What Is Car Warranty Insurance?

When you buy a car there are things you have to buy legally like motor insurance and tax. These are required by law. Another optional product is a car warranty.

Where car insurance protects you and others from accidents a car warranty insurance product protects you from the unexpected costs involved with cars like breakdowns or mechanical failure.

What Car Warranty Insurance Provides

When you buy a car warranty insurance you’re essentially buying peace of mind. If you’ve just spent a lot of money on a new car it’s hard to swallow a huge garage bill 6 months down the road. If you’ve got a warranty product then a lot of the costs are covered if something should go wrong and therefore you don’t get the unexpected shock of another big bill.

What’s Included And What Isn’t With Car Warranty Insurance

Each warranty policy is different so you should check carefully what’s included and what isn’t, but some things that are usually included with a comprehensive insurance are:

  • The engine,
  • transmission,
  • fuel system,
  • cooling system,
  • anything electrical,
  • the gearbox,
  • clutch,
  • brakes,
  • steering system.

It’s also a good idea to check if your policy covers consequential damage. This means that if a part is damaged by a fault to an uninsured part of the car then you’ll still be covered for the repair costs.

Usually these parts of your car are covered for faults or breakdown but won’t be covered for general wear and tear. So if a part has been used beyond it’s recommended lifetime then you usually would have to pay for that to be repaired yourself. It’s probably wise to keep up with the manufacturers servicing plan to ensure parts are replaced on schedule.

Some parts of your car won’t be included in warranty insurance because they have limited lifetimes and are expected to be replaced during the cars lifetime, or they are not essential to the car. These include:

  • tyres,
  • wheels,
  • audio equipment,
  • exhausts,
  • satellite navigation,
  • bodywork,
  • paint,
  • glass,
  • the catalytic converter.

Make Sure The Insurance Is Valid

When you take out a warranty insurance for your car you need to check what you must do to keep the policy valid like:

  • You must maintain the car’s service plan. This means taking the car annually (usually) to a garage where they will replace parts and top up liquids as specified by the manufacturers service plan.
  • You have to go to an authorised garage for repairs and servicing. If you were paying yourself you may choose to use a local mechanic as they are generally cheaper than franchises but with a car warranty you must use approved garages, so check with your policy provider first if you’re unsure.
  • Check before you make any modifications to the car. This includes anything at all. It only takes 2 minutes to call the warranty provider and check that you’re OK to make the changes you’re considering.
  • Use the correct fuel and lubricants. Using the wrong or unauthorised products can invalidate your insurance.

What Policy Suits Your Car?

The type of policy you’ll take out will depend if your buying a new or used car.

Warranties are provided with new cars for between 3 and 5 years but what’s included does vary a lot so you may want to extend what’s covered with your own policy. Some manufacturers will include up to 10,000 miles for instance whereas others are unlimited. As with all car insurance policies check, check and check again.

If you’re buying a used car then typically you’ll receive a 3 month warranty from the motor dealer. What’s included with these can vary a lot as well so check before you buy and then consider your own policy on top if you think the warranty isn’t sufficient. Sometimes the dealer will also run their own garage service and insist that under their warranty all repairs and servicing is done through them.

Car warranty insurances are offered by lots of different companies but a fair few of them don’t appear on price comparison websites so it’s worth a quick search online to try and find good deals.

Check review sites as well to check how well the company you’re considering deal with claims or if they try to wriggle out of paying out at any possible opportunity.