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The Difference Is in the Details: Enhancing the Member Experience

Credit Unions Then and Now

When I joined my first credit union almost thirty years ago, the member experience looked a lot different than it does today. Member service was limited to business hours — with the exception of Thursdays, when the credit union was open until 8:00 p.m. so members could deposit their paychecks. Online banking, mobile deposits, digital signatures, online loan applications with automated decisioning, and any number of other technological advancements were still many years away.

As I enter my 32nd year as a member of a credit union, and my 21st year working in the credit union space, it is truly amazing to look at how technology has enhanced the member experience as well as the expectations of the individual member.

State National Old Technology Desk Setup 50 YearsAs it has in credit unions and in every industry, technology has certainly had a big impact at State National. As we approach our 50th anniversary as a company and take a look back at our beginnings, it’s funny to think that we used to transcribe insurance information onto 4” x 6” notecards and store them in filing cabinets.

Or that each notice had to be typed out before it was mailed to the borrower.

Or that the only way to get a borrower’s insurance information was via postal mail from the insurance carrier or client.

Today, almost every task we perform for our business partners and their borrowers is completed with the help of technology, and every new innovation we come up with is created with one goal in mind: to enhance the member experience.

 

 

Utilizing Today’s Technology to Enhance the Member Experience

At State National, we understand how our products can be viewed as detracting from the member experience as opposed to safeguarding the collateral and protecting the institution. This is why, as the industry leader in collateral protection, we are constantly looking for ways to prove that belief wrong by minimizing borrower impact and enhancing the borrower experience. In the last few years, we have introduced some truly game-changing technological innovations, like WRAP, our Web-Based Robotic Automated Processing.

 

 

WRAP uses AI robots to search for and verify insurance information for borrowers online, instead of having people do it. We can now complete in a fraction of a second what used to be measured in minutes.

We are also utilizing artificial intelligence to pay claims — again, increasing efficiency while eliminating human error. This amazing InstaClaim technology allows us to pay certain claims in as little as 6 seconds instead of taking days to process as they did in the past.

Now, we are in the process of rolling out Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), which teaches computers to “read” insurance documents and update them to borrower loan records. And clients can also benefit from APIs we’ve created to facilitate additional automation by streamlining communication and connectivity between software applications.

While many of our program enhancements take place entirely behind the scenes, they all add up to more insurance being verified quicker and more accurately, thereby reducing notices going out to members.

 

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Tech Innovation in Borrower Communication

We also utilize emails and text messages to communicate with borrowers and gather their insurance information quickly and easily. While we still interact with borrowers using traditional methods of communication, these two avenues give us greater flexibility to communicate and successfully resolve the insurance issue in a way that works for them. The number of borrowers who respond by email and text has blown away even our lofty projections!

Borrower text for CPITo further enhance convenience for members, we will soon be rolling out a chat feature that will allow borrowers to get real-time help for all their questions — adding yet another channel to meet member needs.

But rest assured that even with all these advances in technology, members, as they always have, will still be able to quickly call our in-house call center for support from a live representative (whose ability to provide great service has also been transformed by behind-the-scenes technologies like VeriTrak and gamification) and receive the high-touch service we’ve always been known for. 

 

Make our interactive borrower text feature a part of your program at no added  cost to your financial institution!

 

 

Continuous Improvement Is Not Optional

 

Technological advances have come a very long way in a relatively short period of time. Whether you are a financial institution or a collateral protection provider, it’s not enough to just hang your shingle and say that you are open for business — you have to meet your customers at the intersection of convenience and technology. In this day and age, more often than not, that means that you have to be constantly innovating and enhancing your product, whatever it may be.

The game has changed significantly since I joined my first credit union. It’s anyone’s guess what the next thirty years will bring, but one thing seems certain: By then, what we are doing today to provide a positive member experience will probably be as antiquated as extended hours on Thursday nights are to us now.

 
Frank Oppedisano
Frank Oppedisano
Frank Oppedisano is Director of a Client Services team with more than 21 years of experience and positive results working in client service with banks and credit unions. He successfully coaches and trains a team of Client Executives to build strong business relationships and create strategic long-lasting partnerships

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The Difference Is in the Details: Secure Texting

