Looking to expand its offerings to North American RV consumers, Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. has launched three insurance-related programs — Winnebago RV Insurance, Winnebago Premium Roadside Assistance and Winnebago Tire & Wheel Protection.
In conjunction with Farm and City Insurance Services (FCIS), Winnebago RV Insurance offers a wide complement of coverage, from RV to personal insurance plans.
The Premium Roadside Assistance and Tire & Wheel Protection plans are being made available in partnership with Coach-Net, a longtime provider of RV protection plans based in Irving, Texas. Benefits include: all-inclusive coverage; 24/7 unlimited road service coverage; 24/7 RV technical assistance hotline; 24/7 physician access; and global emergency services.
All three programs were a year in the making, and Winnebago, headquartered in Forest City, Iowa, believes they are a natural extension of the brand and expansion of the business.
“Obviously we feel this is a viable opportunity for us from both the expansion of our brand, which is very important to us, and also as a new revenue stream,” said Chad Reece, Winnebago’s director of marketing. “We think we’re uniquely positioned as a company and with our brand to bring these things to market, and we want to take advantage of that.”
Winnebago’s brand image will be the attraction, and the lengthy list of services and benefits will speak for themselves, according to Reece.
“We feel that we have the most significant brand in the industry, a brand that resonates within the American and Canadian cultures,” Reece said. “We have this powerful brand that means something to a lot of people, so we’re able to utilize that to branch into areas that are of interest or have some sort of connection to our core business. In this case, the RV insurance is a natural fit. People who utilize RV products, of course, need an insurance provider and who better to serve that than a brand that is so well known.”
Winnebago officially unveiled all three plans last week, passing out marketing materials to consumers at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa. The company will continue to market the program at consumer shows as well as through traditional methods such as print, online advertisements and social media.
Reece said “part of the beauty of this program” is that it’s open to anyone. “Obviously with a Winnebago name on it we think it will be attractive to our owners, but also this is a product that is available to any RVer,” he said.
Among the first consumers to learn of the new programs were current members of the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) Club, the company’s highly active owners group, said Denise Yeager, Winnebago consumer engagement manager. Customers who join or renew their WIT Club membership will also receive a free extension of their membership term as an extra benefit.
Yeager noted that consumers receive Winnebago Roadside Assistance with the purchase of a Winnebago RV, which is not to be confused with Winnebago Premium Roadside Assistance.
“This is a premium product so customers do have the option to buy this product within their first year of having their coach at a discount because it does offer more services and protection. Our hope is that those who have enjoyed the first year of the regular roadside protection program will renew and upgrade to the Premium Roadside Assistance,” Yeager said.
A website for Winnebago RV Insurance, which obtains quotes from four national providers through FCIS, is up and running at www.winnebagorvinsurance.com. All RV brands are eligible for a no-obligation quote.
“We’ve chosen FCIS due to the strength of our long-time relationship and their proven ability to provide RV owners with knowledgeable and impressive customer service,” said Reece. “We’ve also worked with Coach-Net for a number of years. They are services we felt were a good opportunity to provide to our consumers under our brand as well as to consumers in general.”
“We are pleased to join forces with one of the best brand names in the RV industry,” said FCIS President Courtney Wooge. “This new program is an exciting opportunity for FCIS and Winnebago to help thousands of RV owners nationwide.”