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The 11th Hour

From the Desk of Recovery Specialist Insurance Group
Manassas, VA

Recovery Specialist Insurance Group has always been known as the cream of the crop when it comes to insuring repossessors. But some lately begin to talk that perhaps we’re not as selective as we once were. We disagree. We still deny membership to a majority of people who reach out to us because they cannot meet our underwriting requirements. Each member of RSIG goes through a stringent underwriting process and through this process we see the good, the bad and the ugly.

RSIG is an insurance entity. Our strength comes from our underwriting expertise and our ability to find and maintain insurance for an industry plagued with politics, egos and at times unscrupulous behaviors on both sides of the desk… the insurance client (you, the repossessor) and on the other side the insurance agent.

One of the things that has always made RSIG different from any other insurance entity is that we put our money where our mouth is. We have skin in the game and aren’t just looking at an application in order to get that first or renewal commission. We are not misleading insurance carriers by withholding loss runs (saying we can get people written by not providing loss runs to the carrier), lying about garaging locations of vehicles in order to manipulate the rate or lying about the nature of our member’s business. (Flo has great commercials and an iconic look that everyone may recognize from her commercials on TV; but she does not like repossession businesses and issues cancellations when she finds out more than 26% of your business is repo….something to think about!)

Another thing that has always made RSIG different is that we are a group policy. Carriers look at our program as a total of the sum of its parts. So if one member has a bad year of claims, they can be supported by the strength of the other members; and the cycle continues…. Members lifting and supporting other members, keeping our program strong, viable for you and the industry and profitable for our carriers.

That is why so many of you now are turning to RSIG – as you find yourselves uninsurable because of the artificially low rates you’ve gotten from other agents for the past several years and as you’re being non-renewed and then strung along until the 11th hour while your agent searches for yet another carrier.

One new member to the group recently told us that in 40 years they had never gone up to the wire like they have with their 15-16 renewal. They were faced with being put out of business because the agent they had been with for the past 10 years had run out markets and couldn’t help, but didn’t tell them that until the last minute. As an individual policy holder, the account wasn’t profitable to anyone because of the artificially low rates, but as part of a group they have a chance; and with RSIG they will receive information to help reduce losses and understand the importance and value of being with a group and an insurance solution that truly understands their needs and value their business.

We know we cost more than individual policies – especially those in the current market place that seem too good to pass up, but eventually leave you non-renewed or with a huge unexpected increase at renewal (and little time to shop your policy); but with RSIG you get more! And when considering insurance think of the old adage, “You get what you pay for!” With RSIG you get stable insurance, access to the highest level of industry education and training, access to our qualified staff when you need it, even after hours… as one member just recently found out…

An email was sent to our office at 7:02pm, 2 hours after RSIG had closed for the day. The email read “I need a call as soon as possible please. I need to speak to Michael Howk.” Not knowing if Mike would be available to return the call immediately, another member of our staff called this member who was in a bit of situation where they did not know what to do in the field when they were told by their client to pick up a vehicle at a specific address and after doing so, found out their debtor was actually deceased and the vehicle had just been sold the day before to a 3rd party who held a clear title. The new owner of the vehicle called the police who were calling the member on the other line. The member’s client, a national forwarder, told the member they couldn’t do anything about returning the vehicle to the new owner until the next business day, which wasn’t sitting well with the owner who did not have a lien on the vehicle.

Within minutes, this member received a call from one of our staff and also one from Mike Howk who advised them of what needed to be done. We followed up the following day to see if everything was OK. This was their response:

    Yes we took the unit back, the man was fine. The client was ok after I told them what had happened. I had everything typed out, names, numbers police info ... keeping us totally covered thanks to your classes!

    I really appreciate you all calling us so quickly, I did not expect a call until the following morning.

    ~ Denise, All American Recovery, Indiana

Of course the other piece to this is with insurance being such a significant cost to your business, your clients should be paying you better. Insurance protection is as much about them and their needs as it is about your own. If they expect top quality protection and service it is time they go back to paying for it.



Please Visit Our Educational and Informative Links: www.rsig.com and www.rsiguniversity.com



EF1 Tornado damages 200 cars at Indianapolis Auto Auction… Is there coverage?

From the desk of: Dana Loan, Recovery Specialist Insurance Group                                                     6/25/14 

It has been widely reported that an EF1 Tornado touched down in Indiana yesterday.  EF1 tornados generally have sustained winds between 86-110 mph which can make a significant impact on local homes and businesses.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_Fujita_Scale  

The tornado that touched down in Plainsfield, IN reportedly damaged 200+ cars at an Adesa Auto Auction (Indianapolis). http://www.wthr.com/story/25858334/2014/06/24/storms-prompt-severe-weather-warnings-in-central-indiana   This begs the question, what type of coverage does the auction have for these vehicles?  And what will the lenders expect? 

