Tag Archive | "EFG Companies"

EFG Companies 1st “Administrator of Size” to Provide Dealers with Automatic Claims Approvals through Self-Adjudication Technology

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, announced today the launch of EFG Express Claims, one of the industry’s first claims automation systems enabling dealerships to self-adjudicate claims and receive automatic approvals. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/EFGClaims.

EFG Express Claims automates the claims adjudication process using self-service features within DRIVE, EFG’s client portal. Using EFG Express Claims, dealership service managers have the ability to:

  • search for open contracts on behalf of their customers and see exact coverage levels;
  • open and submit claims;
  • automatically adjudicate and approve claims meeting certain parameters set by dealership management and EFG; and,
  • receive automatic payment by corporate credit card within one hour of claim approval.

“In today’s tight sales environment, dealers are focusing their attention on creating repeat business through the service drive and dealership-wide improvements in customer service,” said John Stephens, Executive Vice President, EFG Companies. “That’s why we developed the EFG Express Claims platform. Think about it from the service manager’s point of view. When a customer does not have their vehicle service contract information, which happens quite often, there is usually a multitude of phone calls and emails to obtain the information, causing delay in both filing the claim and getting the vehicle in the queue for repairs. With EFG Express Claims, the manager can look up all in-force contracts for any given vehicle. They can electronically submit the claim and receive instant approval. The customer is happy because work can begin more quickly. The service manager is happy because they can process the work on the vehicle more quickly and secure payment faster.”

For those claims that fall outside of the parameters for automatic approval, EFG Express Claims reduces the manual process of calling a claims service representative, and repeating all the necessary information for them to enter it into EFG’s system. Instead, the platform submits the claim and populates it within EFG’s internal system for claims processing. This further speeds up the entire process across the board.

“Each year, EFG endeavors to expand the company’s training, protocols, and software solutions in the effort to provide expeditious and high-quality customer service for contract holders and dealership service managers,” said Ken Overly, Vice President, Operations, EFG Companies. “Ninety-six percent of our claims are paid in one hour. We maintain an average 26 second speed to answer, and 67 percent of our total claims are one-call claims. However, no matter how quickly our team can answer calls, fill out claims information, and process the claim, it still takes time to open and close a claim. With EFG Express Claims, we make the process instantaneous in some cases, and drastically cutting claim processing time down for more complicated claims.”

EFG’s claims adjusters maintain an average of 12 years of experience, and are ASE and BenchmarkPortal-certified. Since 2010, EFG has invested more than $17 million in technology resources and IT development, with the goal of making EFG the easiest and most efficient company with which to conduct business. In addition to EFG Express Claims, EFG provides full contract automation, online contract cancellation quotes, online cancellation, a sophisticated skill-based routing system directing complex claims to the best qualified adjuster, and an online Parts Wizard to identify the highest quality parts from suppliers across the nation, at the lowest price, and in real time.

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EFG Companies Launches Enhanced Lifetime Wrap Coverage to Complement Drive Forever Worry Free Limited Lifetime Powertrain Protection

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, today announced the launch of the Drive Forever Worry Free Lifetime Wrap, an enhancement to the company’s market-differentiating limited powertrain protection. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2lUkufY.

The Drive Forever Lifetime Wrap is designed to help dealers close more deals at a higher gross with improved product pricing, expanded eligibility, and an underlying complimentary coverage component.

The wrap is a second coverage upgrade option for dealers to utilize when providing customers with complimentary Drive Forever Worry Free Limited Powertrain Protection. Until now, dealers had the option to upgrade customers to a full vehicle service contract with terms up to 96 months/120,000 miles. The Drive Forever Lifetime Wrap provides expanded coverage options with no mileage or time limits.

With the Drive Forever Lifetime Wrap, cost-conscious consumers will be better able to preserve their vehicle’s value and their savings. Beyond the benefits related to vehicle repairs, the coverage is fully transferrable, further enabling consumers to negotiate beyond just the value of their vehicle at resale.

Drive Forever Worry Free is a limited lifetime powertrain program for dealers to offer complimentary as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. The Drive Forever Lifetime Wrap is a exclusionary coverage that matches the lifetime term of the complimentary product. The coverage upgrade includes roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and a standard $100 deductible for the first three years.

Interest rates are expected to rise three times in 2017 and analysts are predicting lower used-car values as off-lease vehicles enter the market. With an uncertain economic outlook, dealers are looking for programs that create more foot traffic and help to close more deals at a higher margin.

