Last post on Sep 16, 2009 at 10:47 AM
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#50 of 68 ...it's VERY simple.
Mar 23, 2007 (2:02 pm)
...avoid all RRG's at all costs. They might be cheaper, they might even offer some unbeatable programs, but make sure ANY warranty you purchase is from an actual Insurance Company.
There are a few companies out there, like www.AutoWarrantyBroker.com that offer extended warranties from actual A-rated Insurance companies, and nothing to do with RRG's.
#51 of 68 Re: ...it's VERY simple. [k3n]
Mar 24, 2007 (6:36 pm)
Thank you for your advice.
I am in the end strong enough not falling into the RRG trap. I selected AAA member care. The insurance comp. behind the program is not RRG. They are certainly not cheap, but I feel confident that my claims in the future will be granted. If anyone needs more info. please let me know. Or you can check out www.corpmsc.com
#52 of 68 Re: ...it's VERY simple. [k3n]
May 14, 2007 (4:37 am)
I am thinking of going with this company(Auto Warranty Broker). They are DIRECTLY INSURED byan insurance company - American Mercury Insurance Group.
Anyone have any info on this company? They offer 2 lines of coverage:
American Mercury Silver
Extra Care - Freedom Coverage Best Value
American Mercury Platinum
Bumper to Bumper True Exclusionary Coverage
is it worth the extra $200 to get the bumper to bumper?
#53 of 68 Re: ...it's VERY simple. [lsg1]
May 14, 2007 (9:20 am)
Sure, it's 'bumper to bumper'! Except...
From Mercury's sample contract:
SECTION III. WHAT IS NOT COVERED
NOT ALL COMPONENTS OF YOUR VEHICLE ARE COVERED BY THIS CONTRACT. ONLY THE COMPONENTS LISTED IN “SECTION II WHAT THIS CONTRACT COVERS” ARE COVERED BY THIS CONTRACT. THE COMPONENTS AND CONDITIONS LISTED BELOW ARE SPECIFICALLY NOT COVERED BY THE TERMS OF THIS CONTRACT.
1. THIS CONTRACT DOES NOT COVER ANY REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT OF COMPONENTS THAT ARE RECOMMENDED OR REQUIRED SOLELY BY THE ENACTMENT OF ANY LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL LAW, RULE OR REGULATION.
2. THE FOLLOWING COMPONENTS ARE SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED: AUDIO SPEAKERS; BATTERIES; BODY PANELS; BODY SEALS; BUMPERS; CABLES; CARPETING; CHASSIS; CLAMPS; FASTENERS ( I.E. , NUTS, BOLTS, CLIPS, ETC. UNLESS REQUIRED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A COVERED REPAIR); CONVERTIBLE TOPS AND THEIR MECHANISMS; EXHAUST AND EMISSION SYSTEM COMPONENTS; GASOLINE FUEL INJECTORS THAT DO NOT HAVE AN ELECTRICAL FAILURE; GLASS; INSULATION; HOSES; LINES AND FITTINGS (EXCEPT BRAKE LINES AND FITTINGS); MIRRORS; MANUAL CLUTCH COMPONENTS; PAINT; PASSENGER RESTRAINT SYSTEM; SEATS; SECONDARY IGNITION COMPONENTS; SOFT TRIM/MOLDINGS OR APPEARANCE ITEMS; SUSPENSION SPRINGS; TELEPHONES; TORSION BARS; UPHOLSTERY; WEATHER STRIPPING; WHEEL LUG NUTS/STUDS; WHEELS; WHEEL COVERS; INTERNET COMPUTER; NAVIGATION SYSTEM; VIDEO COMPONENTS; HEADSUP DISPLAY, AND NIGHT VISION SYSTEMS.
3. THIS CONTRACT SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES: NORMAL MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE ITEMS; ALIGNMENTS; ADJUSTMENTS; CALIBRATIONS; CLEANING; NON-PUBLISHED DIAGNOSTIC LABOR; FILTERS/FLUIDS/LUBRICANTS/REFRIGERANTS (EXCEPT IN CONJUNCTION WITH A COVERED REPAIR); A/C ACCUMULATOR/DRIER (EXCEPT IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMPRESSOR REPLACEMENT); FUSES; LIGHTS/BULBS/LENSES; SHOP SUPPLIES; ENVIRONMENTAL DISPOSAL CHARGES; WEAR ITEMS; ACCESSORY DRIVE BELTS; BRAKE PADS AND SHOES; BRAKE DRUMS AND ROTORS; SHOCK ABSORBERS; STRUTS; TIMING BELTS THAT ARE WORN OR STRETCHED, AND WIPER BLADES.