From the National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/prodsByState.php?state=in&prodtype=public

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN

710 PM EDT TUE JUN 24 2014 

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...

..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....

            ..REMARKS.. 

0231 PM     TSTM WND DMG     3 NE PLAINFIELD         39.73N  86.35W

06/24/2014                   HENDRICKS          IN   NWS EMPLOYEE 

            200 PLUS CARS WERE DAMAGED AT AUTO AUCTION AT ADESA AT

            2950 EAST MAIN STREET

As a repossessor your clients (especially forwarders looking to eliminate their client’s potential losses by passing liability on to you) may demand payoff because of the contracts you have signed.  If providing coverage at all, carriers do not pay payoff.  Actual Cash Value or “ACV” is the valuation method used to determine how much the carrier will pay.  But many of you are signing contracts everyday that say you will be responsible for any and all losses sustained by your client and their clients, affiliates, etc. 

Will lenders and forwarders demand the same of the auction?  And if not, then why should you be responsible if they don’t expect the same from everyone? 

Legal Liability policies that are generally cheaper than Direct Primary policies will not offer coverage if the insured did everything they were legally required to do in order to prevent the loss.  And in cases of Acts of God i.e. storm/weather related losses, many times there is nothing that can be done to prevent the loss. 

Also, if an insured’s location is in an area prone to storms, carriers will specifically exclude storm coverage, even on Direct Primary policies, in order to avoid paying the losses that simply are matter of time, statistically speaking.   Lenders often have insurance policies that will pay for these catastrophic losses, but their loss runs tend to look a lot better if someone else’s coverage pays for the loss. 

It is extremely important that you understand what coverage your policy offers and the content of the contracts you are signing.  The RSIG Master policy has coverage for storm related losses and does not restrict that coverage based on an insured’s location.  RSIG has also informed and warned its members and the industry about the dangers of these contracts; and this serves as another reminder of the damage Mother Nature can cause.



Park that Camera Car…LPR Legal in Arkansas?
Maybe not after midnight tonight!

From the desk of: Dana Loan, Recovery Specialist Insurance Group
15 August 2013, Manassas, VA 

If you have camera cars or LPR cameras on your trucks, take heed… the 2013 Regular Session of the 89th General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, passed this law that goes into effect 12:01AM Friday, August 16, 2013.  This is taken from AR House Bill 1996, which is now Act 1491 Entitled: “An Act to Regulate the use of Automatic License Plate Reader Systems; and for other purposes.”, Subtitle: “To Regulate the use of Automatic License Plate Reader Systems.”

 An automatic license plate reader system is defined in the Act as “a system of one (1) or more mobile or fixed automated high-speed cameras used in combination with computer algorithms to convert images of license plates into computer-readable data.”

 12-12-1803. Restrictions on Use.

(a)    Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, it is unlawful for an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or the State of Arkansas, its agencies, and political subdivision to use an automatic license plate reader system. 

Just in case you’re curious, subsection b says an automatic license plate reader system may be used: by (1) a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, (2) by parking enforcement entities or (3) for the purpose of controlling access to secured areas. 

In this writers humble opinion, that does not include repossession companies, forwarding companies or lenders. 

This law, that goes into effect 12:01am Friday, August 16th also addresses who can use LPR data and in what manner that data can be used.  Again, in my opinion this data, in the state of Arkansas can only be used by members of law enforcement.  It cannot be sold, shared or transferred to ANY other entity; and it cannot be retained for more than 150 days. 

A copy of the Act can be viewed by clicking this link:  http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2013R/Pages/BillInformation.aspx?measureno=HB1996  

Civil rights activists say LPR is a violation of a person’s privacy.  LPR technology is being challenged in a number of states – and here its use is extremely restricted.  What state will be next?  You should be aware of this law and keep track of laws involving LPR technology in your state.

From an insurance standpoint, if you repossess a vehicle using illegal methods a wrongful repossession claim is not far away.   While initially sold to lenders as a tremendous asset, the actual liability associated with LPR technology is just beginning to trend out. 

Who is going to defend you when that claim arises?  Will it be the LPR provider who may have been providing data illegally to entities other than law enforcement?  Will it be the lender who required you to have camera cars and/or purchased the hit and authorized you to pick up the unit?  Will it be the forwarder?  Or will you be left standing alone at the defendants table in court trying to justify your actions? 

All of these questions and more remain unanswered and will only be answered in the court of law…eventually.  But for now, the state of Arkansas has made a statement that shouldn’t be ignored. 

With unmatched expertise and experience, Recovery Specialist Insurance Group (www.rsig.com) offers superior insurance protection, education & training and repossession assignment management technology designed for today’s lender and repossession professional. Have questions, we’re ready to help and can be reached at 703.365.0199.


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