“With dealer profit margins being squeezed in recent years, we’ve taken an in-depth look at how we at EFG can measurably facilitate dealer profitability, and customer retention.” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO of EFG Companies. “In our ongoing contract holder research, we evaluate our protection products with regard to the value perceived by the consumer. In the case of Drive Forever, on average, 82 percent of the time, contract holders rank it as a top 3 reason as to why they chose to purchase from a participating dealer. Based on this extensive research and ongoing feedback from dealers, we created the Lifetime Wrap as a natural extension of a program that provides distinct benefits to both dealers and consumers.”

Beyond the market-differentiating benefits of EFG’s complimentary Drive Forever Worry Free program, dealers have a better opportunity to stay ahead of the competition with an upgrade that gives customers enhanced coverage for the life of their vehicle, not just their loan.

This product gives dealerships an immediate means of capturing market share and increasing profit margins by turning the sales process into a more value-based conversation.

As always, EFG backs this new product offering with its strategic engagement model from an AFIP-certified field team, and a nationally award-winning claims administration team that is ASE-certified and recognized as a Center of Excellence by Benchmark Portal.

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EFG Predicts Tighter Credit, Continued Focus on Compliance for F&I in 2017

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, announced its 2017 predictions and recommendations for the automotive and powersports F&I market today. These insights, formed through thousands of conversations with the nation’s leading dealership principals and lenders, reflect an air of cautiousness for 2017. However, there are many options for retail automotive/powersport dealers, lenders, and F&I agents to successfully navigate an uncertain business climate for a prosperous 2017. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/EFGIntel

“Even though the election is over, we continue to see a murky forecast for the F&I market moving forward,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO, EFG Companies. “Consumers clearly want a new – and at least partially online-buying process. This trend has significant impact for the F&I industry across retail and lending channels. We also expect to see credit tightening on the consumer side and a foreshadowing of reduced auto manufacturer incentives for dealers, which will impact their margins. Finally, we don’t believe federal regulatory oversight will diminish to the level that is being hyped. So, we strongly believe compliance will continue to challenge dealers and lenders. All that being said, we believe that the changes transforming the auto industry will create unique opportunities for dealers and lenders to leverage as they look to expand their business.”

Utilizing its 40-year history in the F&I industry, EFG Companies offers the following predictions for 2017:

Flat Volumes, Compliance, and Customer Retention for Retail Automotive

While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) authority may be up in the air, dealers will need to stay the course on compliance for 2017. Remember, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction over dealers and its operations are not impacted by any potential changes within the CFPB. Analysts are predicting flat unit sales volumes, pushing dealers to maximize their investment by squeezing more profitability out of their F&I operations. Customer retention efforts will increase, prompting dealers to shore up their service drive and fixed operations to deliver the “luxury car” level of service. In addition, an influx of off-lease vehicles will increase used car inventory while putting pressure on pricing. Whether purchasing new or used, the customer will be king in 2017. John Stephens, Executive Vice President, Dealer Services

Return on Investment and Shorter Transaction Times Key for F&I Agents

With retail automotive dealerships feeling increased pressure, F&I agents will also experience a trickle-down effect to clearly demonstrate a return on investment for the F&I products they place at a dealership. Agents will also feel pressure to help dealers shorten transaction time and pivot their operations to support online transactions. Agents will closely monitor their own businesses to keep production levels high and begin focusing more on acquiring new dealership business. Adam Ouart, Vice President, Agency Services

Rising Interest Rates and Portfolio Evaluations Will Challenge Lenders  

Regardless of what happens with the CFPB, lenders will also need to stay the course. You don’t stop treating customers right on the off chance that the government might not see your good behavior. Increasing interest rates will pressure lenders to tighten lending standards and evaluate other options to protect their loan portfolio outside of APR and loan terms. The same can be said for credit unions and other lenders that offer auto loans directly to consumers. I expect more lenders to evaluate how consumer protection products can benefit them from the standpoint of differentiating their institutions from the competition, protecting their loan portfolio, increasing loan volume, and controlling compliance. In addition, dealers will re-evaluate their lender roster, confirming a broad spectrum of partners that specialize in different credit tiers, and help dealers meet their profitability goals. This will put pressure on lenders to evaluate their service model for dealerships and make adjustments to tackle mutual dealer and lender challenges.
Brien Joyce, Vice President, Specialty Services

Growth and Lender Challenges Continue for Powersports Dealers

Although unit sales fell in the second half of 2016, we anticipate volume will pick up in February when early income tax refunds arrive. There will be a slight growth in the powersports market overall in 2017, with dealers putting greater emphasis on increasing aftermarket income through the sale of F&I products. Lenders that remain in the powersports market will want to insulate their loans and may look to offering their own complimentary F&I products. As powersports dealers continue to be starved for lenders, up-to-date technology resources, and committed employees, they will pressure their vendors and product administrators to provide outside the box solutions for these obstacles, such as digital F&I services. Glenice Wilder, Vice President, Powersports

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EFG Companies Launches 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Protection

DALLAS, TX – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, announced today the launch of a 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Protection program for motorcycles. This program is designed to foster increased customer loyalty, referrals, and unit sales by addressing pressing motorcycle consumer needs.

