Auto Repair Insurance vs. Extended Car Warranty Benefits

Dealing with unexpected auto repairs can be stressful (not to mention expensive!), which is why many drivers choose to purchase auto repair insurance or extended car warranties as a way of alleviating their worries. Auto repair insurance provides coverage for mechanical breakdowns and saves drivers from bearing the cost of major repairs like a blown engine or transmission. An extended car warranty typically goes into effect after the manufacturer’s warranty expires and offsets repair costs. Although these services are similar, determining which one you need depends on a variety of factors.

Auto repair insurance typically covers repairs after a new car warranty expires. This option is best suited to those who don’t plan on keeping their car for more than a few years, as coverage usually expires around 7 years or 100,000 miles. Many insurers require auto owners to begin auto repair coverage while the car is still new with low mileage. In comparison, extended car warranty benefits will likely not be provided until the manufacturer’s warranty expires.  Extended warranty companies offer many customizable options, so you can choose exactly how much coverage you need and for how long.

One benefit of auto repair insurance is that payments are made over time. This is ideal for those who don’t want to finance the cost of an extended car warranty which is taken out in the car loan. However, extended warranties are negotiable, making it an ideal choice for those who excel at bargaining. Prorated refunds are generally available with extended warranties.

Some may consider it a drawback that the claims process for auto repair insurance requires filing with the insurance company prior to taking the car in for repair, but they’ll get their pick when it comes to choosing a mechanic. With extended warranties, there is no need to file a claim, which could potentially expedite the repair process.  Nevertheless, it is important to make an informed decision so be sure to read the contract thoroughly including the fine print.  Buyers of auto repair insurance can rest easy knowing that insurance companies are regulated to guarantee competence and minimum service quality. Those with extended warranties will have to do their due diligence.

Auto repair insurance and extended warranties both have unique benefits depending on your needs. Make sure to shop around and research before you buy.