Why You Need A Vehicle Service Contract

By: Jeff Hatch

October 19, 2017

Contemplating a vehicle service contract, but unsure of how it works or how it differs from an automotive warranty? You’re not alone. A lot of consumers tend to get the two mixed up or fail to understand just what they cover. But seeing as how your vehicle is usually the second most important purchase you will make right after your home, it is in your best interest to do your homework and make sure that you are protected.    
 
What exactly is a vehicle service contract? 
It is an agreement to cover costs associated with repairs or services made to your vehicle. A manufacturer’s warranty, on the other hand, is a promise from the manufacturer to stand by their workmanship for a limited time after you purchase the vehicle. Once this warranty expires, a vehicle service contract becomes valid and provides you with much-needed coverage on your vehicle’s most important systems and components. 
 
Is a vehicle service contract right for you? 
Here are a few things to consider:
 
Keep in mind that the average hourly rate for a mechanic is $100 an hour. A vehicle service contract can help do away with this cost, save you money and keep you from paying any unforeseen and unexpected repair bills. 
 
If you plan on owning your car for an extended period, it’s definitely in your best interest. A vehicle service contract can keep your car running at its very best and on the road for a long time. 
 
Even if you don’t intend to keep your car for long, a service contract can increase your vehicle’s resale value once you decide to sell. But before you do, make sure that the service contract you’re purchasing is transferable.  
 
Do some research into the make and model of the vehicle you plan on purchasing. Is it likely to need repairs and, if so, what are the costs? Weigh this against the price of the service contract to determine if it is worth it to you.
 
Does the contract include extras such as discounts on hotels and restaurants, rental car benefits, locksmith services and 24-hour roadside assistance? Not only do these add to the value of the service contract, they can provide you with added peace of mind in the event that something goes wrong while you’re on the road and away from home. 
 
Take your driving habits into account. Will you be on the road a lot? Is there a lot of stop-and-go traffic? What are the road conditions like? Do you park outside where the weather is extreme? These can all have an adverse effect on your vehicle. 
 
Check the terms and conditions carefully. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and what is covered specifically. 
 
In addition to the type of coverage, be mindful of the length of coverage, miles of coverage and deductible. 
 
Research the company providing the service contract. Are they reputable? Some guidelines to help determine this might include checking their Better Business Bureau rating to see how they work with consumers and finding out what their A.M. Best rating is to verify financial strength and stability. 
 
Have questions about a specific vehicle service contract? 
Don’t hesitate to ask your salesperson or agent for more information. Most dealerships typically provide you with a brochure or direct you to a website so you can review the plan in its entirety. Take time to make sure that you fully understand the scope of the service contract and don’t get pressured into purchasing something that makes you feel uncomfortable. With so many options currently available, you are sure to find something that is satisfactory for your budget and your vehicle’s specific requirements.
 
Visit us online to learn more about our available vehicle service contracts or call 800.833.8801 to speak with a customer service representative. We’re happy to help.

Filed Under: contract, service, vehicle, Warrantech, warranty

Sean Stapleton To Speak At Extended Warranty & Service Contract Innovations Conference

By: Jeff Hatch

September 01, 2017

The eighth annual Extended Warranty & Service Contract Innovations Conference opens September 13 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. Several hundred professionals from the extended warranty and service contract industry are headed to Nashville to talk about how changes in technology and regulations will impact their businesses in the years ahead.
 
Successful Partnerships 
 
On Thursday morning, Sean Stapleton, the President and CEO of AMT Warranty, will join with Kenneth J. Mac, the Director of Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac Protection at General Motors Co., to deliver a presentation on "Successful Partnerships in the OEM F&I Space."
 
GM spun off its vehicle service contract, insurance, and finance business years ago into what is now known as Ally Financial Inc., but which used to be known as the General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC). Then, of course, the great recession hit, and both GM and GMAC went through bankruptcy reorganizations. Afterwards, GM decided to re-enter the VSC business under its own name, and Mac's Customer Care & Aftersales unit decided to do it in partnership with an outside insurance underwriter.
 
Stapleton said AMT won the bidding after an extensive vetting process. "The relationship with GM has been truly phenomenal," he said. "We've been in business for many years now." He said they started working together in 2014, after AMT Warranty won the bid in late 2013.
 
"The program has grown tremendously since then," he said. "And it continues to grow. So I'm really proud of what AMT Warranty and GM have put together." Their joint presentation in Nashville will explain how the relationship works, how they strive for continual improvement and innovation together, and what advice they can offer to others looking to create similar partnerships for their service contract programs.
 
