November 21, 2011
Protect Your High-end Black Friday Purchases
Assurant Solutions Ensures Happier Holidays
Atlanta - November 21, 2011 –Before the left-over turkey gets put away and the hot apple cider turns cold, holiday bargain-hunters will grab their lists and begin circling all the door-buster deals, early-bird specials and super-saver steals for holiday gift buying. The shopping frenzy known as Black Friday will lure an estimated 152 million people to retail stores and online merchants, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
This year's list of must-have items includes tablets, laptop computers, mobile devices, game systems and flat screen televisions, with consumers projected to spend an average of $515 on these and other gifts for family and friends, according to the NRF. But the joy of giving these trendy gizmos can soon be dampened by the disappointment of something going wrong – a missing part here, a broken screen there, a malfunctioning function.
That may be why Consumer Reports recently suggested that there are times when extended service plans really make sense. In its August 2011 issue, the consumer product rating guide highlighted several reasons why consumers should protect their electronics and appliances beyond the manufacturer's warranty. Based on a survey of more than 27,000 subscribers, the magazine found that product warranties tend to cover less and less; in fact, most warranties only cover parts for one year and labor for just 90 days. Consumer Reports also found that appliances most often break within two to three years after purchase, well after the manufacturer's warranty has expired.
Just ask Yolanda Crenshaw. The Carson, Calif., resident was "left in the dark" when her flat screen television went out shortly after the manufacturer's warranty expired, leaving her with no choice but to buy a new TV. She purchased her second flat screen TV along with an extended service plan in case it would need repair.
When her TV stopped working in June 2011, Crenshaw called the toll-free number for her Assurant Solutions service contract. The next afternoon, a service technician came to her home, replaced the main board and repaired the malfunction.
"It was like 'No problem, we can help you' and bam!" Crenshaw said of the prompt resolution. "They serviced my TV and got me on my way."
Assurant Solutions, a global provider of extended service contracts, issues customized policies for consumer electronics, appliances, jewelry and other products well beyond the manufacturer's warranty. The policies provide millions of customers such as Crenshaw with the assurance of knowing their products can be repaired or replaced.
"When people invest their hard-earned money in a nice gift for themselves or someone else, they really can't afford to take a chance on whether it will last," said Joe Erdeman, president of extended protection solutions at Assurant Solutions. "The peace of mind of knowing that you're protected is priceless."
This holiday season, Crenshaw plans to purchase another flat screen TV as a gift for a family member but says the service plan will be her gift to herself.
"I'm hooked on buying the service plan, because it's worth it," she said. "It's a load off your mind not to worry."
To learn about extended service contracts, visit http://www.assurantsolutions.com/extendedprotection.
Assurant Solutions businesses develop, underwrite, market and administer specialty insurance, extended service contracts and other risk management solutions through collaborative relationships with leading financial institutions, retailers, automobile dealers, funeral homes, manufacturers, wireless carriers and other entities. With operations in 25 locations, including executive offices in Atlanta, Assurant Solutions serves clients and their customers in 12 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. www.assurantsolutions.com
Assurant Solutions is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specializes insurance products and related services in North America and worldwide markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. www.assurant.com.
Vice President, Corporate Communications