Should GAP Insurance and Vehicle Service Contracts Be Sold By Dealers Only

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in News |

During a recent CUNA Lending Council panel discussion, a Washington State auto dealership was asked to state their position on the topic of GAP Insurance and Vehicle Service Contracts offered by credit unions.  The dealer’s General Manager, Mary Byrne provided a testimonial that was starkly opposed to credit unions offering these types of ancillary programs at all.  In a recent article published by, she was reported as saying: “I truly believe that is our customer. I believe I’m in the business of selling cars and you are in the business of lending money. I don’t think there is any confusion. I think we’re in the business of selling extended warranties—you are in the business of lending money. Dealerships’ margins have shrunk to almost nothing; it’s a good month if the dealer can make 2% on gross sales.” Byrne provides a one-sided argument for the position for auto dealerships as it concerns ancillary income from GAP and Vehicle Service Contract sales and the impact they have on the overall profit margin.  There is one major flaw in her reasoning.  Once the sale is done and the financing is secured with the credit union, the credit union now owns that car, NOT the dealership.  Doesn’t the credit union have a right to protect their collateral and members with (in many cases) superior protection products at a much better value to the consumer? We know that credit unions have far less market share as a percentage of financing opportunities in New England and across the US.  In fact, in many markets, up to 80% of car buyers arrange their financing through a dealership at the time of purchase. Both credit unions and auto dealers would probably agree that annual percentage rates are extremely competitive and it’s incredibly difficult to yield a healthy ROI solely from interest income alone. To that end, credit unions need the opportunity to earn non-interest income from ancillary products as well, especially in indirect lending environments where they are paying an average of 2% to the dealers in an upfront flat. Despite the necessity of a credit union’s financial wellbeing, should credit union members not also have a right to purchase similar coverages that are offered at the dealership?  It makes sense that Byrne would be upset. Just in New England alone, we are seeing GAP prices of $799-$899 at the dealers compared to $299-$399 at Credit Unions (with a superior product – in most cases). With Vehicle Service contracts, the average profit at a dealer can range from $1000-$1500, where the Credit Unions make a modest profit of a few hundred dollars.  Much like when the internet brought an age of online pricing and comparison, Byrne is...

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Spring 2016 Lending School with Brett Christensen – Save the Date!

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in News |

Insurance Trust and CUAlliance are pleased to announce our Spring Lending School to take place on April 11-12, 2016 at America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, NH.  This event is part of our ongoing Insurance Trust University training initiative and semi-annual live lending school workshop. This focused and informative session is designed for CEOs, executive management, lending managers and loan staff and will be split into two 1-day sessions presented by renowned credit union industry speaker, Brett Christensen.   Brett Christensen Brett is the owner of CU Lending Advice, LLC based in Euless, TX and has worked directly with credit unions across the U.S. and Canada as an educator and consultant on focused lending topics for more than 10 years.  The 2-day lending school program that Brett has created is designed to provide specific advice and best practices that help to improve lending process and sales results as well as refresh lending expertise and explore the critical essentials for lending success. Prior to his experience as an educator, Brett worked for five years at Clark County Credit Union in Las Vegas, Nevada ($680 Million in assets) and has served in the United States Air Force as a Civil Engineering Officer.   America’s Credit Union Museum Located in Manchester, New Hampshire on the site where America’s first credit union opened its doors in 1908, America’s Credit Union Museum is an exciting and dynamic organization that is no mere repository of documents and artifacts. In addition to celebrating the remarkable efforts of the people who built the credit union movement over the past 100 years, it plays a leading role in documenting today’s achievements while helping to prepare credit unions for upcoming challenges. Complete the form below to request registration info! Contact Form Name* First Last Email* PhoneWhat would you like to learn more...

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Illuminating Member Service with Lending Solutions Inc.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in News |

Insurance Trust is pleased to announce our partnership with Lending Solutions Incorporated (LSI), an innovative company helping credit unions grow their loan volume while serving their members more efficiently.  LSI provides customized programs that act as an extension of your credit union by serving your members beyond traditional business hours to stay competitive in today’s demanding service environment. You may remember Lending Solutions Consulting, Inc. (LSCI) as the company behind the educational services that Insurance Trust has facilitated for the past three years with our semi-annual University of Lending school initiatives with guest speaker, Ed Swanson.  Their sister company, LSI, was founded by Rex Johnson and provides services that put into practice the philosophies and teachings that he, along with Ed and his other consultants, have been teaching to credit unions across the country.   Illuminating Your Member Service Needs Lending Solutions provides a full suite of services to facilitate consumer lending, mortgage origination & processing, collections, and member service transactions including: 24/7 Loan-by-Phone Internet Lending Indirect Underwriting Outbound Services 24/7 Financial Service Transactions Mortgage Origination & Processing Collections Outsourcing Whether you need support in the areas of lending, member service, or collections, LSI has a solution to meet the unique needs of your credit union.  To find out more about Lending Solutions Inc. and the services they provide, check out the video link below for a brief company overview from Rex Johnson or visit their website. Watch Video Visit Website For more information, contact Insurance Trust Senior Account Executive, Tim Dalton, at or complete the contact form below. Contact Form Name* First Last Email* PhoneWhat would you like to learn more...

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Gearing Up for the 2016 Special Olympics Maine Winter Games

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in News |

November is here, which means the Special Olympics Maine Winter Games are just around the corner. The Winter Games will be taking place at Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Carrabassett Valley, ME  from January 31 through February 2, 2016. Insurance Trust will be reaching out very soon to Maine credit unions for volunteers to help make the event a success.  There are many opportunities to volunteer; from preparing and serving meals and snacks to coaching and assisting the athletes during the various events. All help is welcomed and appreciated and the experience will give back more smiles, hugs, and laughter than time and money could ever buy.    Scarf Project 2016 Special Olympics Maine is reaching out to knitters (and to those of you who crochet) everywhere to help with the 2016 Scarf Project. We are hoping to have 600 scarves donated in time for the 2016 Special Olympics Maine State Winter Games at the end of January…enough so that every athlete will have a scarf for their winter competition…and possibly every volunteer and coach as well.   This year’s color scheme is: Red Heart Super Saver: CHERRY RED  0319 WHITE  0311 The design/pattern is totally up to you. Be creative…have fun with it.  (The majority of our athletes are teens & adults)  If you more experienced knitters want to incorporate the Play Unified ball or the words “Play Unified” that would be a bonus as our theme for 2016 is “Play Unified Live Unified”.  But certainly, no worries at all if you can’t. Scarves can be mailed/delivered to: Attn:  Katheryn Wildes  C/0 Trinity Lutheran Church 612 Main St, Westbrook, ME 04092. For more information please call:  207-929-6237 Scarf Project Flyer        ...

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