the same rewards.

                  The average rate on a 30-year jumbo mortgage was 3.77% in mid-July, more than 0.4 percentage point above the average rate on smaller, conforming loans, according to Bankrate.com, a personal-finance website. From mid-2015 until this spring, jumbo rates had been consistently lower than or equal to the rates on conforming loans.

                  The reversal is just one of the ways the coronavirus crisis has wreaked havoc on the mortgage market. The same force pushing most mortgage rates to record lows—investors piling into safe-haven assets like government bonds—has pushed jumbo loans out of favor. Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  MBS RECAP: Nice Recovery But Resistance Remains*

                  Rates were under pressure overnight with 10yr hitting the highest yields in more than 2 weeks. Since then, bonds have surged back into the stronger territory but remain more or less blocked by the same old floor.

                  Econ Data / Events

                  • 20min of Fed 30yr UMBS Buying 10 am, 1130am (M-F) and 1 pm (T-Th)
                  • Consumer Confidence 92.6 vs 94.5 f’cast, 98.3 prev

                  Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  U.S. homeownership rate soars to an almost 12-year high*

                  Change in data-collection methods because of COVID-19 may have influenced results, Census Bureau says

                  The U.S. homeownership rate soared to an almost 12-year high in the second quarter as low-interest rates allowed more Americans to qualify for mortgages.

                  The homeownership rate jumped to 67.9%, the highest since 2008’s third quarter, from 65.3% in the prior quarter, the Census Bureau said on Tuesday. The reported noted a change in methodology that could have impacted the numbers: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person interviews were suspended and most of the survey was conducted by telephone, the release said.

                  The homeownership rate for Black Americans rose to 47%, the highest since 2008, from 44%, the report said. A year ago, the rate for Black families was the lowest ever recorded.

                  The rate for Hispanics increased to 51.4%, the highest in data going back to 1994, from 48.9%, the Census report said. Read more in-depth here.

                   

                  Featured iLeads Solution:

                  Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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

                   

                  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 7 AM to 5 PM PST, Monday through Friday.

                  You can also schedule a call here.

                  Get Started

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                    It’s Official: The U.S. Won’t See A Housing Bubble Crash Anytime...

                    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 Would It Take To Trigger a Housing Downturn In The Second Half Of 2020?. This week we’re bringing you:

                     

                    Chicago Fed National Activity “Index Suggests Economic Growth Increased Further in June”*

                    Note: This is a composite index of other data.

                    From the Chicago Fed: Index Suggests Economic Growth Increased Further in June

                    Led by improvements in production- and employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +4.11 in June from +3.50 in May. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in June, and two of the four categories increased from May. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to –3.49 in June from –6.36 in May.
                    emphasis added

                    This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Housing market performance directly correlates with economy’s resilience*

                    “Resilient” cities have higher concentrations in sectors like financial services and IT that have adapted to a work-from-home market environment

                    How a city’s housing market fares amidst the COVID-19 pandemic correlates largely to the industries that fuel its economy, a recent report has found.

                    Home co-investment company Unison recently released its first Resilient and Vulnerable Cities report, in which it used data to predict which U.S. cities will likely see housing prices suffer. On the flip side of that, it also identified which cities will likely see housing prices stay stable or rise.

                    The report found that “resilient” cities have higher job concentrations in sectors like financial services and information technology, which have adapted to a work-from-home market environment. Job losses in those cities have not been as dramatic.

                    “Vulnerable” cities have high concentrations of jobs in sectors like retail, manufacturing, and hospitality. These cities have experienced severe levels of job loss due to the current pandemic.

                    Boston was ranked the most resilient U.S. city with numerous prestigious universities and hospitals among its top employers. It’s also home to some of the world’s largest insurance and investment management companies. Beyond education, healthcare, and financial services, Boston also has strong employment representation from biotech, technology, and government sectors, the report noted.

                    It was followed by Washington, D.C., and then New York City (its five boroughs) and San Francisco in terms of resilience. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Construction Continues Post-Plunge Gains*

                    All three measures in the Census Bureaus June residential construction report moved higher, as the building industry continued to recover from its April collapse. However, of the three, only the rate of units completed was higher than its June 2019 level.

                    Permits increased by 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,241,000 units from 1,216,000 units (revised from 1,220,000 units) in May. This leaves the permitting rate down 2.5 percent from the 1,273,000 level of June 2019.

                    Analysts had been looking for a significantly higher number. Those polled by Econoday had a census of 1,298,000 units with a range of 1,150,000 to 1,340,000. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    FHFA issues housing goals for Fannie and Freddie*

                    Low-income purchase goal for mortgages for single-family homes remains at 24%

                    The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the watchdog for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cited the COVID-19 pandemic as it issued annual goals for the mortgage giants on Monday that matched the levels of the prior three years.

                    “Due to the economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 national pandemic, FHFA is proposing benchmarks for calendar year 2021 only, and those levels will remain the same as they were for 2018-2020,” the agency said in a release. “Once finalized, the proposed benchmark levels would extend those benchmarks that are currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.”

                    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, known as government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, were chartered by Congress decades ago to expand access to mortgages. The FHFA establishes annual targets for both single-family and multifamily mortgages, and measures performance using data obtained through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In recent years the GSEs have met or exceeded the benchmarks.

                    The goals for single-family homes are: 24% of mortgages purchased by the GSEs must be for low-income borrowers, and the low-income refinancing goal is 21%. The goals require 14% of mortgages to be for homes in low-income areas, and 6% of mortgages must be for very-low-income borrowers. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Is It Already Time To Refinance Again?*

                    Markets continue to focus on coronavirus numbers first and foremost. When the news is good, we tend to see stocks and rates move higher. When the news is bad, rates tend to fall and stocks struggle to improve.

                    The movement is usually more pronounced for stocks. When it comes to rates, however–especially mortgage rates–recent volatility is taking place at a microscopic level compared to recent months. This could continue to be the case until we get a much clearer sense of how the pandemic will likely evolve in the context of our attempts to reopen the domestic economy.

                    Until that happens, of all the places to be flying in a relative holding pattern, this is as good as it gets for mortgage rates. When coronavirus first hit the bond market, it was US Treasuries that responded most convincingly. Mortgage rates weren’t able to keep pace and that turns out to have been a good thing in hindsight.

                    Because mortgages lagged Treasuries (the 10yr Treasury yield is the customary point of comparison), they’ve been more capable of moving lower on the good days and less susceptible to moving higher on the bad days. The net effect is a string of ever-lower all-time lows. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    It’s official: The U.S. won’t see a housing bubble crash anytime soon*

                    After holding out for July 15 housing data, HousingWire’s housing data analyst is making the call

                    The U.S. economy started the year off in an expansionary mode. Retail sales were positive year over year, job openings were roughly at 7 million and the housing data for the first time in a long time started to outperform other sectors of the economy. Existing and new home sales hit cycle highs, purchase application data showed steady double-digit year over year growth and housing starts had almost 40% year over year growth in February.

                    Then we were hit with COVID-19, and the fear of this virus along with the economic decline due to the stay-at-home orders whipped the housing bubble boys into a frenzy of crash calls.

                    My long-standing core thesis has been that the housing market would have the weakest recovery from a crash in the years 2008 to 2019, but it would improve in years 2020-2024 because U.S. demographics would become favorable for housing. Read more in-depth here.

                     

                    Featured iLeads Solution:

                    Looking for the most qualified leads? iLeads credit-based leads might be the answer. Learn more…

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

                     

                    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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