4. THIS CONTRACT DOES NOT COVER ANY COMPONENT NOT SUPPLIED AS ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.
5. IN NO EVENT WILL WE COVER ANY MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN OR DAMAGE:
A. CAUSED BY RUST, CORROSION, OXIDATION, CONTAMINATION, SLUDGE, OR RESTRICTED OIL PASSAGES;
B. CAUSED BY IMPROPER AMOUNTS OR IMPROPER TYPES OF LUBRICANTS, COOLANTS, REFRIGERANTS OR FILTERS;
C. IF PRIOR AUTHORIZATION IS NOT GIVEN BY US PRIOR TO REPAIRS BEING PERFORMED (SEE CONDITIONS OF COVERAGE);
D. RESULTING FROM MISUSE OF, ALTERATION OF, TAMPERING WITH, DISCONNECTION OF, MISCHIEF OR VANDALISM TO, THE VEHICLE OR ANY OF ITS COMPONENTS, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM COLLISION, ACCIDENTS, WATER, FIRE, FREEZING, ACTS OF GOD, OR THEFT;
E. IF MAINTENANCE RECORDS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BY US BUT CANNOT BE PRODUCED OR VERIFIED;
F. THAT EXISTS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CONTRACT, THAT OCCURS OR IS REPORTED AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THIS CONTRACT, OR THAT OCCURS DURING THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY PERIOD, OR A REPAIRER’S GUARANTEE, OR A PARTS WARRANTY;
G. IF YOUR VEHICLE’S ODOMETER IS INOPERATIVE, HAS EVER BEEN ALTERED OR TAMPERED WITH, OR THE ACTUAL ACCUMULATED MILEAGE CANNOT BE DETERMINED.
H. DUE TO CONTINUED OPERATION OF YOUR VEHICLE, OR FAILURE TO USE REASONABLE MEANS TO PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE FROM FURTHER DAMAGE, AFTER A FAILURE OCCURS (SEE CONDITIONS OF COVERAGE);
I. CAUSED BY ENGINE OVERHEATING DUE TO FAILURE OF A NONCOVERED COMPONENT.
6. IN NO EVENT WILL WE COVER ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
A. ANY RESULTING OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE TO A NON-COVERED COMPONENT, OR CAUSED BY, A NON-COVERED COMPONENT;
B. ANY CHARGES, COSTS, EXPENSE, INCONVENIENCE, LOSS OF TIME, LOSS OF INCOME OR ANY OTHER CONSEQUENTIAL LOSSES ARISING FROM A MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN NOT SPECIFICALLY COVERED BY THIS CONTRACT, OR ANY OTHER EXPENSES YOU INCUR NOT SPECIFICALLY COVERED BY THIS CONTRACT;
C. IF YOUR VEHICLE IS USED FOR, EQUIPPED FOR OR IDENTIFIED AS A:SNOW PLOW, RACING, EMERGENCY, DELIVERY VEHICLE, OR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE (LIMITED COMMERCIAL USE IS AVAILABLE ONLY IF THE PROPER SURCHARGE HAS BEEN PAID);
D. GRINDING OF VALVES OR OTHER COMPONENT REPAIRS TO IMPROVE COMPRESSION OR CORRECT OIL CONSUMPTION WHEN A DEFINED MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN HAS NOT OCCURRED;
E. ANY MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN IF ANY ALTERATIONS OR MODIFICATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE TO YOUR VEHICLE, OR YOU ARE USING OR HAVE USED YOUR VEHICLE IN A MANNER NOT RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: THE FAILURE OF ANY CUSTOM OR ADD-ON PART, ALL FRAME OR SUSPENSION MODIFICATIONS, LIFT KITS, OVERSIZED TIRES, HD TRAILER HITCHES, EMISSIONS AND/OR EXHAUST SYSTEMS MODIFICATIONS, ENGINE MODIFICATIONS, ENGINE OVER-REVVING, OR IMPROPER SHIFTING. IN THE SITUATIONS COVERED BY 5.E., 5.G., 6.C. AND 6.E ABOVE, OR IN THE EVENT YOUR VEHICLE IS REPOSSESSED OR HAS EVER BEEN DECLARED A TOTAL LOSS, SALVAGE OR REBUILT, WE MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT. ALSO, SEE THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN “SECTION V. GENERAL PROVISIONS, SUBSECTION I. CANCELLATION.”
And, in case you didn't notice. American Mercury Warranty is 'insured' by American Mercury Insurance Group. Maybe they're related...
