Aegis Powersports leans on auto experience, industry veterans
With a team that has more than 150 years of combined management and F&I product sales led by industry veterans, Aegis has emerged into the powersports industry with a stronghold in customer service.
Aegis Powersports is the dealer services division of Aegis General Insurance Agency Inc., and although the powersports side has only been around for short time, the company’s parent company has accrued decades of experience. “Even though Aegis Powersports is a brand and fairly new, we’re part of a general agency that’s back even further by Endeavour Capital and a lot of industry veterans,” said Robert Large, vice president of products and marketing at Aegis Powersports.
Aegis’ history with powersports veterans began early with Pat Kilkenny and Bob Kimmel, who formed K2 Investments Services. Aegis Security Insurance Company was purchased by K2, which then formed with a venture capital firm called Endeavour Capital that has been responsible for the majority of Aegis’ financial backing.
Large explains that all of Aegis Powersports’ products are fully insured by the larger Aegis Security Insurance, which was founded in 1997. Also, Large adds that Aegis Security Insurance is licensed in all U.S. jurisdictions and known for its A.M. Best “A” (“excellent”) rate ability to pay claims. “The financial backing is very significant,” he said. “We think that it’s important for people to know that even though Aegis is fairly new for people to hear about, we take the financial backing and the security part of it very seriously.”
In the future, Aegis plans to expand and foresees opportunities to include other states, not just its current offerings in California.
Experienced F&I team
Aegis maintains a different attitude than the typical start-up warranty company because of its company’s extensive backing in both insurance and the powersports industry. Beginning its operations in 2014, Aegis has filled its staff with prominent industry leaders. Troy Billen, assistant vice president of dealer products, and Dana Yorba, inside sales manager, have been key additions to Aegis’ ranks. “On the sales side, both [Billen and Yorba] came out of dealerships; they worked previously as F&I managers,” said Large.
Jeff Kenny, vice president of dealer products, added that both Billen and Yorba have spent over a decade in the service contract space: “Dana was born basically into a dealership, and Troy’s father owned a dealership, so they’ve both got lifelong experience that they’ve brought to the company.”
In addition to its experienced sales team, Aegis also hired Connie and Greg Page on the claims side. Connie’s father, Eugene Theissen, is currently applying to be an inductee into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame for holding a land speed record back on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and the couple was actually married on a pair of PWCs. “The connection of the team here to the powersports space is a little bit unique in my mind,” said Large. “You’ve got people who were born into dealerships, who got married on Jet Skis, whose dads are up for the Hall of Fame induction. To say that they are passionate about powersports would be such an understatement.”
Kenny and Large both agree that it’s critical to hire people who have such experience in their field. “We really focus on what’s going to make it a better experience for the dealer, having people like Troy and Dana that can come in and not only sell the product but can also be there with their experience to coach [the dealership’s] team,” said Large. “Same thing on the claims side — we’ve got service managers talking to Connie and Greg; there’s no learning curve there, and they’re already speaking the same language.”
The communication between Aegis team members and their clients allows the company to maintain a quick turn around on its insurance claims. “Right now we’re paying claims next day at the latest; most are the same day,” said Large. “Our expertise is in exposure management, in pricing products and in paying claims.”
Kenny says that Aegis strives to offer full product coverage at all times. Aegis’ product suite consists of a multitude of coverage options: vehicle service contracts for all powersports products; GAP insurance up to 150 percent of MSRP; priority maintenance for street, off-road and PWC; roadside assistance; touring packages; theft stickers; appearance protection; and DealerArmor business solutions.
Of those options, Kenny notes that all Aegis protection plans are zero deductible or have a zero deductible option. “Our Aegis DealerArmor plan is our primary plan for new vehicles, and it’s been very popular,” he added.
Aegis’ main focus is to give its dealers the peace of mind they guarantee. “If we can make our margins as thin as we feel comfortable with and maximize the profit for the dealer at the point of sale, we think that’s the best thing for the dealer,” said Large. “We said, ‘Let’s invest in people that bring a lot of experience, so that the interaction the dealer has with our team is also a peace of mind made easy experience.’”
Large agrees that the team’s numerous years of experience helps to put dealers at ease and understand that they are good, capable hands: “‘Peace of mind’ is not just maximizing profit; it’s also about maximizing the service level and the experience that the dealer has with us.”