Top Auto Warranty Companies
|Company||Description||User's Ratings||Overall Score||Website|
1-888-906-0830 In the world of extended auto repair warranties, AA Auto Protection is one of the oldest names in the business. They’ve been helping ...
CARCHEX is an extended auto warranty provider that was founded in 1999. In 2003, the company expanded to include vehicle inspection services in all 50 states, and is now partnered with a large network of ASE-certified ...
Endurance Warranty Services is one of the largest auto warranty companies serving customers throughout the United States. They have been in business over 10 years and have a good reputation overall. For a company ...
Trustmark Warranty was founded in 1992, and today operates across all 50 states in America. They value transparent business practices, operating on the values of trust and integrity. They are considered the only ...
Warranty Direct is an extended auto warranty provider that has been operating in North American for over 30 years. During that time, they’ve been a Forbes Top 200 company three times, and have paid more than $350 ...
ForeverCar.com is an aggregation site that was founded in 2011. Through their website, users can search through the best extended warranty plans from vetted insurers, get quotes, compare insurance options, apply, make ...
This company is under investigation for selling contracts that are illegal in some states. We recommend you consider another company. Click here to see list.More information can be found at the following link: ...
Extended Auto Warranties Buyers Guide
When you purchase a new car, the manufacturer usually offers a warranty that will cover any major break downs for a certain amount of time. As we all know, nothing breaks till a week after your warranty expires. That’s how it usually seems, anyway. The warranties are usually only for a short time, during which cars simply won’t be used enough to break down.
For so many people, living on a tight budget between paychecks, a broken vehicle can be catastrophic. You need your car to get to work, but you can’t afford to skip out on a bill to pay for the repairs. In this Catch-22, what can the average person do but go into debt putting repairs on a credit card? Instead, you could have an auto repair service plan, commonly called an extended auto warranty, that will cover the cost of the repairs for you.
What is an auto repair service?
After your manufacturer’s warranty expires, you can purchase an auto repair service, or extended auto warranty, to pay for any repairs for which you are covered. This monthly fee works like insurance: if your car breaks down, and the part that needs to be fixed is covered by your extended warranty, it will be paid for by the company. These service plans are available through many different companies, both online and not.
What to Look For?
There are hundreds of companies selling Extended Warranties direct to consumers. There are a few things you should look for in the company you choose to buy from. The first thing you should look for is a company that has been in business for a decent amount of time. Many companies come and go in this industry. If they haven’t been around for at least 5 years what makes you think they will be there when you need them. There are many companies that come in to this industry, collect premiums for a few years, then vanish into thin air. You do not want to be in a position where your Extended Warranty Company is not available when you need them most.
Another new trend is companies selling Extended Warranties that are not insured. Not only is this illegal in most jurisdictions, it rarely ends well for the paying customer. These companies rarely stay in business for more than a few years and when they are gone, you have absolutely no recourse. If you are being sold a policy and the price is too good to be true it probably is. Make sure that your contract states in black and white what insurance company insures the liability of your contract. If it is not stated on the contract it is because it is not insured. If a company is willing to sell you a policy that does not meet State and Federal Guidelines what makes you think they will pay your claim when the time comes?
What kinds of plans are available?
You can get plans for nearly any budget and any need. For those who can’t afford or don’t want an extensive coverage service plan, you can purchase a basic monthly service plan that covers only the most expensive repairs, such as engine and transmission break downs. Some companies offer tiered plans that make it easy to add services that you want covered until you get to the right amount of coverage for your budget.
Prices for auto warranty plans are almost unanimously kept off the Internet; you’ll have to call for a quote, and the type of car you drive plus your driving history will play a part in how much you pay for the service coverage.
All of these services offer a variety of auto warranty plans. In addition, websites like AA Auto Warranty and Discount Warranties can make it easy to search and compare plans across many of the top rated auto warranty issuers.
Word of Caution
Before you purchase any warranty plan, you need to be sure that you have the coverage you need. For example, you may wish to examine your auto insurance, your manufacturer’s warranty, and even your credit card benefits, to be sure that you aren’t already covered for some of these services.
Avoid companies that offer uninsured policies. Companies which write their own policies are referred to as "Direct Sellers" - they handle their own claims and have a long history of going out of business. Over a hundred of these warranty/service contract companies have either been shut down or closed their doors overnight, leaving policy holders with no coverage. On the other hand, established companies which offer insured plans provide an extra layer of protection and the peace-of-mind from unexpected repair bills.
Then, be sure that you read the fine print on any warranty you purchase. Some companies require that you keep proof of regular yearly upkeep on a vehicle before they’ll pay for any claims. If you shop through a comparison site like AA Auto Warranty, you probably won’t be able to get any assistance through them for claims, but it doesn’t hurt to check. You may find that issues can be smoothed out by the broker used.
