Assurant Solutions To Drop 20 Group Business

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Assurant Offers Gloomy Outlook For Powersports

Joe Delmont

Joe Delmont

Assurant Solutions, the company that purchased the Lemco 20-Group business several years ago, said today that it is getting out of the 20 group business. At the time, the Lemco 20 Group operation was the largest of its kind in the powersports industry with about 325 participating dealers. Assurant purchased the business from RideNow, a major powersports dealer organization, which had purchased it from founder Ed Lemco.

In a memo to clients today, Jimmy Atkinson, Assurant vice president, said the company plans to “transfer” Assurant’s 20 group business to long-time trainer Gart Sutton.

Sutton’s GSA Best Operators Clubs business will contact the 300 or so members of Assurant’s 20 groups, Atkinson said, to “ensure a smooth transition.”

It’s not clear from the memo what this transition involves for dealers.

The move to GSA is effective June 1, 2009.

GSA also is negotiating to purchase Assurant’s traffic log business, Atkinson said. This deal could close within 60 days, he said.

In a related move, Assurant will close the Denver office on Friday, May 29, Atkinson said. Denver had been the headquarters for the Lemco operation prior to Assurant’s acquisition of the business.

A Gloomy Forecast

In his memo, Atkinson presented a gloomy forecast for the powersports industry. Noting that unit sales this year are down more than 30%, he said that “thousands of dealers will close over the next year.”

Based upon the number of franchised dealers operating in 2008, that’s a closure rate of almost 30%, higher than anything I’ve heard previously.

Atkinson said its Insureco operations will close Aug. 1, 2009, and dealers will have up to 60 days to arrange for replacement services.

Assurant Solutions remains committed to its vehicle service contract business, Atkinson said, adding that the company expects to “participate” in the recovery of this industry.

Dealernews editors are in the process of contacting participating dealers, as well as representatives of GSA and Assurant for details on this important announcement. We’ll provide additional information as we obtain it on this blog and at dealernews.com. For additional details on this story, visit dealernews.comJD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com


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