Lender-Placed Insurance Reform Should Be a Top Priority

July 15, 2013
The Hill  
mortgage lending news

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) began an investigation into lender-placed insurance (LPI) companies' commission-based relationships with mortgage providers. However, until a new director of the FHFA is confirmed, Tracey Carragher, CEO of Breckenridge Insurance Group, does not believe the agency will move to end these practices anytime soon. "In the meantime, the industry should work to enact reforms that will restore consumer confidence and drive the housing recovery," she says. First, the industry must address excessive LPI premiums, which can be up to 10 times higher than regular property insurance. While some of the higher costs is tied to the higher risks of LPI coverage, Carragher also says there is "reverse competition" and commissions that act as incentives for servicers to choose higher-priced products. To improve the market, more LPI insurers must compete in the market and the FHFA must push for greater transparency by making high-quality information more available to homeowners and the government-sponsored entities (GSEs), and by creating a benchmark for the industry.
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