"Companies are reaching out to consumers and saying, 'We can help you. We understand your concerns.' It's basically become a cascade."
It started with leading carmakers stepping up to help out if you became unemployed after you drove off the lot. Now, homebuilders are promising to cover the mortgage.
Virgin Mobile U-S-A will cover your cell charges while you look for work.
And if you're a patient of Walgreens in-store clinics and lose your job, you can get free healthcare for most of their tests. Not surprisingly, patients love the idea, saying it provides some peace of mind in the uncertain economy.
Clothing store Joseph A Bank recently offered the risk-free suit: buy one for $199 and if you find yourself unemployed, you'll get your money back and get to keep the suit!
Look for travel and leisure deals, too. One NBA team is offering season ticketholders refunds for any unused seats if they lose their job. And Jetblue's doing what it can to get you to take off in these troubled times.
"If you book air travel with Jetblue or one of our Jetblue getaway vacation packages and you lose your job, we'll refund your money," says Jetblue's Noreen Courtney-Wilds.
Silverstein says, as always, you have to be a savvy shopper.
"There is a buyer beware. You really do have to read the fine print. You do have to understand what the terms and conditions are."
He says most deals have deadlines and specific requirements and you'll have to provide proof of your layoff. Overall, he says the trend is aimed at helping both consumers and businesses survive tight times.
"It's about going into a community. It's about making a tight connection."
An example that the offers can be good news for businesses: Hyundai says its assurance program led to a 10% jump in car sales.