There’s no shortage of good reasons to purchase an extended vehicle service contract for your car. A typical consumer will be presented with many options from both their dealership and third-party companies. All of them may make compelling claims and use impressive marketing jargon without actually explaining what a vehicle service contract is and how theirs fulfills that promise.
When you purchase a vehicle service contract, you’re essentially buying an aftermarket or third-party warranty. This means your vehicle will be covered if it suffers a breakdown or needs a major repair. With the cost of even a small repair increasing due to the large number of electronic and specialty parts in today’s vehicles, many people are opting to pay a small monthly fee for the security of knowing that if and when they need a major repair, the cost will be covered.
At Autocare, we’re proud to provide quality vehicle service contracts for a wide variety of vehicles and drivers. Our team has been providing vehicle protection plans and other consumer protection services for over 45 years, with combined sales of over 2 billion.
Part of that commitment to being the best national vehicle service contract provider includes taking the time to fully explain what our extended vehicle service contracts include. If you’ve got a question about our Vehicle Service Contracts, you’re likely to find your answer right here. If you don’t happen to find what you are looking for, Ask Us A Question!
1. WHAT IS A VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACT?
Most new vehicles come with a 3 year /36,000 mile Original Equipment Manufacturer’s Warranty. This is what is known as the “underlying” manufacturer’s warranty. An Extended Vehicle Service Contract is a contract that provides coverage that goes beyond the 3 year / 36,000 mile limit of the manufacturer’s warranty. You are assured that for a specified amount of time and/or mileage, the parts, labor and sales tax (if applicable) required for replacement or repair of covered mechanical systems in your vehicle will be paid.
2. WHAT IF I TRADE IN MY VEHICLE?
When you are enrolled in our program, you have coverage throughout the ownership of your vehicle. If you decide to trade in you vehicle, simply call us and we will calculate a pro-rated refund. The refund is based on mileage and the amount of time the policy is in force, minus a nominal cancellation fee. This ensures you will always be protected.
3. WHAT IS THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY?
The ‘Original Manufacturer’s Warranty’ is the initial warranty that is provided by the manufacturer for a new vehicle. For most Manufacturers the “Original” warranty is limited to 36 months or 36,000 miles whichever comes first. Also, most US manufacturers also provide a warranty on all federally mandated emission’s components for 5 years or 50,000 miles and a corrosion warranty for 6 years or 100,000 miles. The purpose of the Manufacturer’s warranty is to ‘guarantee’ that the brand new vehicle you just purchased has no manufacturer defects.
4. IS THIS AN INSURANCE POLICY?
Technically, a warranty or a Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) is not an insurance policy. While they do protect against various forms of loss and often they are insured, they differ in their legal construction from insurance policies. An insurance policy is a direct agreement (contract) between the insured party (consumer) and an insurance company. Some insurance companies do offer this type of a policy, which is called “Mechanical Breakdown Insurance”. A VSC, on the other hand, is provided by a dealer or administrator and is a contract between the dealer / administrator and the consumer. All quality VSC’s are backed by an insurance policy which allows the consumer direct access to the insurance company if a valid claim is not paid. The name of the insurer with their address should appear on the VSC.
5. ARE OUR VEHICLE PROTECTION PLANS INSURED?
All of our auto protection plans are fully insured by AM Best rated insurers. For more detailed information contact us.
6. WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE A PROGRAM FROM AUTO CARE COVERAGE OVER THE OTHERS?
Auto Care Coverage meets or exceeds all of the standards that you would expect from a quality, financially stable Vehicle Service Contract Company. Our promise is that we will represent your interest for the life of the contract. This advocacy can be very important when you have a problem. Additionally, our Roadside Assistance, Car Rental and Travel expense benefits are all part of one insured contract.
7. DO YOU COVER DAMAGE DUE TO OVERHEATING?
The plan will cover damage due to overheating provided the vehicle does not overheat due to negligence and provided you act immediately to prevent unnecessary damage when your vehicle overheats. Often this is a difficult decision. When you are driving on a hot crowded highway it isn’t pleasant to pull off to the side. However, you must in order to protect your vehicle from further damage. This is why we provide you with Roadside Assistance. One call and help will be there for a tow or fluid replacement.
8. WHERE CAN I TAKE MY VEHICLE FOR REPAIRS?
Repairs can be made at the licensed repair facility (including the dealership) of your choice anywhere in the United States or Canada.
9. WHAT IS AN IN-SERVICE DATE?
The in-service date is the day that your vehicle was first driven by the first (original) owner when it was brand new. Auto Care Coverage Plans do not require the original in-service date.
10. WHAT BENEFITS ARE OFFERED?
All of our automobile protection plans include roadside assistance for the life of your contract. This includes car rental reimbursement and travel interruption protection all part of one insured contract.
11. DOES THE PLAN COVER PARTS AND LABOR?
Autocare Programs cover 100% of all covered components, parts and labor charges less the deductible.
12. WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE IF I HAVE A CLAIM ON MY VEHICLE?
Simply take your vehicle or have it towed to the nearest licensed repair facility. After they diagnose the problem with the vehicle, they will call the claims administration department toll-free and receive repair authorization for all your covered repairs. All claims are paid by Corporate Credit Card.
13. HOW CAN I BE ASSURED THAT MY CLAIMS WILL BE PAID IN THE FUTURE?
It is important to make sure that your vehicle protection plan is insured. All of our products are fully insured by A rated insurance company. To assure that you claims are handled promptly and professionally all of our payments go directly to the repair facility via corporate credit card.
14. HOW DOES THE DEDUCTIBLE WORK?
Auto Care Coverage offers numerous plans with several deductibles to meet your needs. Talk to one of our customer service representative to get the deductible that work for you.
