There is a good deal of difference between a manufacturer's warranty and auto protection plans. The former is included in the cost of a new vehicle and typically covers only certain parts of the vehicle or certain problems that a vehicle may encounter. The manufacturer warranty also lasts for a stipulated period of time since the purchase of the car (in some cases, the warranty period is determined by certain miles of driving).
Auto protection plans, on the other hand, are offered by third party insurers and these plans provide protection on different parts and components of a vehicle. Typically, an auto insurance company will offer a range of auto or vehicle protection plans. The higher-end plans normally cover all important components of a car (except upholstery and other aesthetic effects); but there are also mid- to low-range car protection plans available that provide cover for a select number of components. For example, most basic and low-range plans will typically provide cover for engine only or one may buy a slightly costlier plan that will normally provide cover for transmission, transfer case, drive axles, and seals & gaskets, in addition to the engine.
One must remember that normally manufacturer's warranties do not cover electrical and mechanical parts of a vehicle. Now, once you go to a dealership to buy a new car, the F&I manager in charge of the sale will almost always try to make you buy an Extended Auto Warranty. Now, anybody with some familiarity with auto purchase will know that the extended warranties are not offered by the manufacturer of the car, but again by a third party insurer.
However, although the terms Extended Auto Warranty and Auto Protection Plan are often used interchangeably, one must understand that they are not altogether synonymous. Many tend to believe that an extended warranty kicks in at the expiration of the original manufacturer warranty. This is not the case, however. This is only true where there is an overlap in coverage of certain parts between one's manufacturer's warranty and the extended warranty (although there is little sense in buying such an overlapping policy, this may still happen---normally when a buyer opts for one of the high-end auto protection plans).
Should One Buy Auto Protection from Dealerships?
Typically, it is not a good idea to buy an auto plan from a dealership. With auto plans, one has the freedom to shop around. However, if you buy from a dealership, you are by default hitched to an insurer of the dealership's choice (and it goes without saying that the dealership earns commissions on auto plans they sell to car buyers). So, unless you have done your research already and are happy with the auto insurance service the dealership is tied with, it is better to keep the purchase of your car and that of your auto plan separate.
What to Look for when Choosing an Auto Insurer?
• Fast, no-hassle claims processing
• Variety of flexible and value-added plans on offer
• Additional benefits or bonuses that come with the plans
• Flexible and convenient financing options
The above are some of the basic things to look for in a good and reliable auto insurance service. However, make sure to do your research well and read as many genuine customer reviews as possible. You may also ask friends, colleagues or relatives for suggestions. Almost all companies will advertise that they offer above-mentioned benefits. That, however, does not mean that the claims are true.
List of Reputable Auto Insurance Services In the US
According to our research, some of the current industry leaders in US auto insurance include the following companies:
Liberty Auto Protection
All these companies offer a number of highly flexible auto plans and other benefits and enjoy a high number of positive reviews across many different forums. For details, please visit the company websites.