FYI: “Bumper to Bumper” is a term commonly used to describe exclusionary vehicle protection plans. To clarify, autopom! offers exclusionary plans which assume all components in a vehicle are covered, apart from a list of exclusions. Throughout this article we will use the more commonly recognized term, “bumper-to-bumper,” to describe exclusionary plan options.   

When car shopping, the phrase “bumper to bumper warranty” comes up more often than not. After all, new cars come with the factory bumper-to-bumper protection. But what does the phrase, ‘bumper-to-bumper’ really mean?

Below we will discuss the typical covered components, exclusions from coverage, and what language to watch out for when shopping for comprehensive vehicle protection.  

What is Covered under a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?

When you hear “bumper-to-bumper,” you assume everything in your vehicle is covered – from bumper to bumper…right?  Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works. The proper term for these plans is exclusionary protection, which makes perfect sense when you know how they operate. Exclusionary plans have a list of excluded components and conditions; and by default, covers everything else in the vehicle. 

They are commonly referred to as “bumper-to-bumper” because these plans will include coverage for all the major systems of your vehicle: 

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

Considering the thousands of covered components in your vehicle with this kind of plan, the exclusions list is noticeably shorter in comparison. So, let’s take a look at the exclusions…

What is NOT Covered by a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty?

First, when it comes to factory coverage, the limited warranties that come with brand new vehicles 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 or vehicle protection plans, the exclusions lists look very similar whether purchasing from the factory or from a third-party company.  Every exclusions list will vary by provider, so you’ll want 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 to tell the difference between Bumper to Bumper coverage and Stated Component coverage?

The simple way to tell whether the sample contract you’re looking at is bumper-to-bumper (exclusionary) or not. Does the contract list out specific components as covered? Or does it list exclusions?

As stated above, exclusionary plans only provide a short list of exclusions, and should have language 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.”

Stated-Component plans

Stated component plans, unlike the bumper-to-bumper options, have a specific list of items they will cover in your vehicle. Depending on the number of listed components, these programs range from basic powertrain coverage, to comprehensive plans.

The most important thing to note: if anything outside the coverage list breaks down, the responsibility of paying for those repairs falls to you.

Considering the sheer number of electrical sensors and switches in today’s vehicles, many people opt for bumper-to-bumper protection to ensure they get the most comprehensive coverage available.

Where to shop for Bumper-to-Bumper Extended Warranty

You have two options when shopping for extended coverage: the manufacturer or a third-party company. Let’s discuss the pros and cons to both options 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).
  • Vehicle serviced at the dealership.
  • OEM parts used for repairs when available.

Manufacturer Cons:

  • Vehicle often only serviced at the dealership. (You end up paying dealership prices out of pocket for anything not covered).
  • Commonly more expensive plans (price varies by state and vehicle).
  • If rolled into your auto loan, you end up paying extra money in added interest.
  • Plans typically 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.
  • Vehicle serviced at any ASE-licensed repair facility in the United States and often in Canada as well.
  • Interest-free payment plans.
  • Some companies also have partners. For example, one of our Repair Pal partnered shops near you.
  • autopom! also offers their clients a Customer Advocacy program to assist with claims.

Third-Party Cons:

  • Prior approval from the policy administrator needed for all repairs, so claims can take longer to process.
  • You must keep all maintenance records 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 expenses for pricier dealership costs.

Want more information? autopom! awaits your call!

Whether you think a bumper to bumper plan or stated component plan fits your needs, call in to speak with one of our coverage consultants today. Our agents will help you find the best plan to fit your needs and budget, so you can drive with automotive peace of mind – autopom!

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