With most of the East Coast of the United States still recovering from the recent “Snowpocalypse” that hit in late January, now is a good time to take a closer look at how F&I can help consumers protect themselves against the hazards that come with extreme weather.
Considering that parts of the country were ringing in the New Year with more than 20 inches of snow, it is a good bet that road hazards – and the problems they cause – will ensue. Potholes, caused by the combination of cold and salt, are some of the biggest offenders for motorists in winter. A pothole can cause damage to cars’ tires and rims, and leave consumers stuck with the expense of replacing parts they weren’t anticipating.
F&I has a solution for that problem: Tire & Wheel coverage. It’s common for consumers to believe that if they are careful drivers they won’t need it, but winter brings problems no driver can avoid. With snow on the ground, it can be impossible to see a pothole before hitting it. While small holes might not cause much damage, large holes – and multiple potholes – can and will create problems.
Exterior Repair can also help consumers defray the costs of winter-related damage. People who live in an area where ice is an issue know they will be driving on salted roads at some point, and while that salt does a great job of helping motorists retain traction, it also does a great job of harming a car’s finish over time. This is an opportunity for F&I managers to explain to consumers the costs of fixing these issues — which can happen regardless of how careful a driver they are.
As the weather warms, the snow ceases to be an issue — but that doesn’t mean the vehicle hazards also disappear. Bundles that include Dent & Ding Repair, such as RoadVantage’s Preferred bundles, can be helpful F&I products in the spring months, since along with rainstorms comes the potential for hail.
Ice falling from the sky isn’t the only worry either. Because spring follows the winter months where the salt and snow are slowly eating away at asphalt and other surfaces, often it means more gravel and other small particles on the roads. These sorts of road hazards can wreak havoc on windshields. While the law varies from state to state, it can be illegal to drive with a compromised windshield, in addition to making it more dangerous.
While the summer months typically do see a reduction in direct weather hazards, summer comes with its own set of problems. The kids are out of school and many families use this time to take vacations, going on road trips for hundreds, or even thousands, of miles.
It always seems to be these times – on the road, far from home – that the car suddenly breaks down or we lose our keys. Picture this: a family of five, three of them children under the age of 10, stranded in the middle of nowhere on the way to Disney World.
F&I products can come to the rescue for this seasonal trouble as well with Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage and Key Replacement. It is again easy for consumers to shrug off the need for these products, claiming they’ll never use them, but the fact is, no one expects to break down or lose their keys. Summer vacation isn’t the only time it can happen, but it is a particularly bad time to suddenly have a problem crop up.
Seasonal weather brings problems no individual can plan for. We can be as vigilant as can be, but there is no way to predict where the next pothole might form, or exactly when a hail storm might hit, or how the car will break. F&I products aren’t there to protect from the predictable. They are designed to help consumers protect themselves from the hazards they can’t plan for, and to defray the costs of those problems before they can even occur. For F&I managers — especially those in areas hard-hit by major storms or weather patterns — it’s key to make sure consumers understand just how much damage weather can do, and how they can protect themselves by being proactive.
This post was written by: Garret Lacour, CEO RoadVantage
Published: February 4, 2016
Original Source: http://roadvantage.com/2017/10/03/protecting-against-the-elements/