A brand new Finance and Insurance product offering was introduced to the automotive  industry at the NIADA convention this past week at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Repair Assurance is a new add-on profit product dealerships can sell within the Finance and Insurance office.  Repair Assurance is a vehicle service agreement that offers different consumer benefits and a fresh new opportunity for dealers.  Repair Assurance provides consumers with an advocacy service that will represent  them when dealing with auto repair facilities or warranty companies. Consumers who purchase plans of coverage, ranging from one through five years, have a dedicated Repair Assurance repair adviser that will fully negotiate with any repair facility or warranty company all aspects of any repair or maintenance service.  The Repair Assurance adviser will ensure that the correct repair is being done at the correct price and at the correct time. This service is unlimited, the consumer can contact their adviser as many times as they wish, to ask questions or get advise on any auto repair or maintenance issues. They also can simply have the repair facility call Repair Assurance before beginning a repair and their Repair Assurance adviser will step in to negotiate the entire repair on their behalf. Along with the advocacy service, Repair Assurance offers a complete spectrum of ancillary service agreement benefits such as towing, fuel and flui delivery, lost key & lockout, flat tire and extrication services. There are also additional discounts provided on rental vehicles.

Repair Assurance was conceived and developed by Tom Cullen and his partner Tony Fiorillo of Vision Marketing Group out of West St Paul, MN. The NIADA convention was the initial kickoff in a series of events and meetings scheduled to introduce the new company to agents and dealerships across the nation. The idea came to Cullen after witnessing the downsizing of a highly respected service contract administrator in Omaha. “I thought it was a waste of talent to let all those experienced claims people go. Then it occurred to me: If they could adjudicate claims and work with repair shops to defend the insurance company, why not defend the  consumer?” That's when Repair Assurance was born.

Repair Assurance is a complimentary product for the F&I office because it is priced lower than a service contract and can be used by the F&I manager as an alternative when the consumer refuses a VSC due to price or payments concerns. It also is designed to increase Service Department retention by directing the consumer back  to the selling dealership to get their work done on their vehicle, especially with used vehicles.

Tony Fiorillo is excited about the quality service they can offer dealers and consumers; “We feel fortunate to have a wealth of talent to bring into the company for consumers to turn to. The people we're hiring have years of automotive experience and expertise in dealing with repair facilities from independent shops right up to OEM factory representatives. This product can really help dealers improve their CSI because now consumers feel the dealership is sending a repair advocate out with them when they drive off the lot.”

Dealers will be able to easily incorporate Repair Assurance into their menu presentations and use it to improve F&I penetration on the front end along with additional revenue on the back end in the service department. In just the first week, it has already been adopted by a number of large automotive franchise groups in the nation.