Ally Financial Inc. moved closer to repaying its government bailout as the lender reached agreement with creditors of its bankrupt mortgage unit.
Bloomberg reported that while financial terms of the accord weren’t included in a statement from Ally, the company said it will be insulated from private claims against its Residential Capital LLC mortgage arm, once ranked among of the largest originators of subprime mortgages. The sum will be kept confidential until next week when debtors are expected to formally support the plan in court, Ally said.
ResCap’s bankruptcy has been one of the biggest sticking points as Ally seeks to sell shares to the public and pay back a $17.2 billion bailout received during the global credit crisis. Ally CEO Michael Carpenter has been selling assets to raise money and reiterated this month that an initial stock offering would be the best option.
The accord is “a seminal moment for Ally” that will “put the issues related to the mortgage industry behind us,” Carpenter said in the statement. The company will be free to concentrate on auto finance, where Ally said last year it was ranked No. 1 in combined sales and leasing, and its online bank.
If approved, the agreement may head off the possibility that Ally must pay billions more than it budgeted to settle ResCap’s debts, including those tied to bad mortgage bonds. ResCap filed for bankruptcy last year as defaults soared and investors demanded refunds.
Providing RV insurance to consumers and dealers has always been a specialized niche in the insurance business.
But Brown & Brown Inc. of Columbia, Ky., is determined to position itself as a one of the nation’s leading providers of specialized insurance coverage for consumers and RV dealers through its Reed Brothers subsidiary. And it greatly enhanced its ability to serve the RV marketplace in December in acquiring Orlando, Fla.-based Gilbert RV Insurance, Inc. and RV America Insurance Marketing Inc. of Simi Valley, Calif.
“We feel positive about the future of the RV business,” said Mike Neal, executive vice president of Brown & Brown of Kentucky. “We’re hoping it has seen its hardest economic times. We feel like there is a lot of growth potential.”
Neal founded Reed Brothers in 1990 and specialized in the RV insurance business, along with manufactured housing and power sports vehicles. After selling Reed Brothers to Brown & Brown of Kentucky in August of 2008, Neal stayed with the company and continued to expand Reed Brothers’ presence in the RV insurance business.
Brown & Brown of Kentucky is a subsidiary of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Brown & Brown Inc., a publicly traded company considered the sixth largest independent insurance intermediary in the nation.
“We are fortunate in that we have been connected with some great friends in the industry, including big RV dealerships,” Neal said. “We provide all of the commercial products for the dealer: garage liability, property and casualty, workers comp, open lot insurance, employee benefits, health insurance and also insurance for the consumer.”
Neal said Reed Brothers will continue to market RV insurance to dealers and consumers through RV America Insurance Market and Gilbert RV Insurance, taking advantage of their existing brand equity. However, later this year he expects to create a website that will serve as a central marketing hub for all of the Reed Brothers RV insurance products.
“None of the company names will go away,” Neal said. “But what the customer will see from us is better service because we’re able to have the manpower to more efficiently serve our customers.”
Neal said that Reed Brothers’ latest acquisitions give the company greater geographic reach and an ability to better serve customers on both coasts. “We will focus on geographic synergies and efficiencies that result from these acquisitions,” he said. “We now have 12 national road reps. We’re going to be able to help each other and work as teams.” And with its acquisitions of Gilbert RV Insurance and RV America Insurance Marketing, Reed Brothers will significantly expand its presence in the RV insurance business.
Founded in 1992 by Alan and Teresa Gilbert, Gilbert RV Insurance provides property and casualty insurance products and warranty products for recreational vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and other power sport vehicles. Gilbert RV Insurance has combined annual revenues of approximately $2.4 million.
“My wife Teresa and I are very excited about the acquisition of Gilbert RV Insurance into the Brown and Brown family,” Alan Gilbert said. “The growth of Brown & Brown over the last 25 years has been remarkable, and I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
RV America Insurance Marketing was founded in 1999. The company provides personal lines property and casualty insurance products for recreational vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and other power sport vehicles. The company also provides other types of personal lines insurance coverage through its affiliate, Let’s Talk Insurance.
RV America Insurance Marketing has combined annual revenues of approximately $3.7 million. Steve Freedman and his team at RV America will continue to operate from their existing Simi Valley, Calif., location.
Brown & Brown Inc. announced it has acquired Gilbert RV Insurance Inc., according to a press release. The move follows the company’s recent acquisition of RV America Insurance Marketing Inc.
Founded in 1992, Gilbert RV Insurance provides property and casualty insurance products and warranty products for recreational vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and other power sport vehicles. Gilbert RV Insurance has combined annual revenues of approximately $2.4 million. As part of this transaction, Gilbert RV Insurance’s operations will operate as a branch location of Brown & Brown’s recreational vehicle division under the leadership of Mike Neal.
