We consider these main factors in our extended warranty review and pricing pages:
We see what vehicles the extended warranty would cover in terms of the driver’s state of residence and the car’s make, model year, mileage, and preexisting conditions, if any.
Buying and Claims Process
We prefer companies that allow customers to get quotes and buy warranties both online and over the phone. We prioritize companies that don’t require a pre-inspection or waiting period.
As far as claims, we prefer companies that let customers use any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada and those that pay the shops directly rather than reimburse customers. We also prefer flexible deductibles per visit, not per repair, to save the customer money.
Coverages differ widely depending on both the provider and the plan. So, although the more coverages, the better, the best option really depends on what coverages the customer is looking for. We like companies that have 24/7 roadside assistance at a minimum, plus coverage for parts and labor, rental car reimbursement, tire repair or replacement, trip interruption protection, and towing.
Across the industry, the average annual cost of an extended warranty is $5,195, with an average range of $4,967 to $6,423. We compare the services each company offers with its average cost to see if it is a reasonable value. However, because nearly no extended warranty companies are forthright about their prices, we are forced to depend on averages.
We prioritize companies that let their customers reach them in multiple ways: email, online forms, and phone. We also check out customer service ratings from the BBB and Trustpilot, trusted third parties with reviews from thousands of real customers.
Some companies offer iOS and Android mobile apps, which allow for easy claim submission, repair shop location searches, and other tools. We look for well-designed apps that have ratings of at least 3 out of 5 stars in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
Some companies offer extras, but these perks are rare. Protect My Car, for example, features a points-based loyalty program called PMC Rewards, while Toco provides a discount on reservations from Hotels.com. However, these are bonuses, so we don’t penalize companies that lack them.