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An interview with Sean Kent, UK Automotive Director
Could you give us a bit of background on Assurant?
Assurant is a Fortune 500 company and a leading global provider of products that protect major consumer purchases, including vehicles. Within the automotive space, we work with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, including OEMs and dealerships, to offer value-added products and services that provide protection and peace of mind to customers.
What automotive services do you provide?
We offer a comprehensive suite of protection products that enable our partners to work with one partner to provide a full range of products and services to their customers. Central to our business is extended warranties – products that help our partners build long-term relationships with customers and offer an important revenue stream. GAP Insurance, Cosmetic Insurance and Service Plans are also key.
What types of business do you work with?
We work across all areas of the automotive value chain, partnering with OEMs, franchised dealers, independent dealers, and online retailers. Working across the industry allows us to analyse trends and consumer insights to support our partners in offering market-leading products and delivering a superior customer service. Our products can either be white-labelled or offered through the RAC brand, a popular option that assists in instilling confidence in the end customer.
What sets Assurant apart from competitors?
Assurant has more than 125 years’ experience globally in the automotive industry – and we use this experience to deliver innovative products and services for our partners, creating sustainable solutions that add value to their business and their customers. Our underwriting and compliance functions are in-house, ensuring transparency, stability and security for our clients. One significant differentiator is that we have several lines of business, and we take learnings and insights from working with leading brands in other industries to deliver a superior customer experience on behalf of our automotive clients. We also understand the importance of training. In 2020, we launched Dealer Academy, a fully integrated virtual training tool which provides partners with techniques to improve product knowledge, sales and profitability. And our Global Warranty Platform (GloW) has been created to make all aspects of automotive warranty sales and claims handling faster, easier and more effective for dealers and their customers.
How has the pandemic affected your business and partners?
It goes without saying the pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry. As a global organisation, we acted swiftly and deliberately to focus on three guiding principles: safeguard our employees, deliver for our customers and business operations, and support our communities. We quickly transitioned our employees to work from home and maintained our support for dealers and customers throughout the pandemic – we’re proud to have delivered the same high level of customer service.
What are your priorities for 2021?
Dealers have been under huge financial pressure over the past year due to the lockdowns. Our priority is to continue to support those businesses by using data to analyse and respond to market trends, for example, using Power BI reporting to review programmes site-by-site and ensure attachment rates of products are maximised where possible.
Looking further ahead, what is Assurant working on?
At Assurant, the future is already here! We started offering specialist warranties for electric vehicles last year, providing dealers with the opportunity to offer this cover as a stand-alone or top-up product, plus there is a selection of cover duration for the customer to choose from. We’re also working on the future of car ownership and protection, including the connected car, to help our partners succeed for years to come.
LIKES: sunny holidays
DISLIKES: mint chocolate
DRIVES: volvo XC90
HOBBIES & PASTIMES: rugby, golf and time with the family
Want to find out more? Contact Assurant on...
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website – assurant.co.uk