"It's a unique partnership in so many ways," Stapleton said. "This isn't a vendor relationship with them. We're not order-takers. It's very collaborative. We meet every Monday. We have our quarterly calls. We have update calls. We're living and breathing and looking at the same things."
 
Fear-Free Communications
 
Stapleton said he and Mac will outline some of the best practices that seem to work for them in their partnership, while acknowledging that things may be different for other partnerships. First, he said, the partners employ what he called "fear-free communications" between the two teams.
 
"We empower our teams to build these relationships amongst themselves," he said. "They fight for each other. It's almost like one organization. It doesn't feel like finger-pointing. It feels like we win or lose together."
 
The teams also are encouraged to ask a lot of questions, particularly around reasons why they're doing something a particular way. "Some of those things are hard to discuss, whether it's personal or professional, but we have that openness. And it's been really beneficial."
 
Stapleton said the partners started out in 2014 with just a handful of auto dealers selling their vehicle service contracts (most were still loyal to GMAC/Ally). Ally still had rights to the GM name. So the partners decided to sell Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet-branded VSCs, and gradually some of those dealers decided to come aboard.
 
"It was a huge challenge," Stapleton said. "But it was also a pretty exciting time -- to know that we were doing things differently, to do things that were intended to drive retention and loyalty. That's one of the biggest differentiators I think that the program has."
 
They also offered disappearing deductibles, and introduced a "white glove" level of service within the dealerships to boost loyalty and turn what could be a real negative (getting a defect repaired) into a real positive (cementing the relationship with a phenomenal experience).
 
"Issues create long-term relationships with these customers," he said. "Their alternator may have blown. And that stinks. But they had a great experience. They were put into a loaner car. And there's a disappearing deductible, so there's no money out of pocket. It makes it a whole lot easier, and it builds that level of trust. Challenges can actually result in longer-term relationships with customers."
 
GM could have done it alone, essentially remanufacturing GMAC all over again. But instead it decided to work with AMT. Stapleton said this allows the partners to share data about both the products and the risks, with each bringing their expertise to the table.
 
"We support other large OEM programs," he said. "So we know what's been successful, and we know what's been a failure." And it helps the partners to properly price the service contracts sold for not only for new GM vehicles, but also the used vehicles that dealers have on their lots. "We have a depth and breadth of understanding of this space that's hard to compete with, because this is our core."
 
Visit warrantyweek.com to read this article in its entirety and for more industry insight. 
 
And be sure to follow Warrantech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so you can keep up to date on company initiatives as they happen. 

Filed Under: AMT, conference, contract, extended, innovations, Sean, service, Stapleton, Warranty

AmTrust Financial On Board as Diamond National Corporate Partner

By: Jeff Hatch

July 12, 2017

AmTrust Financial Services, a multinational provider of insurance and warranty services and parent company of NIADA Certified Pre-Owned program administrator Warrantech, has joined with NIADA as a Diamond-level National Corporate Partner.  
 
Operating through its partners and subsidiaries – Warrantech, AmTrust Specialty Risk, Warranty Solutions and NIADA Certified Pre-Owned – AmTrust offers dealerships unique, customized solutions designed to fit their specific business needs.
 
The AmTrust team includes automotive industry experts and vehicle service contract/insurance industry veterans, expertise that translates to a comprehensive perspective with insight that enables the company to uncover hidden growth opportunities and structure programs that offer a high-value proposition for dealers and their customers.
 
AmTrust’s real-world expertise guides its team of trainers to help dealers refine sales strategies and build customer loyalty and enhance brand image.
 
The company’s vertical integration allows it to provide any combination of program management solutions, from turnkey operations with full underwriting, marketing, dealer training, sales support and administration services to a la carte services and hybrid solutions. 
 
Last month, AmTrust announced it has been named to the prestigious Fortune 500 list for the first time. The list, which includes the largest companies in the U.S. by total revenue, is recognition of AmTrust’s financial strength and stability. The company’s revenue rose 18 percent in 2016, reaching $5.45 billion. 
 
AmTrust’s partnership with NIADA gives dealers access to the only nationally recognized independent CPO program, which lets your customers know your business and the vehicles you are selling are held to a higher standard.
 
For more information, visit www.amtrustgroup.com or call 800-723-1154.

Filed Under: AmTrust, corporate, Diamond, national, NIADA, partner, service, Warrantech, warranty

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. Earns Distinction as Fortune 500 Company Following Record Year of Revenue

By: Jeff Hatch

June 07, 2017

Achievement Recognizes AmTrust's Long-Term Success
 
NEW YORK, June 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Warrantech's parent company, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFSI) (the "Company" or "AmTrust"), today announced that the Company has been named to the prestigious Fortune 500 list for the first time. The list celebrates the largest companies in the U.S. by total revenue.
 
