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Extended Auto Warranty Companies Reviewed

#1
10 /10
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Rental car benefits
  • Different levels of coverage
  • Transferrable Warranty
  • Consistently #1 in customer satisfaction
  • 350,000 certified mechanics in US and Canada
(877) 333-3018
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#2
#3

Coverage


  • Length of Extended Auto Warranty:

When it comes to protecting your vehicle, the longer that coverage lasts, the better. This is why you want to have options when it comes to choosing the length of your vehicle. In most cases, the majority of contracts last three to five years. However, it is not uncommon to find plan lengths ranging from 12-months to 7-years.

  • Plan Options:

Just like having the ability to choose the length of your agreement, choosing what is covered is another important factor when deciding between auto warranty companies. There are three basic types of coverage. While each different company may give them a different name, they are broken down in the following ways:

Widely considered the “basic” plan, but a very important one as well. Power train coverage refers to the main components of your vehicle such as the engine, transmission, drive axle, and transfer case. Typically, these are the most expensive repairs, which is why they so greatly need to be covered.

These plans are called stated components because they state each part and accessory that is listed for coverage.  Common parts can include everything that was listed in the previous level of protection, as well as any heating or cooling units, fuel system steering, brakes, electrical components, etc.

This type of extended auto warranty protection is the opposite of stated component. Instead of listing what is listed for coverage, it states what isn’t. These are called exclusions, where the plan gets its name. The reason the policy is written in this manner, is because so many items are listed for coverage, that it is a shorter to list what isn’t covered rather than what is.

  • Number of States Available in:

Before purchasing a protection plan for your automobile you wouldn’t think that it would be necessary to check if it is available in your state, but it is probably a good idea. Some companies are only allowed, by law, to sell extended auto warranties in certain states. Double check to see if the company you’re researching is legally admitted to back contracts in the state you reside.

  • Choice of Repair Facility:

When you are paying for your own auto repairs, you have the freedom to choose your own mechanic. However, with some auto warranty plans, you have a limited number of repair facilities to choose from. We believe that you should have the independence to pick a service location that fits your needs and is convenient to access.

  • Claims Paid Directly to Mechanic:

One of the biggest issues that most drivers have with car warranty companies is how claims are handled. We think it is one of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a service plan. Generally, companies will either pay claims directly to the service facility or they establish a reimbursement program. These type of programs involve the driver having to pay for all repairs up front and then wait until the claim has gone through all necessary channels, and will eventually result in a reimbursement of payments to the policy holder. We think it is pretty clear which type of program you should choose: direct payments.

  • Transferability of Plans:

Sometimes a driver who has bought an extended auto warranty will need to transfer it for a number of reasons. Common reasons of doing so include: selling the original vehicle, giving the vehicle to a child, replacing the vehicle, etc. What you want to make sure is that your policy will in fact transfer to a new vehicle or owner in the even any of these possible situations may arise. A plan that isn’t transferable is not worth the paper it is printed on.

  • Mileage Restrictions

Some extended warranty companies do not allow vehicles past a certain mileage. These cars are viewed as too big of a risk financially for the company. Some will have a cut-off at 100,000-miles but others have been known to go up to 150,000-miles and even 200,000 on rare occasions. Make sure that your mileage is at a decent number so you can actually qualify and use your extended auto warranty.


Company Accreditation


better business bureau rating

The Better Business Bureau has been a resource for consumers for tens of years. It is the BBB’s job to have a record and accreditation of companies to serve as a watchdog for buyers. Their grading is based on an academic scale with standard A, B, C, D, F grades. Companies in between ratings can warrant a + or – by their letter grade, meaning an A+ rating is the highest rank. Look for a company with this rating. Accept no substitutes.

Vehicle Protection Association Member

Similar to the BBB, the Vehicle Protection Association is another consumer watchdog agency specific to the vehicle protection industry. It is their job to ensure that every company certified with the VPA is subject and abiding by their strict and rigorous rules. A company found not in accordance to VPA procedures will lose accreditation. Rather than mimicking academia, the VPA uses an Olympic scale. The gold-certified companies are considered to be the best and most reliable, silver being second-best, and bronze being the third. Make sure your warranty provider is gold-certified to avoid any hassles.


