What's not to love about living in California? We have the sun, the surf, the sand... ideal, I tell you, ideal! The one thing I could do with a little less of, however, is the driving; an extra hour or two on the road each day really takes its toll on you. Not to mention the toll it's taking on your vehicle, which is why it is important to make sure your California extended car warranty or vehicle protection plan is one that you can trust.
While looking for reliability, you will first want to make sure to purchase your protection from a trusted source. One of the things that makes the state of California unique is that the type of coverage that you purchase will depend upon the source that you purchase it from. There are two types of extended vehicle coverage (protection) in California:
If you purchase your coverage from a third party like Autopom, you are actually purchasing an insurance policy that is regulated by the state Department of Insurance.
If you purchase your California extended car warranty from a dealer, it is considered either an extended warranty if it is a genuine manufacturer's extended warranty, or a vehicle service contract if the dealer is re-selling a third-party product.
What it boils down to is that when you purchase an MBI policy, the underwriter behind it has had their rates and program parameters placed under a microscope by the California Department of Insurance; this is encouraging because they have obviously passed the test or the MBI policy wouldn't be there for you to purchase! When it comes to a VSC, however, the rates and program parameters are not governed by the DOI so you may not be getting the maximum value for your dollar and the peace of mind that accompanies it.
When looking for that protection you can trust, you will also want to examine the policy itself. There are two general types of polices offered:
The age and mileage of your vehicle, not to mention your budget, will probably be the deciding factors when determining which of these two types are best for you.
This type refers to a policy that lists the components on the vehicle that are not covered, or excluded. The Named Exclusion plan is the most extensive protection available because the list is often times fairly short, leaving a majority of the components on the vehicle covered.
Often times people will refer to this protection as bumper-to-bumper coverage as it most closely mimics the full manufacturer's warranty. However, when warranty companies use this terminology it tends to be misleading; not everything on the vehicle between the bumpers is covered, after all, so it's important to read the list of non-covered components to find out what is truly excluded from protection.
This type refers to a policy that lists the components on the vehicle that are covered. Most extended car warranty companies offer several different levels of Named Component coverage, and age and mileage on the vehicle will often determine which level of coverage your vehicle qualifies for.
When looking at these plans, be sure to consider the components on your vehicle; if there are a lot of bells and whistles or specialized parts, be sure to locate them on the Named Component plan of your choice to ensure they will be covered in the event of breakdown.
Finally, every extended car warranty out there will come with every different price tag imaginable. This is true with most every product, of course, and your California extended car warranty is no different. This is where it is better to go with an MBI policy purchased through a third-party rather than a VSC purchased through a dealer.
Since the MBI policy is regulated by the Department of Insurance, the rates will have been adjusted to be standard across the industry and of benefit to the consumer, but with a VSC you don't have that regulation, so the protection is vulnerable to high dealer markups.
As always, I encourage you to do your research. The extra time you spend equipping yourself with this valuable industry information will help ensure that you get the maximum value and peace of mind from your California extended car warranty.