15. HOW DO I ENROLL MY VEHICLE IN ONE OF YOUR AUTO PROTECTION PLANS?
You can call us at 1-877-569-4364. Or, you may schedule a telephone call back from one of our representatives.
16. HOW CAN I BE ASSURED THAT IT IS COMPLETELY SAFE TO USE MY CREDIT CARD?
We have taken every measure to make your purchase safe and secure. All of your credit card information is encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Technology.
17. I HAVE NOT HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH MY VEHICLE SO FAR. DO I REALLY NEED A VEHICLE PROTECTION PLAN?
Every vehicle on the road is open to the possibility of a mechanical failure. The older the vehicle gets and the more miles that are put on it, the more likely a breakdown is. It makes sense that the manufacturers warranty is only there to protect you for a limited amount of time. Components such as computer-related items could fail regardless of your driving habits. With the complexity of vehicles today one major repair often costs more than the Vehicle protection Plan itself. A Vehicle Protection Plan will be there for you when you need it the most once the manufacturer is no longer there to protect you from high repair costs.
18. WHY BUY IT NOW? I’M STILL COVERED BY THE MANUFACTURER.
The earlier you purchase your vehicle protection plan, the less expensive it is. This is just like life insurance. The older a person is the, more expensive the insurance. As your vehicle ages and accrues mileage, the price for protection rises. Prices may also increase due to increasing labor and parts prices. It simply makes sense to lock in today’s low prices and protect yourself from tomorrow’s rising repair rates.
19. IF MY VEHICLE IS OUT OF THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY, CAN I STILL GET COVERAGE?
Even after the manufacturers warranty expires on your vehicle, you are still eligible for a vehicle protection plan.
20. CAN I BUY THIS SAME TYPE OF COVERAGE THROUGH MY DEALER?
Yes of course you can purchase similar coverage through your dealer. Given the issues that many dealers have had lately, we think it makes good sense to purchase from a national company such as Auto Care Coverage.
21. DO I HAVE TO GO BACK TO MY ORIGINAL DEALER FOR ANY REPAIRS?
The choice is yours. If you prefer your dealer, then we encourage you to go to them. You can take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility of your choice. This is a real bonus over the manufacturer’s vehicle service contracts especially if you are in need of a repair when away from home.
22. DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
Yes. See “Payment Options”.
23. WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DEALER DOES NOT WANT TO ACCEPT THIS PROTECTION PLAN?
Plans offered by Auto Care Coverage pay repair facilities immediately and utilize industry standard manuals to determine pricing. When repair facilities discover they do not have to bill for payment, they are generally eager to accept the business we refer to them. In the rare event a repair facility will not accept our direct credit card payment, we will reimburse you promptly for the authorized amount.
24. WHAT IF MY VEHICLE BREAKS DOWN AND I AM NOT NEAR MY HOME?
The vehicle protection plan allows you to take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility throughout the United States and Canada. Wherever you may be, the claims department can be reached through the toll-free telephone number for you or the repair facility.
25. I’VE SEEN LOWER PRICES ON THE INTERNET. WHY SHOULD I BUY A VEHICLE PROTECTION PLAN FROM AUTO CARE COVERAGE?
The lowest price often does not provide the best value; a closer look will reveal a different picture.Auto Care Coverage offers the best value in Auto Protection Plans. We are aware of no other company that offers you coverage as comprehensive as ours, with fewer exclusions, contractual benefits and the financial stability of our administration company.
When comparing companies, make sure you are getting the same benefits and coverage. Make sure you are able to look at the contract before you purchase. Be certain that less money does not equate less coverage.
Our customers tell us they are looking for comprehensive coverage and benefits, and a documented financially stable company. No other company can match reputation, comprehensive coverage, outstanding benefits and longevity. The sign-and-drive roadside assistance, car rental reimbursement, towing and trip interruption benefits are all part of one insured contract. You might find a lower price but you won’t find a better value.
26. WHERE IS MY VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VIN)?
Your VIN can be located in several places.
1. Your VIN is printed on your vehicle Registration card.
2. Your VIN is printed on you vehicle Insurance card.
3. Your VIN number is stamped on a tag on the dashboard near the windshield.
4. Your VIN is printed on a sticker that is attached to the driver-side door edge just below the latch.
27. WHAT IF I WANT TO CANCEL MY PROTECTION PLAN?
The contract contains full details on our refund provisions. You have a full 30 days after purchase to obtain a full refund. After that, you are entitled to a pro-rated refund of the unused portion of your contract. Unlike some companies, we do not pro-rate your refund from the in-service date of your vehicle. This is important because if you keep the warranty for 6 months and you prorate from in-service date, you will probably get charged for 36 months of use. On Plans offered by Auto Care Coverage you be will charged only for the 6 months.
28. WHAT IF I SELL MY CAR? IS MY PLAN TRANSFERABLE?
Absolutely. For a modest transfer fee you can transfer the plan to another private purchaser of your vehicle. Vehicles with existing coverage typically offer much higher resale values because the buyer knows they are not going to get hit with huge repair costs.
29. WHEN MY PLAN EXPIRES, CAN I GET A NEW PLAN?
As long as your vehicle still meets the the current underwriting guidelines you can purchase additional coverage.
30. DO YOU OFFER COVERAGE ON SALVAGE OR JUNK TITLES, REBUILT VEHICLES OR VEHICLES DAMAGED BY A FLOOD?
Our program is not available on vehicles with salvage or junk title, flood title, rebuilt or reconstructed title, or on vehicles where the odometer has been tampered with, or on vehicles that have been declared “a lemon”.