Customer Service


  • 24/7 Contract Support:

Having a contract with an extended auto warranty provider should enable you to view your policy and access your account 24/7. If the company’s offices are closed for the night or on a government holiday, you should still be able to access all of your information. Vehicle breakdowns wait for no one!

  • Live Chat:

Sometimes you are in need of service but you’re unable to wait for a phone to be answered or can’t freely express yourself due to your current location. The provider you choose should always give you the option to chat with a representative online in addition to other communication channels.

  • Telephone:

If the extended auto warranty company doesn’t have a direct line that you can access either for coverage or customer service reasons, that’s about the biggest red flag you could get. Make sure you can get a quote via telephone and solve issues with a real person, if you choose to.

  • E-mail:

It’s the year 2014, if they are not on the internet or using e-mail, run away… fast!

  • FAQ’s:

Sometimes you need an answer to a question but you don’t want to have to speak with anybody to get the answer. FAQ’s, which stand for “frequently asked questions”, are a great way to obtain knowledge on an extended auto warranty company without direct contact.

  • Social Media:

Social media may not seem like an important decision factor, but it actually is! Social media is exactly what its name spells out: socialization. You can check current customer reviews, find out about special deals and pricing, and contact the company using your account without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.

  • Help Center:

If you have exhausted all of your options of contact, sometimes the company will have a help or resource center to guide you in the right direction. These centers can contain useful articles, helpful tips, and vital information for drivers. A help center demonstrates that the company cares for their customers and wants them to have access to as much knowledge as possible.


Finance


One of the distinctive factors of an extended auto warranty is that the total cost of the plan can be broken up into affordable monthly payments. In most cases, a party can pay-off their total cost before the warranty has expired, leaving them payment free for the remainder of their policy. If any company requires the entire amount up-front, it is a good idea to go with someone else.

In addition to helpful payment plans, most providers of extended warranties will not add any extra fees in their payments. Unlike dealerships, who roll your protection plan into the monthly car payments and charge you interest, the warranty provider should be free of fees. This means the sum of payments will always equal the original cost of the policy, and never more. Avoid any place that will additional fees on your coverage.

Similar to your auto insurance, most warranty plans have a deductible to retrieve service. However, not all contracts will require one. In fact, with good driving habits, a clean driving record, and a well-maintained vehicle, you may qualify for a $0 deductible. But do not be discouraged if you don’t qualify, as most deductibles are only $50-100. A small price to pay when you’re replacing your engine that will cost you $3,600!

One of the most important items to look out for is the money-back guarantee. Now you’ve probably heard of these guarantees tied with customer satisfaction, and that is just what they are there for. If for any reason you are not given or expressly aware of the company’s money-back guarantee, run away fast! Some less-than-reputable companies exist, but it is our duty to help you avoid them and find the upstanding provider that’s right for you.


Plan Benefits


We’ve all been there before: Just as you begin your second leg of your cross-country road trip or as you’re running late on your way to the airport, your car begins to make strange noises and suddenly stops functioning. Stressful waits by the side of the road should be a thing of the past with the right auto warranty. Roadside assistance including battery jumps, tire replacement, fuel delivery, and fluid top-offs should be included in your extended auto warranty policy.

When your vehicle is in the repair shop, how are you supposed to get around to work, school, or even leisure activities? You shouldn’t be inconvenienced even further because your vehicle has stopped working, which is why you should ensure that the extended warranty that you choose comes with rental car while your maintenance is performed.

We’ve discussed roadside assistance and rental car, but how are you supposed to get your car from your stranded location to the repair facility? Along with the other benefits we mentioned, your extended auto warranty coverage should include towing service. This added convenience should be a no-brainer when deciding where to purchase your vehicle service contract.

Whether you’re out of town on a family vacation or visiting friends and family out of state, having a breakdown is the last thing you want to happen. With trip interruption benefits, while your vehicle is being fixed you’re entitled to accommodations such as lodging services and meal reimbursement for those elongated stays far from home.

Vehicle Service Contracts are often referred to as extended auto warranties, but they are not warranties. Vehicle Service Contract protects your car after original factory warranty expires. All covered components are listed in the contract and exclude regular wear and tear items.