How to Get the Most Out of Your Car’s Extended Warranty: Insider Tips from a Repair Shop Owner!
Are you tired of paying hefty repair bills for your car? Don’t worry, we have the solution for you – an extended warranty! But hold on, using that coverage can be a challenge. In fact, policyholders often find themselves surprised by the difficulties they encounter. But fear not, because we’ve got you covered. We spoke with Matt Lofton, owner and president of Strut Daddy’s Complete Car Care, to gain some insider tips on how to get the most out of your vehicle’s extended warranty plan.
Before we dive into the tips, let’s delve into the issues that many drivers face when using their extended warranty coverage. In a recent survey conducted by Automoblog, 1,000 people who had purchased an extended car warranty were asked about the difficulties they encountered. One of the main issues expressed by warranty customers was their plans not covering their repairs as expected. Shockingly, 24.8% of warranty customers said their warranty covered either none or only some of their repairs. The most common reason for claim denials was a specific part not being covered, accounting for 38% of cases. Other issues included wear and tear (30.9%), pre-existing issues (15.3%), and repair shops not accepting warranty work (14.3%).
Another issue that surfaced was the amount of time it took to have warranty work completed. A staggering 89.3% of respondents said that their covered repairs took at least two to three days to complete. Some even reported waiting for seven days or more, while only 10.7% had their work finished within one day.
Now that we understand the challenges, let’s get to the tips provided by Matt Lofton:
1. Review Your Contract: The first step when encountering an issue covered by your extended car care warranty is to carefully examine your contract. Pay close attention to the “Exclusions” page, which outlines items or systems not covered by your plan.
2. Understand Your Waiting Period: Most policies have a waiting period, also known as a maturation date, before you can submit a claim. If you try to file a claim within this period, it will be denied, and the issue will be considered a pre-existing condition, voiding coverage for future claims as well.
3. Keep Maintenance Records: If your problem is related to the engine or transmission, it’s crucial to have your maintenance records organized. Claims adjusters often request to see the last three fluid services to ensure you have been maintaining the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Failure to provide these records may result in a claim denial.
4. Schedule Regular Preventative Maintenance: To maintain your warranty claim status and keep your vehicle operating as intended, it’s vital to schedule regular preventative maintenance with your repair provider. This will not only preserve your warranty coverage but also help your vehicle perform optimally.
5. Arrange Alternative Transportation in Advance: Before scheduling repairs with the repair facility, make sure you have an alternative mode of transportation secured. Your warranty company is not responsible for providing a rental vehicle until your claim has been submitted and approved. Since the approval process can take time, having a plan for alternative transportation during this period is essential.
6. Be Patient: Throughout the warranty process, it’s important to be patient and understand the roles of different parties involved. Customer service representatives are there to keep you satisfied but may have limited knowledge about the claim’s status. The repair facility will work directly with the claims adjuster, who ultimately approves or denies the claim. Calling the customer service representative every day may not significantly impact the speed of completion or the likelihood of claim approval, so patience is key.
Now that you’re armed with these insider tips, it’s time to make the most out of your extended warranty coverage. But why should you bother with an extended warranty in the first place? Well, according to our survey, 36.3% of respondents could only afford a maximum of $500 in an emergency for car repairs. Additionally, 42.4% reported having no emergency fund at all. For these individuals, an extended warranty plan can be a valuable tool to avoid hefty out-of-pocket expenses for mechanical repairs.
However, it’s important to note that not everyone fully utilizes the coverage they pay for. In our survey, 18.5% of people didn’t use their warranty to cover any repairs. But for the remaining 81.5% who did, their extended warranty saved them from paying for all or any of their repair costs. It’s a tradeoff worth making, considering it can act as an insurance policy against unexpected expenses.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to fully understand the terms and conditions of your coverage, especially the exclusions. Reading through the warranty contract before signing and following Matt Lofton’s tips will give you the best chance of maximizing your warranty’s benefits.
So, next time you’re faced with a repair bill, rest easy knowing that you have the knowledge to navigate your extended warranty coverage successfully!