Extended Service Plans Tackle New Challenges
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In this roundup, warranty companies address the following: What major initiatives/strategies have you in store to help CE and appliance dealers make more money from warranty sales in 2021? What are the salient points in your newest suite of offerings that you can briefly articulate that differentiate you from competitors?

Compiled by Nancy Klosek

James Mostofi, Global Head of Business Development, Warranty & Services Div.

AIG seeks to drive growth by addressing the confluence of mobile and connected home and related advancements in the Internet of Things (‘IoT’). We offer coverage that can help protect our clients’ customers from data breaches and certain cyber risks, such as viruses, malware, ransomware, and data theft. This offers customers peace of mind and security on their devices by monitoring, evaluating, and providing remedies to possible breaches and security threats. AIG also provides expanded product offerings and technology-based distribution channels that drive growth for our clients. AIG has the most comprehensive in-home service network in the U.S. and combines it with innovative systems and products to drive growth by offering customers the best service for the widest range of products. This allows our clients to offer their customers the ability to have one coverage that provides the best service experience for multiple products.
Karl Wiley, President & CEO, Allstate Protection Plans/SquareTrade, an Allstate company 

At Allstate Protection Plans/SquareTrade, an Allstate company, our mission continues to be helping our retailer partners create protection programs that provide a significant point of differentiation and drive meaningful services revenue growth. In 2020, we are migrating the SquareTrade brand to Allstate Protection Plans at U.S. retail, fully leveraging the Allstate brand — which is known and trusted by over 80 percent of Americans. SquareTrade will continue to provide our customer-obsessed service, while adding to the products and features available to our customers, including premium tech support, family and multi-item plans, and more. We also continue to innovate — with more convenient, on-demand service options, plus our one-visit guarantee and two-day appointment availability for many in-home CE repairs. 
Jeff Unterreiner,
US Connected Living

Assurant will continue to help retailers increase revenue and deliver a better customer experience both online and off in 2021. It starts with increasing attachment rates through our proprietary sales optimization program – including our award-winning experiential training courses. It continues with increasing net promotor scores and repeat purchases by making it easy for consumers to install, set up, use and protect their products. We’ll help consumers outsmart their smart homes through knowledgeable, friendly support, ensuring they get the most value from all their connected products while quickly resolving any issues that pop up. And we will continue to invest in our partners’ programs to tailor new innovations that provide competitive advantage and meet customers’ changing needs, such as come-to-you product repair. 
Rob DiRocco,
Senior VP of Client Services & Sales
Our top priority through the pandemic is to keep our partners connected to their customers and maintain high service levels. We were uniquely positioned to pivot quickly to a complete work-from-home model with no change in service levels by leveraging our longstanding practice of some remote support experts and our robust technical infrastructure. Our clients can now provide customers with access to fast, local repair options because of our acquisition of uBreakiFix, which provides drop-in repair at 590 stores. Through uBreakiFix, we’ve launched nationwide come-to-you device repair services that allow customers to quickly get their tech repaired without having to sacrifice safety and convenience by leaving their home. We also provide advanced digital sales tools and best-in-class remote learning tools to support store-based personnel.
Chris Penn,
Vice President,
Client Services

A major initiative for Centricity in 2021 is continuing to work with our partners to find additional ways to optimize their service plan offerings.  COVID-19 accelerated online purchasing and many of our clients had to respond quickly to offer service plans online, without having the time or resources to ensure attachment rates were being maximized. Providing and implementing best practices will allow our retailers to continue making similar margins as they would with traditional in-store shopping. Centricity has also enhanced the virtual training capabilities provided to our partners. We plan on expanding this enhancement to include varying types of training platforms, including live webinars, FaceTime, chats, and recorded training modules. The inclusion of these methods has yielded tremendous growth in sales and an increase in virtually trained associates with clients who have utilized these practices.
Brandon Gell,
CEO & Co-founder

Clyde is an extended warranty platform and administrator built for the eCommerce era. Clyde empowers OEMs and retailers of all sizes to offer their customers product protection plans, with the scale, quality, and pricing typically reserved for Fortune 10 companies. Clyde seamlessly integrates with both eCommerce platforms and in-store POS systems and is focused on giving consumers an easy-to-use, affordable, and quality experience. The claims process can be a frustrating and inefficient experience for consumers, so we’ve built our administrative capabilities from the ground up, putting the customer experience first. Clyde offers auto-adjudication, or real-time claims decisions based on customized rules around an account or program that a retailer designs with us. Our auto-resolution capabilities give retailers the flexibility to provide claims payouts in multiple ways, including cash reimbursement, promo code payout, or repair or replacement.
Woodrow H. Levin, CEO

