How to avoid late house closings in 2022
HousingWire recently spoke with Tom Kriby, Vice President of Client Development and Partnerships at Westwood Insurance, about how insurance issues can delay the closing of a home and how lenders can integrate insurance. in their process to help their buyers avoid delays.
HousingWire: What are the unexpected things that can delay closing a house?
Tom Kriby: Everyone knows that home inspections and appraisals can delay a closure, but insurance is another possible barrier to an on-time closure. It’s more common than you might think. Last year, about 10% of the policies we issued were rush orders.
For many home buyers, insurance falls through the cracks simply because they are incredibly busy with all of the other factors that go into buying a home, such as providing financial documents, l ‘organization of moving services and the establishment of public services at the new address.
Understanding and providing all of the home details needed for an accurate insurance quote and finding the best coverage and price can be a major problem. This can cause home buyers to procrastinate, but the shutdown cannot happen without proof of home insurance.
HW: How can lenders help homebuyers avoid closing delays?
traditional knowledge: Ideally, lenders and insurers would work together to make the process as transparent as possible.
Typically, a lender will ask a buyer to provide proof of insurance, and other than a few reminders, the lender does not offer any assistance with this task. However, the process could become more transparent and streamlined if lenders better integrate purchasing insurance into their loan origination platform.
If purchasing insurance were a more integrated part of the lending process, it would create a one-stop-shop for home buyers. Plus, by leveraging the information the lender already has on file, homebuyers can purchase insurance with just a few clicks.
HW: What are the benefits of an integrated process for lenders and their clients?
traditional knowledge: For lenders, integrating insurance into their process allows them to be more efficient, improve their customer experience, and avoid last-minute surprises that lead to delays.
By better integrating purchasing insurance into the loan origination process, lenders can prequalify their clients, calculate DTI rations, request an expression of interest, and process any closing date changes in minutes.
For home buyers, insurance can be difficult to navigate on their own, but in a streamlined approach, they can instantly get a personalized quote from major insurers without much effort. This saves them time and hassle, making them less likely to delay purchasing that vital home insurance policy.
This adds up to an improved experience for the lender and the client.
HW: How does Westwood Insurance Agency help lenders deliver a smoother customer experience?
traditional knowledge: At Westwood, we’ve been using technology to innovate the insurance industry for 70 years, and we truly believe that closing a home should never be delayed because of insurance.
We already have a transparent process in place for purchasing insurance, and we are currently working with some of the largest lenders in the country to close over 85,000 homes per year.
Our approach allows lenders to bring added value to their clients. Customers are never more than a few minutes away from a personalized quote.
Because we work with over 35 insurance companies, Westwood can provide the best coverage with maximum savings without complicating the process. We pride ourselves on providing solutions that create a better overall experience for lenders and their clients.