Assurant and GE are entering a strategic alliance. Under terms of the deal, Assurant will assume the underwriting, obligor and administrative duties formerly performed by Zurich American Insurance Co., and has acquired certain hard assets from GE. According to GE consumer products GM Kevin Ruppelt, core elements of the agreement include "the continued use of both GE's and Assurant's resources," including the GE and Assurant brands, service delivery networks including GE Factory Service and current customer account management … In other Assurant news, Belgian-Dutch parent company Fortis plans to take its U.S. insurance operations public sometime next year …Aon Warranty Group has expanded its relationship with Whirlpool, and will provide underwriting, marketing and claims administration of its extended service contracts for the majap vendor's brands …A-1 Home Services, a leading provider of in-home delivery, installation and repair services, has forged new relationships with Assurant and Aon. Going forward, Atlanta-based A-1 will market Assurant's extended warranty products, and will repair an expanding array of CE and majaps covered under Aon's warranty products …Warrantech founder/CEO Joel San Antonio wants to take his company private. "Being public places us at a competitive disadvantage," he said, citing upwards of $1 million a year in reporting and associated costs. The move follows a recent inquiry by the SEC into Warrantech's accounting practices.