America's Advocate for
Vehicle Protection Plans

Journalist FAQ

Who does the VPA serve?

As a not-for-profit trade association, the VPA serves multiple constituencies. Our primary constituents are our members – industry players that rely on the VPA to improve transparency, accountability and integrity in the delivery of automotive service contracts to the marketplace.

The VPA also serves consumers through various efforts to protect and educate vehicle service contract buyers and owners. By equipping consumers with information and resources, we give them the tools they need to navigate the buying process and identify ethical service contract providers.

Finally, the VPA is a leading resource for regulators and other industry stakeholders. We routinely engage in collaborative information sharing with organizations and agencies that share our mission to promote fair business practices in the automotive service contract field.

Why is self-regulation important in the automotive service contract industry?

In the past, the actions of a handful of unethical service contract providers gave a black eye to the entire independent vehicle service contract industry. Although the majority of service contract providers complied with regulations prohibiting certain methods of contacting prospects and other illegal marketing practices, the industry suffered from a lack of accountability and uniform business standards.
The VPA was created to act as a self-regulating resource for businesses throughout the industry. Despite the fact that federal and state regulations are important enforcement mechanisms, we believe that self-regulatory measures that go beyond these governmental regulations are the best way to promote integrity in the industry and to encourage the implementation of measures that exceed regulatory requirements.

How does the VPA benefit consumers?

By tirelessly advocating for fair business practices in the sale and delivery of automotive service contracts, the VPA provides a valuable benefit for anyone interested in protecting their investment in their car or truck.

VPA member organizations are required to comply with our Standards of Conduct, an ethical code that protects consumers from deceptive advertising and other marketplace hazards. VPA certified companies voluntarily submit to an exhaustive, third-party review process, assuring consumers that their service contract provider meets or exceeds applicable federal and/or state regulations.

What types of organizations are VPA members?

VPA members represent a broad cross-section of stakeholders in the vehicle service contract industry. Our membership currently includes service contract marketers, administrators, payment processing companies, insurers, and software providers – all of whom are invested in our mission to promote fair and ethical standards throughout the industry.

The VPA routinely provides our members with regulatory updates and other resources designed to improve their ability to serve consumers. We also offer guidance in the area of industry best practices to help our members streamline their operations.

How has the VPA changed the vehicle service contract industry?

Since its inception, the VPA has been a leader in efforts to reform the automotive service contract industry. Our initiatives have dramatically improved accountability and integrity among service contract providers, and delivered a vastly better buying experience for consumers.

For example, the Missouri Attorney General’s office reports that industry consumer complaints dropped from the #1 slot in 2009 to #10 in 2010. These findings are consistent with trends that VPA members are reporting throughout the nation, largely attributable to the adoption of VPA Standards of Conduct by a large number of industry stakeholders.

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