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Lenders Mortgage Insurance Provider Comparison

How to benefit from comparing LMI providers.

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Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is viewed by many as a double-edged sword. Sure, it can get you into a home with a deposit of as little as 5%, but it can also add thousands to what might be an already expensive home purchase.

There are two major LMI providers in Australia, QBE and Genworth, as well as a small number of lenders who provide customers with their own version of this insurance, often under a different name.

LMI, as the name suggests, is an insurance policy taken out by lenders to protect themselves from higher risk borrowers. Most lenders will require borrowers to have a 20% deposit when applying for a home loan. This demonstrates the borrower’s ability to save and budget, and means that if they default on their home loan, the lender will be able to sell the property and hopefully not lose any money in the process.

Learn more about LMI

LMI providers

As mentioned, in Australia, lenders will go down one of two paths when obtaining LMI. They’ll either source it from one of the larger insurance companies such as Genworth or QBE, or they’ll have their own department which will source the insurance policy themselves.

Even if your loan is approved, this might not automatically mean that your LMI is approved. LMI providers will consider your loan application just as carefully as a lender would. This means that while your lender may think you’re able to pay back your loan, there’s always a chance that your LMI provider might reject it on grounds relating to your application, such as your income source.

Does it matter which LMI my lender uses?

The difference between LMI providers can be seen in two major ways:

  • Price - Different LMI providers may charge different prices for the same coverage. This means it’s difficult to compare LMI providers to find the cheapest or best.
  • Approval criteria - Each LMI provider will have their own unique approval process and criteria, which means you might be approved by one insurer but denied by another.

Knowing which LMI provider your lender uses can be useful if your LMI application is denied. If this happens, you can approach a lender who uses a different LMI provider and hopefully get approved. Unfortunately, borrowers cannot choose who their lender uses for LMI.

A bit more about the LMI heavyweights of Australia

Genworth

Genworth

Genworth is an LMI insurer which is majority owned by Genworth Financial, a US-based insurer. They provide LMI services to more than 100 lenders in Australia.

QBE

QBE-logo

QBE is part of the QBE Group, which is in the top 20 in the global insurance market, and is also Australia’s largest global insurer. QBE provides a wide range of insurance products across the globe. To consumers in Australia, they provide personal insurance covering your car, home, travels and more; and business insurance, offering policies as diverse as liability insurance. They also handle workers compensation and a range of other related services.

Other LMI providers

As mentioned above, some lenders have their own LMI products. Below are some of the more well known lenders and what they call their LMI offerings.

  • CBA - Commonwealth Bank Low Deposit Premium (LDP)
  • RAMS - RAMS Risk Fee

Which LMI providers do the big four use?

At the time of writing, the big four use the following LMI insurers:

BankInsurer
NABQBE
WestpacQBE or self insured
CBAGenworth or self insured
ANZSelf insured

Other lenders can underwrite their own insurance or use Genworth or NAB. Bankwest for example use QBE, while St.George will self insure for loans with LVRs of under 90%, and use Genworth for LVRs over this.

LMI refunds

Refinancing a home loan with an LVR of above 80% means that you might have to pay LMI, regardless of whether you paid it when first taking out your home loan or not. In some cases, if you refinance your home loan early enough in the term you may be able to get an LMI refund for your original loan. Conditions will as always depend on the LMI provider.

Genworth will refund your insurance premiums if you exit your loan within the first one or two years. QBE can also refund LMI premiums if your loan is terminated early, but don’t give any clear indication of time limits.

In most cases, the refund will not be for the full amount, which is why it’s important to carefully consider refinancing if your LVR is still above 80%.

