If you’ve been hearing about extended car warranty coverage, you may be wondering if it’s a good investment for you and your vehicle. After all, when it comes to additional coverage for your car, some insurance is more worthwhile than others. As with any supplemental insurance, the most important thing is to be sure you are dealing with a reputable extended car warranty company so you don’t get blindsided by hidden charges, additional fees, lack of coverage, and more when you need it. Before you commit to a policy, we’ve got some tips for determining whether an extended car warranty provider is trustworthy.
What is an Extended Car Warranty?
Before we get into finding the right extended car warranty for your vehicle, it’s important to discuss what this type of coverage is and how it can help you. First of all, extended car warranties often get confused with standard auto insurance; however, these are two different services. While auto insurance pays for damage to your vehicle that is incurred through an accident or auto theft, it does not pay for the unexpected mechanical problems that were not caused by either of these occurrences. For example, a transmission repair due to normal wear and tear of your vehicle will not be covered by your basic auto insurance, but it will be covered if you also carry an extended car warranty. Exactly what is covered and the cost of your deductible depends on your plan, but having an extended car warranty can offer peace of mind, provided you have chosen a reputable company.
Finally, the only product you can actually buy as an “extended car warranty” that is not from the dealer is actually called Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI in California) or Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC in the rest of the US).
Here’s how to know whether you can trust an insurance provider for reputable, comprehensive extended car warranty coverage:
Before signing up for an extended car warranty for your vehicle, make sure the insurance company has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. This regulatory board for businesses exists to help consumers find out whether they can trust a company to provide quality products and services. BBB accreditation must be applied for and awarded, and the bureau’s standards are high. Look for an insurance company that is not only accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but also highly rated by them for its outstanding level of trust and integrity.
Positive Online Reviews
In the age of Yelp!, Google, and Facebook Reviews, it’s hard for businesses to hide their shady practices anymore, and that’s a good thing for consumers everywhere! A quick Internet search can help you find reviews, positive or otherwise, for virtually any business, including insurance companies that provide an extended car warranty. It’s important to do your research and read reviews from people who have had experience with the type of extended car warranty you’re thinking of purchasing, so you know exactly what you’re in for when faced with auto repairs. By looking at reviews from previous and current customers, you can determine whether the provider offers high-quality service and great value, or whether you’re better off looking for another insurance company.
Word of Mouth
In addition to online reviews from the general public, it’s important to listen to trusted friends, relatives, and neighbors about any positive (or negative) experiences they’ve had with extended car warranty providers. The people you trust most will be sure to help point you in the right direction, as well as steer you away from less-than-reputable companies before it’s too late. Almost everyone you ask who has had previous experience with an extended car warranty will have a story, positive or negative, about the company, what you can expect, and whether it’s even worthwhile. Ask around and see which of your friends and loved ones can help you decide which extended car warranty provider to choose.
Just a reminder- an extended car warranty is not the same as auto insurance and is not required for vehicle owners. However, having an extended car warranty can help pay for unexpected repairs and other unforeseen costs that otherwise could be financially devastating. The average transmission repair bill costs approximately $2,000, while a typical engine rebuild can run anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. Since most people don’t just have that kind of money laying around in case of emergency, these costly repairs can wreak significant havoc on your life and your wallet when they come up. It pays to have some kind of coverage, such as an extended car warranty, to help minimize the costs of repairs rather than to try to come up with the entire cost all by yourself.
Investing in an extended car warranty for your vehicle can go a long way toward helping you avoid major auto-repair headaches. Knowing you’re covered can give you peace of mind and help you stay calm in the event of a breakdown. By planning ahead and choosing a reputable insurance provider, you’re preparing for a virtually worry-free future for you and your car!