When choosing a warranty you must keep in mind that not all policies are the same. The cover can vary widely depending on the provider you use, so it’s essential to check the small print carefully before you make that important purchase. Here’s what you should look out for:
What are the exclusions?
Having to pay for a repair that you originally thought was covered when you took out your policy can be a real pain. To avoid any nasty surprises, make sure you know exactly what your policy will and won’t pay out for. An extended warranty will always exclude consumable items such as wheels, tyres, exhausts, batteries, worn out clutches and brakes, as well as damage to bodywork and paintwork regardless of which provider you choose.
The most comprehensive policies will cover mechanical failures that are due to manufacturing defect, or that have happened as a result of wear and tear − whether that be termed ‘premature’, ‘normal’ or ‘gradual’. Diagnostic costs are also important so you should check to see whether the policy you are interested in will cover this too. This could save you a lot of time and money if it takes a while for the garage to discover exactly what is wrong with your car. You should also check that you will be covered for any faults that are found at a service or MOT – as this might be the only yearly visit to the garage, if your policy doesn’t provide cover for this it won’t be covering much at all. Policies provided by Warranty Direct will cover all of these.
What are your policy claim limits?
A claim will always be capped when it reaches a certain amount, so always check the cover limits before buying a car warranty. A policy that will only pay out a maximum of a few hundred pounds won’t be of much use if you need to make a claim for thousands. If you can, you should always find a provider that covers up to at least £5,000 or, better still, the cost of a replacement vehicle – any less, and you are potentially leaving yourself exposed to an expensive claim. When it comes to a car warranty, cheapest isn’t always best. There is no point in saving on the cost of your policy if the claim limits restrict what will be covered.
When will your policy pay out?
Assuming your cover will be effective from day one might seem reasonable but it isn’t always the case. Most policies won’t accept any claims within the first few weeks or even the first month, although there are a few who will pay out from day one. To make sure that you don’t get caught out by this – make sure you are aware of the waiting period before you make a claim. Warranty Direct will cover sudden and unexpected failures from day one.
What will you have to contribute?
There may be a contribution cost to parts for older or higher-mileage vehicles, as this helps to keep premiums down. Check that this is clearly laid out in your policy document – the last thing you need is to find out how much you have to pay once you have made a claim.
Can you choose your garage?
If your provider restricts you to certain garages you may have to travel miles for repairs. The maximum labour rate covered may also restrict you unless you are prepared to contribute extra. Warranty Direct offers you your choice of repairer and labour rate, giving you total control. You can use any garage as long as it is VAT registered, allowing you to be covered at a BMW dealer on Park Lane or at your local garage.
Is the warranty insured?
When choosing a warranty check to see whether or not it is insured, choosing a provider that is will give you the rights to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the event of any disputes. It will also provide you with protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can provide compensation if the insurer is unable to continue trading. If you buy a warranty that is non-insured, you will not have any FOS or FSCS rights.