German p2p lending service Smava.de yesterday introduced an optional insurance for borrowers. Borrowers can take out an insurance together with their loan. In the case of death, disability or unemployment (through no fault of one's own), the insurance will pay the repayments. To offer the residual debt insurance (see a definition of residual debt insurance), Smava partnered with an insurance company. The costs for the insurance paid by the borrower are:
- death hazard only: approx. 0.5% of loan amount
- death and disability: approx. 2.5% of loan amount
- all three: approx 4.7% of loan amount
It will be interesting to see how many borrowers are willing to opt in to the insurance.
Lenders profit because this lowers the default risk. Unfortunately at the moment lenders can not on a borrower's loan listing whether the borrower selected insurance or not.
11 months after launch defaults at Smava are still rare. Only 3 of 368 loans have defaulted and only 2 are currently late. A chart shows the development of the Smava interest rates since start.