Extend has quickly been able to garner recognition from consumers as a premium brand in the extended warranty space. Our merchant partners enjoy a 12 percent or higher attach rate – which is almost 3x the industry average. A higher attach rate along with Extend’s ability to deliver visually appealing, fair, and transparent offers to consumers results in significantly better revenue for our merchant partners, and happier customers. Extend works with our merchant partners to offer extended warranties to their customers where they are. Our API-first easy-to-integrate solution presents offers to consumers at the point of sale, through aftermarket emails, call centers, or through in-box offers. Extend allows merchants to turn on a best-of-breed extended warranty program in a matter of days with zero cost. 
Mack Worldwide Warranty
Jennifer Monasterio, President

2020 has created a need more than ever to be our retailers’ true business partner.  Our retailers’ success will be resolved by a warranty program that creates an opportunity to maximize every sale.  This starts pre-purchase by offering a straightforward, concise program that creates value. In a world of features, advantages and benefits the need for an ‘easy to understand’ benefit is vital. Our success ultimately relies upon our retail partners’ success. We, as partners, need to focus on streamlining the processes encountered at retail by lowering their ‘behind the scenes’ costs and increasing customer satisfaction.  This will also be achieved by a streamlined message across the board by educating and marketing. A warranty program’s strength will be measured by creating repeat customers for our retail partners. A successful program will allow our retail partners to focus on the other challenges they currently face.g, I remain focused on the interpersonal skills of my job; accountability, empathy, flexibility and active listening.
OnPoint Warranty  Solutions LLC
Chris Smith, CEO

OnPoint has two fundamental tenets that govern everything we do: product innovation and customer experience. In 2021, we will continue to pursue both to drive revenue for our dealers at the point of sale, and throughout the lifetime of the customer relationship. For retail dealers, our connected home programs provide them the ability to broaden their service offerings beyond extended warranties. Consumers are seven times more likely to return based on positive service experiences. Therefore, engaging in more service events with consumers is critical. OnPoint supports those post-sales service touch points through warranty service, on-demand installation and repair, and even home health checks, filter and accessory programs and Wi-Fi and smart device installation and support. We are also revolutionizing aftermarket success through utilization of cutting-edge AI and IP-based marketing technology that endeavors to keep consumers ‘in market’ at all times. From a CX perspective, we are hyper-focused on providing the best in-home service experiences. We continue to invest in the latest technologies to make it easy for consumers to request help. We have empowered our team to be service heroes through technology and latitude. We are working tirelessly to build the biggest, most consumer-centric service network in the industry, while securing guaranteed capacity. We are expanding our underwriter ecosystem continuously to offer the most creative, flexible, and stable underwritten programs in the market. OnPoint’s suite of protection and service products help dealers develop customers for life.
Personal Safeguards Group, LLC
Michael Frosch, President

Differentiation and control are two focus areas for Personal Safeguards Group (PSG) in supporting electronics and appliance retailers and manufacturers. Retailers of all sizes are bringing in-house their service contract programs to deliver the highest level of service to the consumer, enhance the consumer’s experience and retain the underwriting profit. Manufacturers are using limited warranties as differentiation designed to enhance the consumer’s relationship.  Offering a two-year warranty versus the industry standard one-year warranty allows a manufacturer to differentiate from their competitors.  PSG helps manufacturers transfer the risk of the second year to a carrier, yet still manage the customer experience. PSG supports retailers and manufacturers with custom solutions, bringing together the insurance, technology, regulatory and administration components necessary to help ensure success.
Kerry Lawless, Vice President of Sales

Warrantech, an Amynta Warranty Company, considers all aspects of our partners’ business to determine the best solutions to maximize profitability and increase customer satisfaction. This consultative approach keeps our partners’ business running strong by creating new opportunities to sell service contracts. For 2021, we will continue to focus on supporting our partner relationships with cutting-edge omni-channel technology enhancements to boost warranty conversions in-store and online. This is achieved with a multi-facet business model that includes virtual and in-person conversion-centric training investments, a customer-centric sales process and full disclosure and compliance for the customer. The result is a customized program that builds customer trust, increases profit, administration efficiency and a higher pool of claim reserves to mitigate losses.
Leigh Mascherin, Vice President, Warranty Sales
To help CE and appliance dealers maximize warranty sales in 2021, Fortegra has focused on two initiatives. The first is to better translate the in-store experience online. With an increase in online shopping due to COVID-19, dealers need to optimize the online shopping experience not just for products, but also for warranty solutions. The second initiative is market research. No one really knows how COVID-19 will affect long-term shopping behavior, so we are engaging in value-added services such as consumer surveys to help our partners adapt to market changes. Great product development starts with a solid understanding of what consumers need.
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