We’re all familiar with the Vehicle Service Contract (VSC). In the powersports industry, motorcycle insurance dates back to the early development of VSCs, but as the industry expanded its portfolio of vehicles into ATVs/UTVs, snowmobiles and personal watercraft (PWC), VSCs were developed to offer coverage for them as well.
If there’s a upside to the recent pandemic, it would be the increase in family involvement in outdoor activities and PWC sales have increased dramatically, with the trend expected to continue. A unique aspect of this recent increase is that it has brought with it a large number of first-time buyers.
Today’s generation of consumer is used to warranties and they are even more prevalent when it comes to their fun. “Families want to have fun with their personal watercraft and not worry about costly repairs when the craft experiences an unexpected breakdown and is dead in the water,” said Glenice Wilder, vice president of powersports at EFG Companies.
Since many of these first-time buyers are not familiar with the costs associated with PWC ownership, offering a VSC can play a big part in the sale. EFG Companies has been offering VSCs for over 40 years and has recently released a new product for PWC. “Repairing a personal watercraft is not cheap, and our new VSC gives buyers greater confidence in their purchase, knowing they are covered,” said Wilder.
The timing just worked out right for their new PWC coverage. The product was already in development prior to the pandemic and the increase in PWC sales, but they didn’t rush it to market until it was ready. “We wanted to make sure when we rolled this out that the product was strong and covered the need of the consumer and the dealership,” said Wilder.
The new package offers exclusionary coverage for new models as well as models up to 10 years old. Wilder explained the new product is focused on front-to-back coverage and has been refined by working closely with powersports dealers during its development. The available terms are 12- through 72-months, but dealers typically write 48- to 60-month terms.
VSCs offer an additional benefit to dealers. “Dealers need a diversified income portfolio to maintain steady inventory levels and cash flow. EFG’s personal watercraft protection easily attaches to every sale to exponentially increase profitability margins, thereby increasing cash flow for more inventory,” said Wilder.
The policy also includes towing, (the unit must be on a trailer), which is a welcome feature to dealers and consumers. OEM warranties do not cover towing the unit to water for testing which can be a necessity for some repairs. This ultimately encourages a higher level of service and quality. With coverage for testing, there will be no shortcuts, omission of thorough testing or additional cost passed on to the consumer.
Dealers can breathe easy because the policy pays posted labor rates and MSRP on parts. EFG also specifies that only new parts can be used for the repair.
The new product integrates with Lightspeed dealer management system, and EFG pays claims within one hour, so the dealership gets their money immediately once the repair is approved by the customer.
EFG is focused on educating the consumer and guiding them through their purchase. “We want to give consumers as much information as we can in the finance office,” said Wilder. Their approach to this includes sharing current repair orders and OEM maintenance schedules so consumers see the reality of what it costs to maintain and repair their new PWC.
The warranty can be transferred from one owner to the next, and it is also cancellable so consumers can sell it outright, or the funds can be used for trade-in.
A lot has gone into EFG’s new PWC VSC and Wilder explained that they take pride in the service offered by its claims adjusters, who have backgrounds built around all aspects of powersports. They stay connected with service teams, so the service department doesn’t have to sit on hold, and they also have a new widget for service advisers. Service advisers are now able to take pictures with their phone and send them directly to the claims adjusters.
“When I walk into a service department, I always hear great things about how well our claims adjusters have handled claims,” concluded Wilder, proof that their customer service is as important as their products.
For more info about EFG Companies: efgcompanies.com