State National’s Partnership With Solutions by Text Is a Secure Way To Reduce Borrower Noise    When was the last time you wrote or received an office memo? Or had stamps handy to mail a letter? Have you dialed the operator to make a phone call lately? Or eavesdropped on a party line? Some of you may have never experienced these “old school” methods of communication — and although each of these had their charms (eavesdropping on your neighbors over a party line was sometimes just as entertaining as watching drama unfold on General Hospital!) you should probably consider yourself lucky that those days are mostly behind us. Communication has evolved to become faster, easier, and far more convenient over the years, and here at State National we are no stranger to the incredible efficiencies technology has gifted us.     Whether business or personal, emails and texting have drastically altered how we connect with each other and share information. 89% of adults check emails daily and 98% of all text messages are read within three minutes! (When was the last time you checked yours?) Both are instant and can be read and responded to at the convenience of the recipient as opposed to interrupting them with a phone call, which many people report causes them a certain amount of anxiety nowadays. Both email and texting is where it’s at these days, and each have their particular strengths. While emails can provide a little more space to respond at leisure, texts create a sense of urgency. Receiving a communication from another channel also helps reassure borrowers of the authenticity and validity of the message by adding another touchpoint communicating what is needed.   Adding Email Notifications In 2016, State National implemented email notifications to borrowers as part of the notice cycle. This provided a quick and efficient way for borrowers to respond with their insurance information through the MyLoanInsurance.com website or by replying to the email with their insurance information. On average, we saw 23% of borrowers log into MyLoanInsurance.com from the email. Considering that 2% to 5% is considered a good click-through rate for email, this result was an immediate success.   Next, Text Messages Then, in 2019, State National added text messaging to the notice cadence to further increase ease and convenience for borrowers while also instilling an urgency to submit their insurance. Like our email notifications, these text messages have a secure link into the MyLoanInsurance.com website a recipient can effortlessly access from their smartphone — which, let’s be honest, is always inches from their fingertips at any given moment. So far, we are seeing an average of 18% of borrowers log into MyLoanInsurance.com from a text they’ve received and we expect that number to continue to climb. Overall, of those who log into MyLoanInsurance.com from the email or text, over 70% are submitting their insurance!     But Is it Secure? Of course, scams and phishing are unfortunately a reality and very prevalent in the world of emails and texting and, rightly so, have everyone on high alert. Let’s face it, receiving a text asking you to provide your insurance information may cause some hesitation, but then when you receive an email a few days later, you start to think it may be legit. Then you receive the notice in the mail. OK, the recipient thinks, now I know this is my financial institution trying to get ahold of me to get this information. We want your borrowers to feel at ease that their information is protected. That’s why we include your financial institution’s logos on the emails and on the secure MyLoanInsurance.com website. If you’re a client of State National or thinking of becoming one, putting the MyLoanInsurance.com website on your loan documents or even on your website can help reinforce the authenticity with your borrowers.   The Proof Is in the Results So how does all this translate to your CPI program? Well, we have found that clients who utilize our email and texting programs are experiencing an average penetration that is 34% less than before they added these enhancements to their program. In addition, the "flat cancel" rate (the percentage of certificate placements resulting in a full refund) has decreased as much as 11%. That means fewer unnecessary certificates placed and refunds processed — which translates to less work for your staff.   The Difference Is in the Details State National’s texting and email programs are completely free of charge and State National does all the heavy lifting for you. You simply provide us the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the loans and we’ll take it from there — only reaching out to borrowers we haven’t yet received insurance information from. Should one of your borrowers no longer want texts, they can easily reply STOP and they’ll immediately be opted out, with their opt-out immediately reported back to your financial institution. We’ve worked diligently with outside legal counsel and partnered with Solutions by Text, a compliance-first provider of enterprise texting solutions with a proven track record with the FCC, TCPA, FDCPA, CFPB, CTIA, and MMA to ensure that our program is fully compliant. And since there is no advertising of a product or service, our emails are exempt from the CAN-SPAM Act. We continue to closely monitor any and all regulations surrounding these programs so you can keep peace of mind.   See what our partner Solutions by Text has to say about financial services users and texting!   There’s no doubt that the borrowers we serve are enjoying the convenience — and responding to these more modern ways of both receiving and sharing information. Who knows what the future holds for even better communication techniques? Whatever it is, you can count on State National to be ahead of the pack in offering it to our clients!

How to Explain CPI to a Borrower, Part 2: Simple Answers to Common Borrower Questions