While the powersports industry is currently experiencing a period of year-over-year growth, everyone in the industry has an eye on the horizon for the next economic downturn. Dealers are looking to maximize sales while they last and fortify their operations for the future.

“Today’s customers are already in the mindset of being very careful with where they spend their money, and are looking for the best value for the dollar. This has resulted in an enhanced pre-owned bike market over the last few years,” said Glenice Wilder, the vice president of EFG Companies Powersports Division. “By offering 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Protection, motorcycle dealers have the ability to differentiate their operations, and increase customer loyalty and new customer sales, by providing customers complimentary protection for their bikes.”

The 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Protection is designed to be offered complimentary on thoroughly-inspected, eligible bikes up to 10 years in age with less than 60,000 miles. The product provides coverage for the engine and transmission up to 1,000,000 miles, with towing assistance.

Customers then have the opportunity to enhance the coverage with an extended vehicle service contract, expanding the covered components and providing additional benefits including roadside assistance, rental reimbursement and unlimited number of claims. By upselling customers to the extended coverage, powersports dealers have the ability to increase their profit per unit during a time when every sale counts.

“As our market has grown into a more competitive space, powersports dealers need more than generic customer service promises to differentiate their business,” said Chris McIntyre, the CEO of EagleRider. “A program like the 1,000,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Protection from EFG helps dealers build a stronger brand message around customer service to drive more traffic and customer loyalty.”

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EFG Companies and Northwood University Announce F&I Innovator of the Year Competition Winner

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, together with Northwood University, today announced the selection of Team Vigilance as the winner of the 2016 Innovator of the Year Award competition, and the recipient of $25,000.

Team Vigilance utilized their millennial mindset, ongoing dealership research, and F&I mentor input to create “401Karrs”. The product addresses Millennial and Gen Z concerns around financial security, and delivers on dealership goals around customer retention. In addition to the team’s monetary reward, they will potentially see 401Karrs developed by EFG for market availability. Team Vigilance is made up of three team members:

  • Alec Bond from Lindin, MI
  • Houston Huff from Tuscon, AZ
  • Lucas Myrhe from Austin, TX

“We want to thank all the teachers and mentors from this competition and across Northwood who’ve been a huge inspiration and motivation throughout this project,” said Lucas Myrhe. “With their guidance, we were able to deliver a product that is beneficial to customers and dealerships, increasing dealership profit, retention, and customer satisfaction.”

During the semester-long contest, team members leveraged time spent with their mentor, Craig Drew, the general manager of Central Maine Motors Auto Group in Waterville, ME. “Team Vigilance hit the ground running from day one, and they weren’t afraid to go back to the drawing board. Their dedication and perseverance to create a useful and beneficial product won them this award,” said Drew.

401Karrs – Pairing Evolving Consumer and Dealer Needs

Team Vigilance developed 401Karrs to address a concern among Millennials and Generation Z – financial stability. According to the Federal Reserve, to date, 44.2 million Americans owe nearly $1.26 trillion in student loan debt. In 2016 alone, student loan debt increased by 6 percent. The generations that will soon make up the bulk of the auto retail consumer market are entering adulthood with the largest debt load in history. With 401Karrs, this new generation of car buyers will have a tool to help manage their money by reducing or eliminating their out-of-pocket expense by putting a down payment on a vehicle.

401Karrs is essentially a down-payment savings product. Dealership customers will have the opportunity to add as little as $20 to their monthly payment, which will be used for a down payment on their next vehicle. When they return to the selling dealership to purchase their next vehicle, the dealer will match up to 20 percent of the amount saved, or $1000. In this way, the product acts as a customer retention tool, since they must return to the dealership to take advantage of the match.

The last part of 401Karrs is a reinsurance opportunity. As with vehicle service contracts, dealers can participate in reinsurance on the 401Karrs product, accruing interest on the money set aside for the down payment. This balances out the dealership match and has the potential to generate greater reinsurance profit.

Contest pairs students with F&I industry leaders.

In addition to experienced team mentors, the contest was judged by F&I industry leaders. The eight-member panel brought more than 100 years of F&I expertise from automotive dealerships and corporations from across the country, encompassing all major automotive brands. Several of the judges commented that the student product entries provided a fresh perspective and challenged their thinking about their own dealerships and operations.

