Whether it covers basic repairs or more extensive breakdowns, an extended warranty is designed to protect you against future costs. The right warranty offers more than case of repairs; it offers peace of mind.
How do I choose a warranty company? In today's competitive market, there are hundreds of fly-by-night companies that inundate consumers with mass mailings and phone calls, promising too-good-to-be-true deals. Do your research, and stick with a name you know and trust, like AAA.
What deductible should I choose? Weigh the amount of the deductible against the additional cost for a lower deductible. If there is a $200 difference between a deductible of $0 and $50, you have to use the plan four times to pay for the difference in cost. Also, note whether the deductible is charged per visit or per repair. If you have five items to be repaired, with a per visit deductible, you will pay only once. With a per repair deductible, you will pay five times.
How are claims reimbursed? Many companies, especially those offering discount warranties, require you to pay the repair shop first and then receive, or try to receive, reimbursement from the warranty company. Reliable auto warranties pay the repair shops directly.
What parts are covered? Extended warranties offer various levels of coverage, from basic engine and transmission repairs, to more extensive coverage of brakes, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems and interior and exterior hinges, handles and locks. Also check to see if your warranty covers such computer components as GPS systems or SIRIUS satellite radios. If the parts are installed by the manufacturer, they should be covered.
Do I get a rental car? Coverage against breakdown is great, but what are you supposed to do while your car is being repaired? Make sure your warranty covers a rental vehicle for use during repairs.
What if I sell my car? Your vehicle may be worth more to potential buyers if it includes an extended warranty. A good warranty will be transferable to the new owner upon resale.
For more information about extended warranties, or to learn about AAA's Vehicle Protection Plan, call 800-323-4300.