Verisk Insurance Solutions – Underwriting, a unit of Verisk Analytics has added an enhancement to its Foreclosure Alert that identifies if a property has previously been in foreclosure at the point of sale. Foreclosure Alert provides actionable information to help insurers minimize the risk from properties currently or previously in foreclosure.
Each month, tens of thousands of new property insurance applications are submitted for previously foreclosed properties. These properties pose the possibility of undisclosed or unknown damage – including neglect, vandalism, and crime – that occurred during the foreclosure process, before the property was purchased. This damage may or may not be fixed before a new homeowner seeks insurance and may not be obvious.
“In the second quarter of 2012, more than 11 percent of all mortgages were in foreclosure or at least one payment behind,” said Scott Amussen, vice president of property solutions at Verisk Insurance Solutions – Underwriting. “Many of these properties will be added to the estimated 550,000 previously foreclosed homes that need to be sold.”
All states make foreclosure information available via public records. However, differing rules, regulations, and processes make it challenging for insurers to capture the full scope of foreclosure activity from multiple states. To ensure Verisk Insurance Solutions – Underwriting provides the largest coverage area and highest yield possible, Foreclosure Alert uses multiple data sources to capture actual foreclosure activity in each state.
Foreclosure Alert can be integrated directly into a company’s underwriting workflow via its own policy management system or QuickFill, the prefill option from Verisk Insurance Solutions – Underwriting. Using QuickFill, carriers can write business rules to initiate several actions when a previously foreclosed property has been identified. These include automatically ordering an inspection, flagging the application for underwriter review, prompt more questions from an agent, or triggering additional reports to gain better insight into the risk.
In addition to the point-of-sale option, Foreclosure Alert offers a monitoring service that identifies if a current policyholder enters any stage of the foreclosure process. The monitoring service alerts insurers to a pending foreclosure and tracks the key stages to help insurers identify when the property may be vacant, conveyed to a new owner, or to investigate a suspicious claim filed while the property is in the foreclosure process.