“This competition offers students the unique opportunity to take their education beyond the classroom and individual dealership rooftops to create an industry impact,” said Keith Pretty, President and CEO, Northwood University. “Each of the participating students will be able to learn from their experiences from this semester and apply them to their future success as leaders.”

The contest winners were announced on Thursday, December 8, during a ceremony at Northwood University.

F&I Innovator contest designed to boost development, reach consumers

Each year during Northwood’s fall semester, the F&I Innovator of the Year Award competition pits six teams of Northwood undergraduate automotive marketing and management students against one another to conceptualize and build a new F&I product, while earning course credit. EFG and Northwood created the F&I Innovator of the Year competition to stimulate another level of innovation in the F&I space.

“With changing market demographics, increased compliance, and an evolving dealership model, everyone is looking at how the F&I space will evolve in the coming years,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO, EFG Companies. “This competition exemplifies the need to develop new ways of capitalizing on these market changes by taking into account fresh sources of inspiration to meet new demands.”

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EFG Companies Receives Top Client Satisfaction Recognition in National Research Study

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, today released the results of its most recent dealer services client satisfaction study, in which EFG’s net promoter score* ranked higher than Nordstrom, USAA Banking and Insurance, Ritz Carlton, JetBlue, Apple Laptops, Amazon and Netflix.

Among the key findings of EFG’s client satisfaction survey conducted by national research firm Troubadour Research and Consulting, EFG’s performance was rated highest in those areas that are considered the most important among the company’s client base: compliance oversight, engagement, and F&I training. On a scale of one to ten, where ten is the highest for attributes in a given area, dealers ranked EFG as:

  • 6 for account representative engagement;
  • 7 for compliance oversight; and,
  • 2 for F&I training.

Research study participants noted the high quality and depth of EFG’s account service team as one of the company’s greatest strengths, describing EFG as a true partner with “skin in the game” who cares about their account and is focused on maximizing compliant profitability. Training and compliance were deemed as the most critical service provided, along with reinsurance. On a ten point scale, EFG was rated:

  • 98 percent of EFG’s clients stated that EFG representatives are F&I education and compliance leaders.
  • 96 percent of clients regarded EFG overall as an expert of the F&I landscape.
  • 96 percent of dealers stated that EFG understands the performance drivers of their F&I organization.
  • 95 percent believed that EFG has expert knowledge about government regulations and economic trends that affect their business.

“Once again, results were impressive. From our interviews with dealer principals, EFG is universally viewed as a partner, not a vendor,” said Stephanie Vance, Troubadour’s Chief Research Officer.   “This is also reflected in the customer service metrics, which are not only outstanding overall, but are strongest in the areas that are most important to dealers.”

Troubadour Research and Consulting conducts national research with brands such as USAA, JetBlue, Apple and Netflix. In administering EFG’s client satisfaction study, they analyzed qualitative and quantitative metrics from dealer principals, finance managers, general managers, and F&I directors.

“Our partners’ feedback is an invaluable driver in the evolution of our business as we constantly work to provide the most effective engagement at the executive level to directly impact our partners’ profitability and growth,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO, EFG Companies. “We are constantly asking ourselves if there is a better, more proactive way to accomplish our partners’ goals. This requires a commitment to empirically measuring our efforts by soliciting direct, objective input on our effectiveness as a whole.”

In the qualitative analysis, recurring comments from dealer principals said the following about EFG:

“I have a very proactive relationship with my rep and VP. It’s an open door all the way up to John P. Anything we need, EFG is here for us. There’s not one thing I’ve asked for that EFG hasn’t supplied.”

“We don’t want to be the guy on the 10 o’clock news fined for non-compliance. EFG is a good partner in that area. They keep us informed and we don’t finalize a deal until every piece of paperwork has been done perfectly.”

“I would hate to think I had to run these two stores without EFG in the deal. I could do it cheaper, but it doesn’t matter what the rates are. These people are class acts. They’re the kind of people I want to go to dinner with, and just have a real partnership.”

For close to 40 years, EFG has set the example in servicing its clients. EFG is the only product administrator awarded the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence, and the only administrator to be certified as a Center of Excellence by Benchmark Portal – a customer service designation that less than 10% of companies evaluated achieve. EFG’s field team is 100% AFIP-certified and is the only product administrator with a vice president with a Consumer Credit Compliance Certification from the National Automotive Finance Association. The company’s stalwart commitment to superior client engagement is delivered through its proprietary portfolio of products and services that increase penetration, fortify compliance, and drive maximum F&I profitability.

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