The RAC and Assurant (NYSE: AIZ), a global provider of risk management solutions, announced today that they have extended their agreement to continue to operate the RAC brand together in the UK car dealer sector until at least 2024.
The deal covers a range of well-established RAC-branded warranty and other dealer insurance products, as well as the RAC Dealer Network including RAC Approved Dealers.
The two organisations have been working together since 2008 when the original arrangement was signed by The Warranty Group, acquired by Assurant in May 2018.
Dave Hobday, RAC CEO, said: “This has been a very successful partnership. The RAC Dealer Network now has over 1,300 members including 333 Approved Dealers, which makes it the largest initiative of its kind in the motor industry.
“Our agreement has been extended by an additional three years from the original 2021 expiry date, which is a sign of our confidence in Assurant, our acknowledgement of all that our teams have achieved working together, and our support of where they intend to take the brand in the next few years.
“Importantly, we feel that Assurant really understands the RAC brand. For us, it is all about producing products and services that genuinely put the customer first. We trust them as custodians of the RAC in the dealer sector.”
Rich Green, President, Automotive - Europe for Assurant, added: “We are very pleased to sign this deal extension, which allows us to put our longer-term development plans for the sector into action.
“The RAC name is at the core of what we do in the dealer space. There has been double digit percentage revenue growth for each of the last five years and we have created an enviable proposition that has seen hundreds of dealers adopt RAC products during that time.
“In a sector where the main warranty providers have little brand recognition, dealers understand not just the value of our market-leading products but also the huge consumer confidence that is generated by being identified with the RAC name.
“Substantial effort has gone into ensuring that the proposition provided to dealers and customers is of a very high quality, reflecting the RAC brand. As an illustration, we have paid out over £9m in claims so far this year alone, which is a substantial figure.
“Importantly, we have also worked hard at developing new and innovative propositions that are meeting the developing needs of the used car market. Our 333 RAC Approved Dealers, for example, have grown from launch five years ago to become the largest non-manufacturer approved used car initiative in the country.”
Rich added that focused effort had ensured that there is complete UK coverage for dealers, with agents across the country.
“We have experts on the ground everywhere who can help dealers with managing queries or discussing the best way to maximise sales. Providing that kind of support is, we believe, absolutely essential and commensurate with RAC brand values.”
Assurant and the RAC were increasingly making inroads not just into independent dealerships, their traditional area of strength, but also into car supermarkets and leading franchise dealer groups, Rich said.
“We have a greater presence in car supermarkets than any other warranty provider and are starting to grow our presence in the franchise dealer space where there is increasing recognition of how the RAC brand can be used alongside the manufacturer’s name. It’s an area of great interest to us for future development.”