This achievement is a recognition of AmTrust's financial strength and stability and follows a year of record revenue for the company. AmTrust's total revenue in 2016 was $5.45 billion, an increase of 18% over the prior year.
 
Since its founding in 1998, AmTrust has grown into a multinational property and casualty insurer with nearly 8,000 employees in more than 125 offices serving 70 countries around the globe. In the U.S., AmTrust is one of the top three providers of workers' compensation insurance and one of the top three warranty writers. AmTrust is also a top 13 Lloyd's manager by capacity. As an innovative, technology-driven provider of insurance products, AmTrust has earned a prestigious "A" (excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
 
"AmTrust is honored to join the Fortune 500 alongside an elite group of successful companies, and we're very grateful to our partners, brokers and agents for their trust in us as we reach this milestone," said Barry Zyskind, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AmTrust. "AmTrust's inclusion in the Fortune 500 is possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of our people, who live our core values of integrity, diversity, accountability, teamwork, community engagement, and a spirit of entrepreneurship. We adhere to these values every day allowing us to continue to successfully build a best-in-class property and casualty insurer for our valued partners and customers."
 
AmTrust was ranked 475 on the 63rd annual Fortune 500 list.
 
About AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., a multinational insurance holding company headquartered in New York City, offers specialty property and casualty insurance products, including workers' compensation, commercial automobile, general liability and extended service and warranty coverage through its primary insurance subsidiaries rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

For more information about AmTrust, visit https://amtrustfinancial.com/ or call AmTrust toll-free at (855) 327-2223.

Filed Under: 500, achievement, AmTrust, Fortune, insurance, recognition, record, revenue, warranty, year

AmTrust Financial Services Wins The GWSCA’s “Innovation in Warranty” Award

By: Jeff Hatch

September 23, 2016

Yesterday at the Third Annual GWSCA Conference on Warranty and Service Contracts in Chicago, Illinois, Warrantech’s parent company, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., won the award for “Innovation in Warranty” for its “Complete” program. 
 
Complete is a comprehensive protection plan program developed for Microsoft’s OEM and third-party devices sold via Microsoft’s numerous sales channels, including their brick and mortar store locations, their online store, distribution partners, and resellers worldwide. In 2009, the Complete program launched in one Microsoft store. Today, AmTrust is the exclusive provider of Microsoft Complete in 60 countries, with plans that cover Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Hub, Xbox, Band, HoloLens and all third-party OEM PC products sold by Microsoft.
 
Visionary leadership, strong management, robust technology platforms, efficient operations, and focused client management are among the key attributes driving the success of AmTrust in support of Microsoft Complete.
 
AmTrust has worked diligently and rapidly to facilitate Complete sales in all the territories in which hardware is being sold. In less than 18 months from initial launch, they rolled out Complete in 60 countries and expanded the product offerings to include all Microsoft OEM products. They’ve developed unique mobile applications to market, sell and register smartphone insurance policies with Microsoft Mobile, formerly known as NOKIA. 
 
The Global Warranty and Service Contract Association (GWSCA) serves the warranty and service contract communities worldwide. Founded and operated by industry professionals who volunteer their time and talents, GWSCA provides programs, resources and services that develop and enhance the knowledge, capabilities and performance of its constituency, both individuals and organizations. In this way, GWSCA fosters and promotes industry wide innovation and advancement towards excellence.
 
AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. is a financial holding company with 27 insurance companies operating globally and providing small business insurance, unique risk, and warranty and specialty risk solutions. All their insurance carriers are “A” rated by A.M. Best. AmTrust is a publically traded company trading under the symbol “AFSI” on NASDAQ.
 
AmTrust underwrote $6.8 billion in Gross Written Premium in 2015 and has assets in excess of $17 billion. They have offices in more than 40 locations and operate in more than 50 countries. In 2014, AmTrust was ranked 63rd in Fortune magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies. In the same year, Forbes named AmTrust as one of the best run companies (insurance). Warranty Week, the leading online authority in the warranty industry identified AmTrust as the most ‘warranty-centric’ company.
 
Congratulations to AmTrust Financial on this impressive accomplishment. For more information about the company and their services, visit amtrustgroup.com

Filed Under: AmTrust, Award, Complete, Financial, GWSCA, Innovation, Warrantech, Warranty

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