Reviews.com examined the best extended car warranty providers by looking for straightforward claims and repair process in the case of a breakdown as well as excellent customer service. They consulted auto industry experts and compared 41 providers to see which had the strongest history of financial stability and customer satisfaction.
What to look for in an Extended Warranty Company
Direct-to-customer sales vs. Direct providers
Many companies will only sell extended warranty contracts through a dealership. Dealers offer the convenience of rolling the heavy cost of a warranty into your car loan, which makes it easier to manage payments. However, lumping your warranty into monthly payments can also mask the overall cost — a sneaky tactic that dealers can use to make a profit.
Direct providers are a convenient alternative that sell direct to consumers, meaning you can shop around and pick a company and policy you like. When it comes to extended car warranties, there are two types of direct providers: ones that sell and administer their own contracts and brokers who sell another company’s contracts. While convenient, many brokers contract with the same administrators, which will limit your options, just like going through a dealership would. In addition, the broker isn’t the administrator of the policies it sells, which means it won’t be the one responsible for paying your claim — you’ll have to file with a completely different company that you have no experience working with.
Insurance company backing
Backing by an insurance company means that, if your provider goes under, the insurer will step in to pay your claim. This is the most dependable way to have your claim paid — no matter what happens to the original provider or their assets.
Explore their websites and look to customer reviews for any reports of untrustworthy coverage. Only three providers had the credibility to make it to our final test.
Financial rating indicates that the insurer has enough financial stability to back the claims of the provider it insures. A.M. Best found many companies did not have the financial strength needed to withstand major claims.
Who are the best Extended Car Warranty companies? Check out more at https://www.reviews.com/extended-warranty/
Extended Car Warranty FAQs
Can I cancel an extended warranty?
Cancelling your extended warranty is always an option. If you find the cost is too high, or your repairs tend to call on the exclusion list, or you simply find you don’t need it — you can cancel. The money you get back after cancelling will depend on the contract, it may be a pro-rated refund, a partial refund, or a full refund if you cancel within 30 days.
Can I get an extended warranty on a used car?
Yes, you can. But it can be complicated depending on the condition of the preowned vehicle. It typically will cost more to purchase a warranty on a used car, and you could end up spending more on the warranty than any repair costs. Depending on your vehicle, you’ll have to weigh how often you’re likely to need repairs against the quoted cost of your warranty.
What about manufacturer-backed warranties?
Manufacturer-backed warranties ensure that your repairs include original parts and are in the hands of factory-trained technicians. Automotive expert and analyst Lauren Fix explained, “I prefer going with an extended warranty from the vehicle brand, because there are no third-party parts or services that put you at risk for low quality repairs. Third-party companies can also go bankrupt, taking your money and leaving you without coverage.”
So why does our review focus on third-party providers? Manufacturer-backed warranties are heavily dependent on the brand of your car and the dealership you go to. Rather than recommend a provider that will only serve a select few, we shifted our attention to finding the most trustworthy third-party provider that can serve most people.