“Over the past 20 years, Alan and Teresa Gilbert have built an agency with a national presence offering personal lines insurance coverage for RVs, motorcycles and other recreational and power sport vehicles and equipment,” said J. Scott Penny, regional president and chief acquisitions officer who is responsible for Brown & Brown of Kentucky’s retail operations. “The acquisition of Gilbert RV Insurance, along with our prior acquisitions of RV America and Reed Brothers, allows Brown & Brown’s recreational vehicle division to become the preeminent supplier of personal lines and commercial insurance products to the RV, auto, marine and power sport industries.”
Alan Gilbert stated, “My wife Teresa and I are very excited about the acquisition of Gilbert RV Insurance into the Brown and Brown family. The growth of Brown & Brown over the last 25 years has been remarkable, and I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
RLI Corp. announced today (Dec. 3) a new partnership with Recreation Insurance Specialists (RIS), a specialty recreation vehicle insurance agency, that will allow RLI to underwrite RV insurance for RIS. RLI has hired Eric Raudins to manage the new product line as assistant vice president, underwriting.
RLI will write liability and physical damage coverage for motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers. Policies are currently available through RIS and their independent agent partners.
“The RV insurance market has great potential for growth,” said RLI Insurance Company President & COO Michael J. Stone. “RLI’s underwriting discipline and financial strength will enable RIS to provide their customers with outstanding coverage and service. Under Eric’s leadership, we look forward to successfully establishing a strong presence in this new market.”
Raudins has more than 20 years of insurance industry experience.
For more information visit www.blueskyrvinsurance.com or call (866) 484-2583.
Interstate StarRV, a service provider of RV F&I products backed by Interstate National Dealer Services and its umbrella company Interstate National Corp., announced it will offer warranty coverage to dealers for unsold RVs manufactured by Carriage Inc.
“The unfortunate closing of Carriage has left almost 1,000 RV units on dealers’ lots without manufacturer’s warranty coverage and would be sold ‘as is’ to the buyers,” Ricky Wolfe, Interstate National CMO said in a press release. “This is unacceptable, and Interstate StarRV wants to provide peace of mind for these dealers and agents as well as their customers by offering a premier warranty product when purchased.”
This is the third time StarRV has offered warranty coverage on RV units whose manufacturers have become a victim of the economic downfall. This coverage will consist of one-year structural and up to seven years of non-structural coverage to begin at the time of the sale.
Interstate StarRV will offer coverage that includes roof, floor, sidewalls and front/rear caps with no deductible on repairs, which can be made at any licensed repair facility in the U.S. and Canada. This is also a transferable warranty product.
“This is a unique product specifically geared towards Carriage products that begins at the time of sale, not after the manufacturer’s warranty ends,” said Kurt Harbeke, StarRV national sales manager. “Besides the exclusionary coverage offered, Carriage owners will enjoy 24/7 RV tech support and concierge service, travel expense, food spoilage, air transportation, pet benefits and many more benefits that hundreds of thousands of StarRV customers have enjoyed for over 35 years.”
For more information visit www.InterstateNational.com or contact Harbeke at 678-358-2170 or KurtHarbeke@inds.com.
American Guardian Warranty Services Inc., a leading provider of extended repair protection for auto and RV dealers and marketers across the U.S. and Canada, recently announced the release of its dealer commission advance program.
According to a press release, dealers can receive advanced commissions up front when they contract with American Guardian (AG) to offer the Glen Ellyn, Ill.-based company’s extended protection products.
Eligible products Include: vehicle service contracts, GAP, appearance protection products, tire and wheel protection, bi-weekly payment plans and roadside assistance plans.
“The addition of the AG funding program for dealers is another way that we are looking to support our dealership partners in growing their business profitability,” said Jon A. Anderson, senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Our products and services have provided that since 1998. Now we can partner with the dealership with cash up front.”
For more information contact American Guardian Warranty Services at 1-800-579-2233 ext. 4123 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RV America, one of the largest RV insurance agency in the U.S., announced that Jacob Richardson has joined the management team.
According to a press release, Richardson will report directly to the president and owner, Steve Freedman. RV America’s team of nine sales representatives will report to Richardson.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Steve’s organization,” explained Richardson. “Steve and RV America have a stellar reputation. It’s exciting to work for the leader in the industry and grow its newest business, extended service contracts.”
Prior to RV America, Richardson served as the national sales manager for Interstate National Dealer Services for 15 years. At Interstate National, Richardson was responsible for managing the company’s independent sales force consisting of over 100 representatives across the country.
“We’re making extended service contracts a bigger part of our business and needed an expert like Jacob to lead our team,” said Freedman. “Service Star, RV America’s service contract business, has quickly attracted RV, Powersport, and Marine dealers across the country. We need a powerhouse like Jacob to meet with RV dealers and explain how RV America’s Service Star extended service contracts provide the coverage and service their customers want.”
Today’s VIDEO #2 comes courtesy of GEICO and promotes its RV insurance.