Global solutions provider Assurant has announced its acquisition of American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS).

AFAS CEO and founder, Arden Hetland, along with the firm’s management team, will join Assurant when the deal closes.

Assurant and AFAS become closer

Assurant and AFAS have been working together for decades. For over 20 years, Assurant has been the primary provider of vehicle services contracts and related auto products sold by AFAS.

With close to two million vehicle service contracts in-force, AFAS is set to provide greater scale and operating efficiencies. It also has over 200 employees.

AFAS considers itself different from others in the market due to its tenured field force, extensive dealer training programmes, technology platforms and 40 years of experience.

John Laudenslager, president of Assurant Global Automotive, said: “Following our acquisition of The Warranty Group, our agreement to acquire AFAS further underscores our confidence in the long-term growth potential of the global automotive market.

“Having Arden and his team join Assurant gives us the benefit of their years of experience and expertise, which we will count on as we continue to grow the business together.”

Hetland added: “Joining Assurant enables AFAS to benefit from the global expertise, scale and breadth of an industry leader.

“Having partnered with us for so many years, they clearly value our team’s depth of experience and high-touch relationship approach, which are key factors in our shared commitment to servicing clients and growing the business.”

AFAS will retain its brand and continue to operate as a separate direct-to-dealer channel under Assurant Global Automotive, throughout a multi-year transition process.

Assurant starts 2020 slowly

Assurant’s quarterly results were also announced around the deal. In Q1 2020, the firm reported net income of $150m, a 7% decrease year-on-year.

However, net operating income totalled $163.1m in the quarter, which was of 16% compared to the same point in 2019.

“I am exceedingly proud of the dedication and resiliency demonstrated by our more than 14,000 employees across the globe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assurant president and CEO Alan Colberg.

“Our swift response to safeguard our employees, provide continuous support to our customers and assist our local communities demonstrates our core values.”