What’s an Extended Vehicle Warranty?
Most new vehicles purchased these days come with a warranty – this is an agreement between the manufacturer and the customer that should anything break, malfunction, or otherwise go wrong with the vehicle within a certain period of time (typically 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first), then the manufacturer will repair or replace the component at no cost to the customer.
Extended auto warranties are designed to offer similar peace of mind by literally extending the length of time a customer can expect to receive such coverage.
Just because a company claims to offer extended auto warranty coverage doesn’t mean that you can expect complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. Some plans available in the market cover only catastrophic failures, or only certain systems. By being informed about extended auto warranties and reputable warranty companies, you’ll be better prepared to make the right decision for your needs. A few things you should always try to find out include:
Who takes care of the claims?
A lot of online businesses simply sell some other companies’ extended car warranty plans. Those companies that sell and administer their own plans (like Clearlease) are better equipped to provide reliable service and support.
Is it an exclusionary plan?
Manufacturer warranties are called exclusionary plans because it takes less time to mention what’s not covered than it does to go through all the thousands of things that are. This is a sign that you’re receiving the maximum amount of coverage available. Plans that list only those items which are covered may not be full warranty plans; they may be supplement or partial plans only. Many of Clearlease’s extended auto warranty plans are exclusionary plans.
Ask about parts, labor, and other expenses?
Never assume that an extended car warranty plan includes parts and labor costs. You could end up paying for the time the mechanics spent repairing your vehicle. Considering that hourly rates can be between $70 and $100 or more per hour, these costs can quickly add up. Additionally, think about what other expenses you may incur if your vehicle is in the shop for a while. Car rental fees are another expense that can be costly unless covered by your warranty.
Know Who You’re Working With
When you purchase an extended vehicle warranty plan, you’re making a contract between you and an administrator. Just like any contract, you need to feel certain that the administrator is going to hold up their end of the deal. After all, you’re going to hold up your end by paying for the plan. Look at the financial strength of the company. Will they be able to pay your claim when you make it? What’s their track record when it comes to customer service? Are they properly licensed and registered to do business in your province?
How will the company handle claims?
Let’s be honest, an extended auto warranty plan that can only be used in certain places, or that makes you pay for the repair and then file for reimbursement doesn’t offer peace of mind; it makes things more difficult. Make sure you know what you’ll need to do in order to reap the benefits of your extended auto warranty plan. Nationwide coverage, the ability to choose the repair facility of your choice, and direct payment to repair facilities are all options that make Clearlease’s plans truly valuable.
Dollars and Sense
Like so many other things in life, extended vehicle warranties fall into that category of “you get what you pay for” – so shop smart. Don’t let sticker price be your deciding factor. Look at what you actually get for the money and factor in the possible out-of-pocket costs that are likely to come along with a “bargain basement” plan.