KFS brings resources, increased insurance expertise and opportunity for new product offerings
Boca Raton, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2012) –Intercontinental Warranty Services, Inc. (IWS), a provider of after-market vehicle protection services to credit unions throughout the country, announces the firm will sell certain assets to a Chicago area-based affiliate of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. Current management, led by James H. Hawk, IWS President and Chief Executive Officer, will remain in place.
“We’re excited about this partnership,” said Hawk. “Kingsway clearly supports our mission of offering high-quality, vehicle-protection programs to credit unions while bringing to bear significant insurance resources. Already, IWS and Kingsway have begun implementing a plan to advance key business software, as well as upgrade our technology infrastructure.” IWS is well-known in the credit union community for providing Vehicle Service agreements (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) to their members in conjunction with their auto loans.
Kingsway owns several companies connected with the insurance industry and specializes in helping them build value. Its Chief Executive Officer, Larry G. Swets, Jr., says Kingsway will count on the IWS management team to assure continuity and maintain its relationships with existing credit union clients while continuing to grow its business.
“IWS is a tremendous business with strong credit union ties, and we feel very fortunate that it is joining the Kingsway family,” Swets said. “We believe it has a unique and compelling value proposition that enhances credit unions’ vehicle loan programs. We very much look forward to working closely with the IWS management team in the years to come.”
Hawk says the change of ownership will be essentially transparent to client credit unions, but noticeable enhancements will include a broader product line and greater staff resources, along
with the improved technology.
“Our clients should expect IWS to deliver the same high level of quality they have been accustomed to throughout our history,” he said. “They also will continue to benefit from our solid relationships within the insurance community.”
Those relationships include Assurant Solutions. The A.M. Best “A” rated carrier will continue to underwrite the IWS VSA program, according to Keith Meier, Assurant Solutions’ Senior Vice President and General Manager, Extended Protection Solutions. “For more than five years, Assurant Solutions and IWS have fostered a successful partnership, and we’re pleased to keep working together,” said Meier. “We also are eager to work with Kingsway to help IWS continue delivering superior support and service to credit unions and their members.”
Brad Diericx, Kingsway Executive Vice President and leader of its Insurance Services segment, says he anticipates a long and prosperous relationship with IWS and its management. “Jim and the IWS leadership team have built strong brand awareness among credit unions,” he said. “We will do all we can to support the company’s mission to bring valuable and unique services to credit unions, along with superior customer service to their members.”
Like IWS, Kingsway has been in the insurance business for more than 20 years and maintains strong industry associations. Although the official acquisition is taking place this month, the two companies have already been working on technology upgrades, such as new servers, database and telephone system. Additional improvements will include a redesigned corporate website, with easy-to-use functionality and the ability to reach clients through social networking systems. The company also expects to add to the headcount in areas such as Sales, Training and IT.
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Based in Boca Raton, FL, Intercontinental Warranty Services, Inc. (IWS) is a well-known provider of Vehicle Service Agreements (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and GAP to credit unions nationwide. IWS provides vehicle protection solutions and peace of mind for credit union members that go beyond the actual products to include service after the sale. The company’s proven success in meeting this need is based on its ability to train credit unions to match members with the right product to fit their need. For more information, visit www.iwsgroup.com.
Kingsway is a holding company functioning as a merchant bank with a focus on long-term value creation. The Company owns or controls stakes in several insurance industry assets and utilizes its subsidiaries, 1347 Advisors LLC and 1347 Capital LLC, to pursue opportunities acting as an advisor, an investor and a financier. The common shares of Kingsway are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange and the under the trading symbol “KFS.” For more information, visit www.kingsway-financial.com.