Disclaimer: “Bumper-to-Bumper” is a term commonly used to describe exclusionary vehicle protection plans.

autopom! offers exclusionary vehicle protection plans that encompass all the components in a vehicle, apart from a list of a few exclusions. To describe the exclusionary plan options, we will use the more commonly recognized term, “bumper-to-bumper,” in this article.

If you have been car shopping, you have likely heard the phrase “bumper to bumper warranty” before. In fact, all the new cars come with the factory ‘bumper-to-bumper’ protection. Additionally, an extended warranty is offered, while purchasing any vehicle. But what does the phrase, ‘bumper-to-bumper’ really mean?

So, we shall discuss the same below to help you understand:
– What is included in these policies
– What’s typically NOT included, and
– What language to watch out for when you’re shopping for the vehicle protection plan

What’s Covered under a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?

Your first instinct, upon hearing “bumper-to-bumper”, is that everything in your vehicle is covered – from the front bumper to the rear bumper – isn’t it? Technically that’s not quite how it works. The proper term for these plans is exclusionary protection, which is more accurate when you break it down.

The excluded components and conditions are listed out in the exclusionary plans. And everything else in the vehicle will be covered in the plan by default. In fact, so many items are covered that it is much easier to list out what’s NOT covered.

The reason they are commonly referred to as “bumper-to-bumper” is that these plans will include coverage for all the major systems of your vehicle:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drive Axle
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Braking
  • Air Conditioning
  • Electronics

The exclusions list is noticeably short, considering the thousands of vehicle components that would be covered under an exclusionary plan. So, let’s take a look at what’s not covered…

What’s NOT Covered by a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?

First, when it comes to automatic factory coverage, the limited warranties that come with brand new vehicles tend to have the least number of exclusions. Some manufacturers even cover things like paint or other cosmetic damage for a short period of time.

However, when it comes to extended warranties and vehicle protection plans, the exclusions tend to be very similar whether purchasing from the factory or a third-party company. Every exclusions list will vary by provider, so you’ll want to be sure to read the terms and conditions of all policies you look at.

You can often break the exclusions into two categories: excluded components and excluded conditions. Below we have provided you examples of both:

Commonly Excluded Components in a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty:

  1. Maintenance-related items/services (brake pads/rotors, spark plugs, oil changes)
  2. Consumable items (tires, batteries, light bulbs)
  3. Cosmetic items (paint, glass, dents, fabric/upholstery)
  4. Emissions Components (After the Federal Emissions or CA Emissions warranty expires)
  5. Safety-Restraint Equipment (seat belts, airbags)

Commonly Excluded Conditions in a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty:

  1. Breakdowns caused by alterations/modifications made to the vehicle
  2. Damage from weather, fire, flood, etc.
  3. Damage from auto accidents or collisions
  4. Breakdowns caused by engine overheating or lack of lubrication
  5. Breakdowns due to lack of maintenance.

How Will I Know If I’m Being Quoted a Bumper-to-Bumper plan?

There’s a really simple way to tell whether the sample contract you’re looking at is bumper-to-bumper (exclusionary) or not. Check if the contract has a list of components that are covered. If yes, then you are NOT being quoted an exclusionary option.

Typically, exclusionary plans just provide a short-list of what is not covered within the plan, and have a language that is similar to the following:

“Under this coverage plan, we will repair or replace any component of your vehicle that is not excluded under the section titled, “What Is Not Covered” that has experienced a breakdown.”

On the other hand, if specific items that are covered have been listed out in your policy, then it’s called a “stated-component” plan.

What’s a Stated-Component plan?

Stated component plans, unlike the bumper-to-bumper options, have a specific list of items they will cover in your vehicle. they can be as simple as a powertrain coverage plan, or as complex as a comprehensive plan, since they work by listing out what is covered. It all depends on how many items they list. However, one important thing to remember is that your coverage is limited to those specific items. If anything that is not stated for coverage in your policy breaks down in your vehicle, then it will not be covered.

Where can I get a Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty?

You have two options when shopping for extended coverage: the manufacturer or a third-party company. There are pros and cons to both options, so we’ll discuss both below.

Manufacturer Pros:

  • Often include optional add-ons or extra perks (as an example, the Honda Care extended warranty includes oil changes in their Honda Care Sentinel plan)
  • The vehicle is serviced at the dealership.
  • Repairs will use OEM parts when available.

Manufacturer Cons:

  • The vehicle can only be repaired at the dealership (i.e., if something is not covered, you’ll end up paying dealership prices out of pocket)
  • Plans tend to be more expensive (price varies by state and vehicle)
  • If rolled into your auto loan, you’ll end up paying extra money in added interest.
  • Plans typically are only available when purchasing a vehicle from the dealership.

Third-Party Pros:

  • Often include extra perks such as towing/roadside assistance, trip interruption, and rental vehicle reimbursement.
  • The vehicle can be serviced at any ASE-licensed repair facility in the U.S. and many plans also allow for coverage in Canada
  • Interest-free payment plans.
  • Some companies also have partners. For example, we at autopom! are partnered with Repair Pal. See https://www.repairpal.com/autopom for one of our preferred shops near you.
  • autopom! also offers its clients a Customer Advocacy program to assist with claims.

Third-Party Cons:

  • Prior approval from the policy administrator is sometimes needed for all repairs, so claims can take longer to process
  • All maintenance records must be kept handy in the event your administrator requests them
  • If you choose to go to the dealership for repairs, you may end up with some out of pocket expense as dealership prices are higher than independent shops.

Want more information? autopom! is ready to help!

If an extended bumper-to-bumper coverage plan is right for you, call in to speak with one of our coverage consultants today. Our goal is to help you find the best plan to fit your needs and your budget, so that you can drive with automotive peace of mind – autopom!

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