Need a home loan? Start comparing

Data updated regularly
years
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan
2.29%
2.72%
$0
$8 monthly ($96 p.a.)
95%
$577.55
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
A flexible and competitive variable rate loan. Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get $2,000 cashback per property plus a bonus $1,000 for their first application. Other conditions apply.
St.George Fixed Rate Advantage Package
1.84%
3.38%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
$543.64
Up to $4,000 refinance cashback
Borrowers with 20% deposits or equity can get this competitive fixed rate loan. Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get up to $4,000 cashback (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply).
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed
1.75%
2.22%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$537
This very low fixed rate is only available until 29 April 2021. Other conditions apply. A competitive fixed rate loan with no ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit
HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loan Package
1.88%
2.86%
$0
$390 p.a.
80%
$546.6
$3,288 refinance cashback offer
Lock in a low fixed rate for 2 years and buy your home with a 20% deposit. Eligible refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $3,288 cashback. Terms and conditions apply.
Suncorp Home Package Plus Fixed
1.89%
2.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$547.35
Lock in a low fixed rate loan for two years and get the annual package fee waived in the first year. Available for borrowers with 20% deposits.
Athena Variable Home  Loan
2.19%
2.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
60%
$569.91
Owner occupiers with 40% deposits or equity can get this competitive variable rate loan. No upfront or ongoing fees.
AMP Bank Professional Package Fixed Loan
1.99%
3.1%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$554.81
Get a low fixed rate package with no application or settlement fee. Available with a 20% deposit. Other fees and charges apply.
loans.com.au Smart Booster Discount Variable Home Loan
1.99%
2.47%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$554.81
Home buyers can get a very low discounted variable rate for the first year. This loan has a revert rate of 2.48%. Requires a 20% deposit. Add an offset account for an additional 0.10% on your interest rate.
Westpac Fixed Option Home Loan Premier Advantage Package
1.89%
3.46%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
$547.35
Up to $3,000 refinance cashback.
Eligible borrowers refinancing $250,000 or more can get up to $3,000 cashback. Other conditions apply.
Macquarie Bank Basic Fixed Home Loan
2.09%
2.43%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
$562.33
Get a low interest rate and a mortgage with flexible, basic features. No application or ongoing fees. Requires a 30% deposit. Refinancers can switch with a convenient digital application.
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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    hamedJune 20, 2017

    May I know how updated this article is because I heard that NAB use Genworth for insurance? And where is the a complete list of what you briefly mentioned in this article that has banks and their LMI provider?

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 20, 2017

      Hi Hamed!

      This article has been archived on June 23rd, 2014. You may refer to our lenders mortgage insurance guide for updated information.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    NathanApril 10, 2017

    Hi Ive had Nab reject a 90% lend on a property im purchasing because of some very minor old termite damage in a ceiling sheet in a bedroom. They say their LMI insurer (QBE) wont insure them. I offered to fix the issue before settlement but they are not interested.
    I really what a 90% lend over an 80%
    Would it be possible to use another lender that uses a different LMI insurer or self insures?or would the result still be the same?
    Thank you

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, we can’t comment on this as we do not represent any insurer and each insurer follows certain eligibility criteria when providing cover.

      If you are getting a new lender, you may directly get in touch with them beforehand and enquire if you can get the maximum LVR, given the situation of the property.

      You may compare other home loans with LVR of 90% and above on our low-deposit home loans page.

      Also, you may want to speak to a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is a professional who compares and helps you apply for home loans on your behalf. A good mortgage broker will give you personalised service all the way through to settlement.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    DeborahMarch 24, 2017

    If I sell my home for less then I owe and I take out a loan with my mortgage insurer does it effect my credit rating

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayApril 7, 2017Staff

      Hi Deborah,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Selling your home less than your loan amount and applying for another mortgage will not affect your score. The factors that may affect your credit score rather are when you have payment defaults, apply for several credit applications in just a short period of time, credit enquiries, summons, etc. Please feel free to read our credit ratings guide to learn more about these factors.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    KarenAugust 14, 2015

    Which lenders do not use Gemworth, can you please list off.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcAugust 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Karen,
      thanks for the question.

      Unfortunately we do not have a list of lenders and the LMI providers they use, although we are working to compile one. I would recommend contacting any lenders you’re interested in and asking which LMI provider they use prior to applying for a home loan.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

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