March 5th, 2021
In today’s self-service society, many drivers may forego the insurance agent and simply buy auto insurance online. Unfortunately for lenders, this trend toward DIY insurance arrangements can mean that borrowers are more likely to become uninsured at some point during the repayment process — putting themselves and the lienholder at risk.
Vendor single interest (VSI) insurance is important back-up protection for the lender when a borrower has left his/her vehicle (your collateral) uninsured. A VSI claim pays what the borrower’s insurance would have paid had it not been canceled. Generally speaking, a VSI claim will pay lesser of the cost of repairs or the actual cash value (guidebook value), and in some cases the entire loan balance will be paid off.
Making a VSI claim is easy through the Lee & Mason online claims portal. Your collections and recovery staff will appreciate prompt claims turnaround provided by Lee & Mason. Below, we’re discussing how this product can streamline your collection process and save you money.
VSI insurance is a type of policy that is designed to cover a lender’s total portfolio of vehicle loans, fully protecting against the risk of loss if a borrower fails to maintain appropriate insurance coverage at any time. This policy can include a range of different coverage provisions, from covering collateral physical damage to the automobile, skip coverage, post-repossession damage, and conversion and confiscation coverage (when the lender is prevented from physically recovering the vehicle). And best of all, it eliminates the need to track individual insurance coverage, freeing up significant time and money.
A few of the most common coverage types available under a Lee & Mason VSI policy include:
Collateral physical damage, which can include uninsured physical damage to the automobile or uninsured losses related to theft.
Skip Coverage protects the lender when the borrower has disappeared, taking the auto collateral to an unknown location.
Security-interest non-filing, which provides coverage when a lender is unable to repossess a vehicle because of a title or lien registration defect.
Conversion or confiscation, which can prevent a lender from repossessing because the vehicle has been seized by the government or unlawfully sold to a faultless third-party.
Repossession coverage, which can protect the lender against loss due to theft or damage after the car has been repossessed.
VSI policies can provide coverage for the entire loan portfolio, without the need to keep track of the borrower’s insurance, saving the lender staffing costs and aggravation. In many states, lenders can properly disclose and then pass along the cost of VSI to the borrower as part of the amount financed; without affecting the interest rate. Be sure to consult your legal resources on the proper way to disclose the VSI charge.
Even in states where it is not possible to disclose and to pass on the charge, VSI can be the most economical choice for collateral protection. That’s because force-place premiums are difficult to collect from the borrower. Writing off uncollected force-place premiums can mean that whatever claims are paid have that much less impact in lowering charge-offs.
Lee & Mason offers many policy design options for blanket lenders single interest (LSI). We can provide the coverage levels and pricing options that work for best for lenders — no matter what state they’re doing business in.
Our knowledgeable representatives are here to help you weigh your options and make a decision that best suits your needs. Learn more about VSI, blanket LSI, and the other products we offer — connect with a Lee & Mason representative today!