May 30, 2020

Insurance provider Assurant acquires Texas-based competitor

Assurant, a global insurance provider that furnishes finance-and-insurance products for the automotive industry, has acquired F&I product and training company American Financial & Automotive Services in a $158 million deal.

The move further consolidates the F&I product industry, which has seen notable merger and acquisition activity in the past few years. Assurant acquired The Warranty Group for $2.5 billion in 2018.

The acquisition “further underscores our confidence in the long-term growth potential of the global automotive market,” Assurant Global Automotive President John Laudenslager said in a statement.

American Financial & Automotive Services has 600 franchised dealership clients in 40 states and is servicing 2 million service contracts in the country. The company will lend greater scale and operating efficiencies to its new parent, Assurant said, as well as increase the F&I product company’s reach in Texas. The Houston company has more than 200 employees.

American Financial & Automotive Services “differentiates itself competitively within the auto third-party administrator distribution channel with its tenured field force, extensive dealer training programs, technology platforms and 40 years of industry leadership,” the statement said.

Assurant, with headquarters in New York, has worked with American Financial & Automotive Services underwriting F&I products, including vehicle service contracts for 20 years, the companies said.

American Financial & Automotive Services CEO Arden Hetland will continue to lead the company as a separate direct-to-dealer channel under Assurant Global Automotive during what is expected to be a multiyear consolidation process.

Regarding other acquisition opportunities, Assurant is “consistently evaluating and reviewing opportunities that are a good strategic fit and add scale,” a spokesman said.