Can insurance offerings improve the borrower experience?

Over the past few years, lenders have put their processes under the microscope to see where they can improve the borrower journey. But there may be one area they are still overlooking. HousingWire spoke with Cara Shipulski, vice president of strategic partnerships at Liberty Mutual, and Sean Larney, vertical manager of strategic partnerships at Liberty Mutual, to discuss how partnering with a nationally recognized insurance company improves borrower engagement for lenders.

HousingWire: With rising interest rates and dramatically lower repo volume, mortgage companies across the industry must now do more with less to be profitable and competitive. What is a potentially overlooked opportunity for lenders to differentiate their origination offerings and increase efficiency?

Kara Shipulski: As mortgage companies strive to balance profitability and competitiveness, they will likely put even more effort into deepening their relationships with customers beyond the mortgage transaction.

One way lenders can expand their relationships is by expanding their product offerings, and some of the most relevant products include other financial products such as auto, home or small business insurance offered by lender partners.

Providing access to products like these allows the mortgage company to make things easier for their customers, which helps build trust and encourages repeat business and future referrals. Offering these adjacent products also enables an additional revenue stream for the mortgage company, allowing them to focus more on improving their core products rather than cutting costs – a win-win.

HW: How can partnering with a nationally recognized insurance company improve borrower engagement by lenders?

Old Larney

Sean Larney: Engaged borrowers create happier and more profitable customers, but how do lenders ensure high engagement of borrowers from their customers? satisfaction. Increasing borrower satisfaction helps the lender gain trust, which in turn maintains customer engagement.

In a world where a borrower’s choice of lenders seems endless, one way a lender can attract a customer’s attention and keep them engaged is by providing value-added services.

Offering even just one additional product alongside a lending product shows the customer that you understand the entire home buying process – you see them as a home buyer on a journey, not just an applicant, and this helps solidify your position as their choice of creditor. A lender can quickly improve brand awareness by partnering with a company with strength in an adjacent field, such as home insurance. The key here is to provide these services using partnerships with large and respected brands in a way that allows you to meet customer needs without an overly burdensome investment.

What are some key pain points for a lender that may not have an insurance company partnership?

KS: In many cases, the thought of partnering for another product to distribute to customers can be overwhelming for organizations. At Liberty, we work to make things easier for our partners through responsive and personal service from a dedicated relationship management team*. This team is specifically designed to understand the needs of partners in various shelter-related industries and can help a partner navigate the nuances and complexities of the insurance business.

In a broader sense, consumers are increasingly accustomed to and demand simplicity in all their daily transactions. For companies looking to stand out in a competitive environment and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, offering home insurance seamlessly at the right time to shop can help streamline the customer experience and create a one-stop shop for all customer purchasing needs of housing and financing. Failure to provide this seamless experience can put lenders at a disadvantage compared to their competitors.

HW: How do Liberty Mutual Partner programs work and what do lenders need to know to get started?

SL: We offer a wide range of diverse and innovative partnership models, selling auto, home, pet, business lines and more through partner organizations. Our wide range of partnership models enables us to meet the needs of our partners, whether you are new to an insurance company or have your own P&C license. We have several ways to plug into existing lender processes and are actively working to build our toolset to deliver turnkey partnership models that maximize value and ease while minimizing implementation and operational costs.

*Program support level may vary depending on group size

To learn more about Liberty Mutual’s programs, visit libertymutual.com/partner-programsor contact us at [email protected].

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