New CUNA Mutual Site Shares Pricing Info (Plus, 'You Be The Judge')

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MADISON, Wis. — CUNA Mutual Group has launched a new website to share credit union insurance information on a broader scale than it has done in the past.

Straight Talk (www.cunamutual.com/straighttalk) is meant to explain how the insurer prices coverage and adjusts and pays claims, along with delivering additional insights into the world of credit union insurance. The site does not require registration and is free to all users.

According to Chad Nitschke, CUNA Mutual's vice president of commercial products, Straight Talk follows feedback from insured CUs. While the company has long fielded individual requests for information about pricing, coverages and the like, it has not generally shared that information on a large scale.

"We wanted to be more direct and transparent and give credit unions the tools that they need that could really help them manage their own business," said Nitschke. "As a mutual organization, we're owned by our policy owners, and I felt it was imperative that we share this information with our credit unions."

Nitschke noted that the site is not designed to drive sales, but rather "to share information that we thought our customers and other credit unions would find valuable."

As such, content is available to anyone-including those who are not CUNA Mutual customers-and is not password protected. "We felt that if we're going to talk about openness and transparency, we really needed to avoid having it be password protected," he said.

Nitschke said it would be "a happy accident" if the company were to gain business from Straight Talk, but said that one of the larger imperatives behind the site is helping the credit union community as a whole. "To the extent that we can help credit unions manage their own losses, that helps CUNA Mutual, and since we're a mutual company, it helps credit unions and us collectively. That would probably be the one financial benefit out of it."

One of the chief elements of the site is its peer data component, which allows users to choose an asset class for their credit union and view a list of 13 different coverages and the average limits and deductibles for other CUs that have purchased that coverage. That data, said Nitschke, had been given to CUNA Mutual's sales team in the past, but had never been issued directly to customers.

The site was created with the help of CUNA Mutual's advisory panel, which includes 10 credit unions of various sizes. Among its other features, said Nitschke, is "The Watercooler"-a blog that will focus on topics such as ideas and trends in credit union financial security-and board.edu, which features short videos for credit union boards of directors to receive information on risk management and liability.

Nitschke said a project team has been assigned to stay active on the site and make sure it is regularly updated; some features will be refreshed weekly, while others will likely hold a monthly schedule. Straight Talk also includes interactive features like "You Be the Judge," which allows users to read through hypothetical claims and vote on whether or not those claims should be covered.

For more information, visit www.cunamutual.com/straighttalk

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