Unfortunately, when people make the investment in an extended car warranty, no matter how closely they read the finer details they will likely fail to realize where they can get nailed on a claim. The following conditions are things to look for in your warranty’s coverage or to ask about before putting the money down on warranties. This even includes those that refer to themselves as “bumper to bumper”.
1. Is there a “wear and tear” option?
Many warranties offer a “wear and tear” option, which means issues deemed to be caused by normal wear and tear will be covered. But without the option selected, any issue on your car caused by a common component wearing out beyond the manufacturer’s specified tolerance will get you a denial. This is one of the most frustrating issues for warranty owners.
2. Do you use your vehicle for work?
Even if you only use your vehicle for occasional work on a job site, claims may be denied if you don’t have the commercial package added to your warranty. If your vehicle does snow removal, hauling or anything off road you’ll likely want to chip in the extra to make sure you don’t get a claim denied for this reason.
3. Get regular oil changes and keep track of them
Most of us manage to keep up on our oil changes, but if you have an extended warranty it’s especially important. If you head in for an oil change and get your fluids topped off make sure you leave with the inspection sheet and receipt. These can be valuable pieces of evidence that you’ve kept these levels maintained so the warranty company can’t use that as an out to deny your claim.
4. Keep up with regular maintenance
Changing your oil and filter was already mentioned, but this is to reiterate, “STICK TO YOUR CAR’S MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE”. Go into the manual and see when you’re supposed to change belts and fluids (transmission fluid in particular) assure that any issue can’t be traced back to what can be perceived as your own negligence.
5. Watch what you tow
Vehicles are rated for towing a certain amount of weight, so if you regularly tow a camper, boat or trailer behind your vehicle you’ll want to make sure that you’re not exceeding your rated weight. If you have a hitch on the back of your car and your transmission goes out there’s a high likelihood this is the avenue your warranty provider will take in trying to deny your claim.
Bumper to bumper warranties, particularly in the world of extended warranties, rarely are what they seem. It’s also important to keep in mind, just like insurance companies, it’s in the best interest of the provider to deny as many claims as possible. So as a warranty holder it’s important to really know what your coverage provides and then keep up on your due diligence with maintenance to avoid offering up any fodder for a claim denial.