#54 of 68 Re: ...it's VERY simple. [lsg1]
Jun 09, 2007 (10:49 am)
Avoid all of these like the plague. See my other post regarding API (Automotive Professionals Inc), IWS (Intercontinental Warranty Services) and Marathon Financial (their RRG).
API has stiffed thousands of customers on GPR claims as well as service claims.
#55 of 68 whats the difference?
Sep 28, 2007 (6:33 am)
whats the difference between a risk retention group and not one, and what types of other insurance companies are there?
#56 of 68 Re: whats the difference? [styles34]
Sep 28, 2007 (7:43 am)
Its a long read but worth it.
Service Contracts and Risk Retention Groups
Never in history has the non-factory vehicle service contract ("Extended Warranty") industry been in such poor financial shape and poised for a major service contract provider and/or insurer insolvency.
With the service contract industry's loss ratio approximating 185% in 2001 and faced with the prospect of continued losses in the future, many major insurers of vehicle service contracts (those Rated A+ X or higher by A.M. Best) have discontinued offering insurance coverage for extended warranty companies. This pull back by such well-known and financially secure insurers as Travelers Insurance Group has forced many extended warranty companies to move their service contract business to Risk Retention Groups or even "off-shore" reinsurance companies.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to face our industry today is the use of Risk Retention Groups to provide "insurance" coverage for service contract business. The migration by extended warranty companies to Risk Retention Groups can be driven by numerous factors, such as:
Lack of insurance coverage available in the market from the major domestic insurers.
Ease of establishing a Risk Retention Group - requires filing in only one state and a minimum of capital investment (usually $500,000 or less).
Desire by some to avoid regulatory oversight of their service contract insurance and business transactions.
The lack of supervision, regulatory audits and oversight requirements for Risk Retention Groups.
Get rich scheme - write lots of premiums (service contracts), siphon off the money and don't be around when the Risk Retention Group becomes insolvent.
Risk Retention Groups ("RRG's") are federally chartered and are not required to undergo the scrutiny of insurance regulators in each of the states in which they do business. There is little or no oversight of Risk Retention Groups by any Federal agency and relatively little, if any, checks and balances from state regulators to insure that RRG's comply with sound insurance and/or business practices. There is no "Guaranty Fund" or other safety net for dealers or contract holders in the event a RRG becomes insolvent.
Risk Retention Groups can be established with very little capital ($500,000 or less). Because of their size many RRG's lack the sophisticated staff/professionals (risk managers, actuaries, underwriters, etc.) necessary to ensure that adequate funds are being placed in reserves to pay for future claims. The lack of experienced staff combined with an almost manic desire to grow business has resulted in some RRG's allowing their agents to sell extended service contracts at inadequate and unsafe rates.
Rapid growth in premium has caused several Risk Retention Groups to be faced with the challenge of controlling growth and setting aside adequate reserves for future losses. Typically, a well-managed insurance company will write premiums in any given year not more than two times their "capital and surplus" base (this is a key measurement used by A.M. Best to measure insurer solvency). Many of the Risk Retention Groups that are insuring extended service contracts are so thinly funded and capitalized that the tremendous premium growth is outstripping their ability to properly insure their policies in the event of a shortfall in loss reserves. In fact, we have seen several Risk Retention Groups resort to not reporting insurance premiums by putting the loss funds in a so-called "Trust" account and treating the premiums as "Excess of Loss" or "Off Balance Sheet Funds" and only reporting an "insurance fee" as actual written premium. Risk Retention Groups that don't report the true premium exposure for which they are liable are not only deceiving the selling agent, automobile dealer and general public, they may also be guilty of a criminal offense.
How bad is it? There are several Risk Retention Groups directly at risk for losses on thousands and, in at least two cases, millions of service contracts written at inadequate rates. Some Risk Retention Groups try to disguise their lack of capital and surplus and/or solvency by claiming to have "Reinsurance" coverage. However, on close scrutiny the "Reinsurance" coverage is either non-existent or only a simple excess of loss coverage for a very small part of the Risk Retention Groups' ultimate loss exposure. EXAMPLE: One well known RRG who insures service contracts brags on their web site about having written over $210 million in gross premium. When you examine their audited financials, these funds do not appear and they had less than $1.7 million in capital and surplus at 12/31/01. Their web site would also lead you to believe that all their service contracts are reinsured by a large highly rated reinsurer but when you read the audit information you find there is very little reinsurance coverage.
For those Risk Retention Groups who continue to insure service contracts at inadequate rates, they will continue to have to pay losses on yesterday's contracts with today's premium. Their loss experience will continue to deteriorate and the reversal of cash flow will have a disastrous effect.
