Should You Buy That Extended Warranty?

Photo of Car mechanicBuying a car is stressful enough without the added frustration and perhaps confusion about car insurance and warranties.

Imagine this scenario:

You’ve had your car for a few years, and it now has 50,000 miles on the odometer. You’re cruising down the highway one warm summer afternoon with the air conditioning going full blast, keeping the car nice and cool. Halfway to your destination, you start to feel a little warm.

You soon realize that your air conditioner has quit working, and you pull into the first auto repair shop you can find.

The diagnosis is a broken air conditioning compressor, a costly repair that is no longer covered under the original factory warranty that came with your car.

What Went Wrong?

If you’re like most car owners, you are kicking yourself at this point for not signing up for extended warranty coverage when you had the chance. Unfortunately, situations such as this happen quite frequently.

For many people, it probably seems like a waste of money to fork over your hard-earned cash for extended warranty coverage when you’re already making car payments. After all, most people don’t expect to need expensive repairs for quite a long time.

Car Warranties

Paul Martin, CPCU, CAP State Association Liaison, emphasizes the importance of having a good warranty. He explains that every car comes with a factory warranty, which is the manufacturer’s warranty. It is a legal warranty that covers your car for a certain period, such as three years or 36,000 miles. Once this initial warranty coverage is up, you may have limited coverage for a bit longer, or no additional coverage.

For some people, not having additional coverage isn’t much of an issue. As Martin explains, someone who purchases a Jaguar may consider an extended warranty, as it is a high-performance car that requires expensive repairs. On the other hand, extended warranties may end up being more costly for owners of more basic cars in the long run, as there may be less that is likely to go wrong with a basic car or truck.

At this point, you may be wondering what you could get out of an extended warranty, and whether it’s the right choice for you. Even if you don’t have a Jaguar, you may benefit from this type of warranty, Martin explains. He says that if you are wondering whether it’s a good idea to get an extended warranty, ask yourself, “Is the peace of mind of knowing that I have this extended coverage worth it?”

The answer will depend on a few factors. Martin explains.

“If it sounds like a good idea and it is in your price range, then yes, extended warranty coverage may be worth it.” However, he notes, “If you are generally lucky with cars, and you have a trusted mechanic, then you might not want to spend the money.”

According to Martin, young people with limited resources or those who simply don’t want to pay the extra money may find a deal where the price of the warranty is rolled into the overall cost of the car.

If you do decide to purchase an extended car warranty, according to Martin, you may want to explore your options on where to buy it. There are insurance agents that sell extended warranties. You don’t have to buy from the agent at the dealership. Talk to an independent agent to see if they can help get you a better price.

Other Insurance Policies

The dealership may also try and sell you car insurance, gap insurance or credit life insurance. Those policies are also better purchased from an independent insurance agent, who also “… has the knowledge and experience to customize the customer’s policy to fit their protection needs,” according to Martin. He also mentions that an independent agent like ours will be there to help the customer with a claim, unlike a dealership representative.

If you are seriously considering buying an extended warranty for your car, one of our Trusted Choice® independent agents can help guide you through the process and ultimately shop around for the best price and policy.

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