For drivers of older model vehicles with no way to get manufacturers to extend warranties, or to get the most service-rich insurance, these extended auto warranties can be real life savers. Just be sure to read the fine print, and do your homework before signing anything.
Underhanded Tactics in the Vehicle Service Industry Continues to Punish Consumers
At Comparison Shopping Inc, everything we do is seen through the prism of our motto to “Help Consumers Make Better Buying Decisions”. One of the benefits of our research is that it uniquely positions us to see patterns in various niches. And as an objective third party, we notice things that may be obvious to those WITHIN an industry, but are lost to the buying public at large.
In the extended service contract (aka “car warranty”) market, we have discovered something that every consumer should know.
It’s no secret that the vehicle service contract industry has had its share of controversy over the years. In spite of widespread crackdowns on illegal and unethical business practices – much of it continues to this day. In many cases, consumers are purchasing worthless contracts and find themselves unable to go after the companies who rob them of their money through underhanded tactics. What’s more, legitimate businesses struggle to attract customers due to these bad apples which taint the entire industry.
Scams Still Present
While many states have taken significant action to eliminate the worst offenders, some businesses are still up to the same tricks and continue to take advantage of consumers. Unless a prospective new customer is given specific guidance, they are most likely not aware of underhanded tactics to look out for. As a result, they often find out too late that the policy they purchased isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
The most glaring offenders are companies which sell service contracts that are not backed by an A.M. Best Rated Insurance company. This added level of protection is necessary to ensure consumers are covered in the event the company goes out of business or its administrator is otherwise unable to pay claims. In most states, if a company does not meet this insurance regulation, they are selling illegally.
Similar situations are occurring when people contact companies like Protect My Car and ASAPWarranty.com. In addition to selling contracts that aren’t backed by insurance, it appears they only presented “sample” contracts by way of a link on their website. One customer told us that a representative from ASAP Warranty offered to lower their price only if they would make the payment right then and there. These high pressure tactics often result in consumers making decisions they would not otherwise make if given the time and necessary information.
One way companies are getting around this is by saying plans they offer are insured and then transitioning to an uninsured contract upon signup. Again, selling uninsured contracts is what caused so much trouble in the industry to begin with and pressure tactics to get consumers to pay upfront without valid documentation only exacerbates the situation. Unfortunately, an uninformed consumer is often likely to make such a purchase, typically obtaining nothing more than a useless contract.
Sins Of The Past Continue To Hurt Consumers Today
These illegal tactics continue to hurt consumers and blemish an industry that is still trying to recover from a painful past. Because of these unethical companies, reputable businesses within the industry have had to fight along with legislators to maintain the industry’s integrity. Unchecked predatory selling practices make it harder for consumers to know who to trust when searching for a way to insure themselves against expensive vehicle repair bills.
Wanted Auto Protect is an example of a company which inflicted serious harm through fraudulent activity. In May of 2016, the company announced they were closing their doors, but the damage had been done. Due to their unsavory business practices, the Better Business Bureau of New Jersey was flooded with complaints prompting them to begin an investigation shortly before the business announced its closing.
Yet another company that has hurt consumers was Direct Buy Associates or as they are more commonly known, Direct Buy Auto Warranty. One of their most serious transgressions was telling customers that all repairs would be paid for when in fact their contracts contained multiple exclusions, forcing consumers to pay for the majority of their repairs themselves.
Consumers Must Be Protected
We spoke with a representative of the VPA (Vehicle Protection Association) who told us they advocate regulatory compliance among their members – but do not monitor companies outside their association. Even some “consumer advocacy” sites like ConsumerAffairs.com are further confusing the issue. Not only are they offering full-blown Accreditation to some of these companies (thereby artificially boosting the offending company’s credibility), they also knowingly refer large numbers of new customers to them through their platform every month in return for a sizable monthly fee.
Legitimate consumer protection agencies as well as local, state, and federal lawmakers must find a way to work with reputable businesses in the industry to prevent history from repeating itself. When predatory companies are allowed to operate, it hurts consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. It punishes those businesses within the industry which provide valuable and honest services to their customers. It also gives consumers a false and dangerous sense of hope for coverage that doesn’t exist and often costs them a tremendous emotional and financial price when expensive repairs are needed.
If legislation can’t put a stop to these businesses, then more must be done to educate consumers. They should be made aware of what a legitimate vehicle service contract consists of and how to choose the business they buy from wisely. Getting the word out will help cut down these illegal activities, point consumers to honest businesses and begin rebuilding trust in the vehicle service contract industry.
*Editor’s note: Multiple attempts were made to reach asapwarranty.com and Protect My Car by both phone and email. We were unable to reach anyone willing to speak on behalf of the company to provide proof that all their policies are backed by an AM Best rated insurance company in states that require it and no response has been received to our messages as of the posting of this article.
Updates to this article can be found at: http://www.comparisonshop.com/underhanded-tactics-vehicle-service-industry-continues-punish-consumers/