A Warranted Income

In March’s issue of Motor Trader, AutoProtect was asked to comment on their special focus warranties.

Nick Wake, Sales Director, has provided his response below

Are you expecting more competition from online warranty providers in 2018?

We have seen a number of online and direct warranty companies stepping up their activities, including TV advertising, however, we continue to see growth in warranties at the point of sale. One of the key changes we are seeing is a trend by dealers to seek out higher quality warranties. Price is not the only thing that matters to consumers, quality is arguably more important and more dealers are recognising this shift to meet the needs of their buyers and potential buyers.

Which? Has been critical of extended warranties saying it was difficult to justify their cost. How would you counter this?

We have been a little disappointed by the approach adopted by Which? to extended warranties in some of their reporting. Their most recent report findings are based upon bundling ‘several third-party warranties’ together without naming the providers, their use of an unquantified yearly repair bill for a family car between four and seven years old as the basis for a cost comparison and generic observations such as ‘manufacturer extended warranties tend to have fewer exclusions than their third-party rivals.’ For a consumer audience which is data-hungry, their methodology and conclusions, fall short of providing the type of guidance we would hope to see to ensure that consumers can make an informed buying decision.

We fully support the importance of quality and continue to strive to deliver this by providing transparent and easily understood language in our terms and conditions as we continue to work towards Plain English standards across all of our products. We have developed our high successful online claims process, iClaim, to simplify the claims process, a move that has enhanced both claims levels and speed and our Gold Plus product has been well received by consumers and dealers alike. The product may cost a little more, but its breadth of cover is far wider and provides for the increasing technology seen in today’s cars.

How did your warranty business perform in 2017 and where do you see warranty business performing over the coming year in the current used car market?

2017 was another encouraging year for AutoProtect. We welcomed many new customers, launched a series of innovations such as our new App technology and helped more dealers to embrace the value of a high-quality warranty proposition, going beyond the basic three-month cover that was common place in yesteryear. More than this, we continued to make positive strides in our mission to improve the quality of the products and the perceptions of extended warranties by championing positive changes across the warranty processes from POS to claims. We have seen an increasing upward trend in our Trust Pilot reviews, but are certainly not resting on our laurels!

Have sales of extended warranties benefited from the rising volumes of ex-PCP premium cars in the market?

I’m sure this is probably the case, but what is more evident is that PCPs have themselves changed many consumers from buyers to users of cars. As users, the inclusive nature of the car, finance and support products, such as warranties, has enhanced the ease of use so many consumers value today

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