Product Enhancement

Every once in awhile, an entrepreneur is so innovative that he changes the game entirely. Curt VandeVorde, president and CEO of cynoSure Financial, Inc., is one of those mavericks. He created an entirely new insurance product that has redefined the way both new and established companies offer their wares.

"There isn't another company in the industry like ours because we are so unique when it comes to product enhancement," VandeVorde tells The Suit. "cynoSure is a company that doesn't do standard property, life and health insurance. We place insurance behind programs that companies use to enhance the value of their products."

VandeVorde started cynoSure by developing an unemployment protection product. His initial market consisted of homebuilders who wanted to encourage sales by offering mortgage protection to potential buyers. If a buyer lost his or her job during the first two years of ownership, his or her mortgage payments would be covered. Similar job-loss protection programs have since been designed for automotive loans and college tuition payments.

As the recession took its toll, cynoSure was called on to create more products for the struggling automotive and financial sectors. "Everyone is looking for ways to help their product sell," VandeVorde says. Working collectively with his staff, clients and various insurance companies, he was able to develop benefits like trade-in protection, price protection, 60-day buyback guarantees, auction fraud protection and warranty extensions for everything from checking accounts to vehicles, homes and appliances. VandeVorde even put together a cavity protection package for a toothbrush manufacturer. 

One of VandeVorde's most notable accomplishments was helping a Silicon Valley startup—an online auction business—develop a fraud protection program. "They wanted to protect the people who traded on their site," VandeVorde says. Today that company enjoys worldwide recognition as the bidding-based powerhouse eBay. "We brainstormed and developed a fraud protection program that allowed eBay buyers assurance that they would get the item they intended to buy, or be able to receive their money back." This critical component for eBay's success had never been seen before, but its success launched cynoSure into new contracts across multiple industries.  

VandeVorde got his start in banking before transitioning to insurance; he branched out on his own in 1994. "The business has grown because we have new and unique ideas," he says. "For eBay, we took something that had never been done before, and we were able to put it together in a relatively short period of time."

In good times and bad, cynoSure helps companies put together packages that appeal to consumers. "When the economy is bad, companies may be struggling to sell their product on a limited budget," VandeVorde explains. "We help them by getting a program together quickly that makes a big statement and helps increase sales immediately. Then when the economy is good, clients come to us because they want to differentiate themselves from their competition."

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