Unless a miracle happens in the next twelve months, there will be at least one, and maybe more, major Risk Retention Group insolvency. It is likely that these insolvencies will cause the failure of several large Extended Warranty companies.
This booklet is designed to make automobile dealers and service contract agents aware:
That insurer insolvencies can occur, especially when service contracts are insured through a poorly capitalized Risk Retention Group;
That insolvencies hurt the dealer's and agent's business, their customers and impact his/her profitability;
What some of the risks are to dealers and agents who sell service contracts insured by thinly capitalized Risk Retention Groups and/or "Offshore" Reinsurers;
That there are simple and easy methods to determine which insurers are most likely to become insolvent.
Webster's Dictionary defines insolvency as "unable to pay debts." For an "Extended Warranty" company, Risk Retention Group or "Offshore" Reinsurer this normally means that their liabilities exceed their assets. An insurer may be insolvent and still in business - if it can defer paying its debts. A common practice found with insurers who have eventually become insolvent is that they pay claims on contracts or policies sold in prior time periods with premium received from the sale of today's contracts or policies. Deferring debts in this fashion is a short-lived strategy because it compounds eventual losses and when current premium sales level off or drop there are insufficient funds with which to pay losses. Without the infusion of new capital or a major turn to profitability through rate increases, the insurer will almost certainly become insolvent.
INSOLVENCIES OCCUR - HISTORY
#57 of 68 Re: Warranty America LLC [lampadephoria]
Nov 02, 2007 (4:40 am)
I've had Great transactions with AA Auto Warranty in the past, and one of my policies is with Warranty America. I've had Great service with Both AA Auto Warranty, and Warranty America. Also, I think your info on the insurance backing is old. According to Warranty America and my contract are now insured by an INS company and NOT a RRG. this is the info I got from Warranty America's web site. "Warranty America has upgraded their insurance coverage from an RRG to direct insurance coverage. The new insurance carrier is First Commercial Insurance Company, 7900 N.W. 155 Street, 2nd Floor, Miami Lakes, FL 33016. Their telephone number is 800-291-7776." Hope this helps out
#58 of 68 Her info wasn't old when she posted...
Nov 02, 2007 (9:59 am)
From Warranty America's website:
EFFECTIVE 11/1/2007 WARRANTY AMERICA, LLC IS NO LONGER INSURED BY CAPITAL ASSURANCE RRG
- See memo below for details
To: ALL WA Producers and Agents
CC: First Commercial Insurance Company
From: Jason Currier, Paul Stratch & Ted Terry
Re: Change in Carrier
Because Capital Assurance Risk Retention Group (CARRG) has asked us and all of their other clients to stop writing new contracts with them, WA has secured a new carrier for our products. We have decided to use an insurance company with substantially greater surplus than CARRG as this will provide greater carrier stability.
WA is financially strong and will continue to administer and pay claims as normal for CARRG customers. WA's agreement with CARRG provided for WA to hold and control all CARRG reserves. CARRG shutting off their phone number should not concern you. We are still here processing and paying claims as normal.
WA's ongoing operation and financial condition are not impacted by CARRG's inability to write new business.
The carrier that we have chosen is First Commercial Insurance Company (FCIC) located at 2300 W. 84th Street, Hialeah, FL 33016. Their contact number is (305) 919-9727. FCIC is over five times larger than CARRG and with size comes financial stability.
Here are some of the details of the change:
1. The insurance company statement will change to list FCIC as the new insurance company.
2. The declaration page will list our new policy #.
3. Two states (OR & UT) will be added to the non-approved list. We will be actively filing to provide those states again in the near future.
4. We will be providing a new Florida program shortly.
5. You will have the ability to sell a low cost product warranty (TracGaurd).
Please call any of us if you have any questions.
Business clients will appreciate that Warranty America has developed a portfolio of fully insured products that are competitively priced and professionally administered. We provide you with all the marketing tools needed to maximize your service contract sales penetration. Through innovation and customization of our programs we can meet any client's "special needs". Warranty America acts as a third party administrator, adjudicating claims for all of our programs "in house", as we believe that is the only way they will get the best attention to detail and service. Our nationwide Marketing Agent network is our most important asset and is always available to assist you.
We can build custom programs upon request, and we are also happy to look at claims administration for other companies that are in need of a quality, reliable, and honest claims administrator.
Please take the time to review the links above to learn more and contact us with any questions.
This does not say current contract holders are covered by the new insurance company. Their repeated assurances that all CARRG claims will be paid make me nervous. Can't think why...
I remember a similar situation a few years back. Something about Warranty Gold rings a bell.