Auto Warranty FAQs

An auto extended warranty gives you the added protection that you need when looking to protect your investment and keep driving should things crop up. Unfortunately these types of plans aren’t created equal and if you don’t do your due diligence, you could end up being burned – pretty badly too.

We’ve put together a compilation of the 5 most important questions to ask when you are looking to put an auto extended warranty in place; let’s get right into them.

1. How Financially Sound Is The Insurance Company Backing The Warranty?
Your coverage and policy will only be as good as the insurance company backing it, and sadly many auto extended warranty policies don’t stand up to the test. You therefore have to do a bit of background check on the company that is behind any potential policy that you get.

You have two main options:

  1. You can do a bit of background checking using the Better Business Bureau (BBB); this will uncover any potential customer service and ‘claims’ problems that the insurance company may have.
  2. The second option and perhaps the most fool proof, is to use the services of AMbest.com. This company offers in-depth checking on the credentials of many insurance providers. If a company is poor, AMbest will let you know.

2. What Specific Repairs Are Excluded From The Extended Warranty Coverage?
Auto extended warranties are all about ensuring that if something needs repairing, you are covered. But some auto extended warranties are very misleading and aren’t clear about the things that they will repair; often it isn’t until the repair is needed that you get a sense of what isn’t covered and by then, you are already down a few hundred dollars.
It is important therefore, to check with a fine tooth comb just what is covered under your contract. Is coverage bumper to bumper? Are drive train and other important parts included? Finding out these details is crucial before you sign on the dotted line.

3. Can You Use Just ‘Any’ Mechanic To Handle Routine Maintenance Of The Vehicle?
Insurance companies sometimes try to ‘worm’ their way out of settling claims and one way they do this is by claiming that you didn’t look after the vehicle properly. Always ensure at the start of the engagement that you are clear on what maintenance elements you are able to have your local mechanic look at, and what ones you should perhaps take to a manufacturer approved mechanic.

Both mechanics may be equally sound, but if something goes wrong during a routine maintenance check and you didn’t use an approved one, the insurance company may try to void the claim.

4. At What Point On The Odometer Will Coverage Cease To Exist?
Knowing this bit of information and keeping it in mind is important not just when it comes to renewing, but to assess any repairs that warranty can or should’ve covered, but were missed because they weren’t detected properly. The exact reading of expiry should be clearly stated on the contract and there should be no room for ambiguity in terms of interpretation. 100,000 miles should mean just that.

5. Is The Coverage Effective From In-Service Date?
In-service date is the date the vehicle was first put into operation and some auto extended warranties will use this date as the engagement point for the contract. But you may or may not be the first user of the vehicle and so it’s important to check your present coverage plan isn’t based on this date. Otherwise you may end up assuming a longer coverage period than is the case. This information should be clearly communicated to you and paperwork to support it in place.

Get the answers to these five questions before you sign any extended auto warranty contract. You can’t go far wrong by doing so.