CPI expert and Sr. Client Executive Kathy St. Clair shares her insights on how to educate borrowers about CPI and what to say if a borrower has questions about a CPI certificate placed on their loan. In Part 1, Equipping Your Staff, she shared the value of informing borrowers proactively and the multitude of resources and support State National has available to assist you. If you do not know what CPI is, we recommend first reading What Is Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI)?   Borrower Questions Covered in This Article Will I receive a refund once I show proof of insurance? I submitted my insurance, but have not received a refund Can I keep CPI as my only car insurance if I want to? How do I rectify my insurance status? Can this insurance be refunded? While you can redirect a borrower to State National at any time to be helped by one of our friendly, highly trained team members, we want to share the answers to some common questions a borrower may ask so you and your staff feel prepared to answer anything.   Borrower Questions: "Will I receive a CPI refund once I show proof of insurance?" "If I go out and get insurance, can I be refunded for what I have paid for CPI so far?" "Will I still have to pay a premium on my loan each month once I show proof of insurance?" Once State National receives proof of insurance, a refund is quickly processed and sent back to your financial institution. If the borrower had adequate insurance for the time period in question, a full refund will be issued. There may be a charge for any verified lapses in coverage. How quickly we can issue a refund will depend on the agreed-upon process, such as ACH or manual check. The refund is then posted to the borrower’s loan. In many cases, this can be done through an automated process, eliminating any manual administration for your staff. Along with quickly processing a refund, we send a notice to the borrower to let them know that their refund was processed.       "I submitted my insurance — why haven’t I received a refund?" or "Why am I still receiving notices?" This is where InsurTrak can once again come to your aid. If InsurTrak indicates that we have sent a borrower an impairment notice, you can let them know that we did receive their insurance but that the information they sent us was not complete. Through our tracking, we are making sure the borrower provides full-coverage insurance, both comprehensive and collision, with you listed as lienholder. Making the borrower aware of this can help them understand what additional information they need to submit for quick rectification.   "Is CPI considered insurance? I may want to keep CPI because it is cheaper and more convenient than my previous insurance." "Can I keep CPI as my only car insurance if I want to?" Some of our CPI partners have shared that borrowers occasionally ask about keeping their CPI insurance instead of purchasing their own auto insurance. A borrower should understand that CPI is not an equal alternative to car insurance they can buy on their own. By educating a borrower on what CPI is, you can deter them from keeping CPI. CPI is meant to cover only the cost financed by you as a lender — it is intended to protect your loan portfolio, not the borrower. While CPI provides comprehensive and collision coverage on the automobile, it does not cover the driver. CPI will not assist a borrower in covering any damages to another individual’s property. Most states also require drivers to carry liability insurance in case an accident occurs and there is another party or property damage involved.   Not realizing the specifics of their insurance, a borrower with CPI coverage will sometimes return to their lender after an accident or other loss and ask for a copy of the policy. You can let them know that even though the insurance policy is mainly there to protect the lender, and excludes damages outside of their vehicle, if they have damage to their own car they can file a claim so that they will remain in good standing on their loan. If they are not delinquent by more than 45 days, we will accept a claim directly from the borrower to repair that collateral and get them back in the driver’s seat. Please encourage your borrowers to get and maintain their own insurance.     "How do I rectify my insurance status?" "Can this insurance be refunded?" The quickest way a borrower can have a CPI certificate removed is to submit proof of insurance to their lienholder — your financial institution — or directly to State National. We use a variety of methods to collect borrowers’ insurance on your behalf, and we make it as simple as possible for them to comply. Options for borrowers to provide evidence of insurance include calling into our Contact Center, or mailing, emailing, or faxing their Declarations Page to our Service Center. But text and email notifications are the fastest and most convenient way for a borrower to provide us with insurance. Each text and email notification we issue includes a link that takes the borrower directly to our self-serve portal, MyLoanInsurance.com, where they can easily upload a copy of their insurance information. This portal features notice-specific videos walking borrowers through their solutions for verification. Alternately, they can choose to reply to the text or email with an image of their coverage details. Borrowers also have the option to provide us with their insurance company name and policy number, and we'll reach out for verification on their behalf. Our goal with this multichannel approach is to make it as easy as possible for borrowers to submit their information in the way that is most convenient for them.   Informed Staff Deliver a Better Borrower Experience All staff members who handle loans at your institution should have a basic understanding of what collateral protection is doing for you and how it works. We offer ongoing training and resources to your staff members. Your staff should also understand the premise and benefits behind the product — mainly, that it is there to protect your financial institution against uninsured losses. Here are some additional resources to build your knowledge about CPI: Short State National Animated Company Explainer Video What Is Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI)? Understanding the Differences Between CPI, Blanket, and Self-Insurance Remember, your financial institution’s dedicated Client Executive is here to help you with any of your CPI questions or needs!   To read the first article in this SNC Spotlight series, visit Part 1, Equipping Your Staff  

How to Explain CPI to a Borrower, Part 1: Equipping Your Staff

At State National, we recognize that collateral protection insurance (CPI) is not a term every borrower knows. Here, CPI expert and Sr. Client Executive Kathy St. Clair shares her insights on how to educate borrowers about CPI and what to say if a borrower has questions about a CPI certificate placed on their loan. If you do not know what CPI is, we recommend first reading What Is Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI)?