The other day I tried to count all the automobile extended warranty companies selling auto protection plans online. I stopped counting after I reached 50. There could be another 50 or 100, but my eyes were getting weary. Questions concerning this industry started flying through my head. Why are there so many warrantee companies? Who are all these guys? Are automobile extended warranties worth the money? Can all of these companies and websites be legitimate?

Owning a good automobile extended warranty can be an excellent experience.

If you love your car and want to be sure that affection continues for years to come, a comprehensive used car extended service warranty from a credible extended car warranty company can complete your positive ownership experience

But which extended vehicle warranties do you turn to for satisfaction? With so many options, plans, and prices, how can you know which choice is best for you?

To choose the right extended car warranty provider for your vehicle, make sure you have firm answers to the following questions:

1)     Does the used vehicle extended warranty company you are considering have credible insurance backing? If the warranty contract is insured by an insurance company, this assurance will be clearly written in the fine print of the car extended warranty policy. Be sure to read your service contract and verify if it has insurance backing. It’s also a good idea to check the company’s insurance rating (be sure the rating is A+, A, or A-).

You can check the AM Best Insurance Ratings and Better Business Bureau ratings of any insurance company you have concerns for here.

2)    Will the auto warranties companies pay for your auto repair at the service facility of your choice with their corporate credit card? This is important, as most dealerships and repair facilities will not wait for payment to come in the mail from extended auto warranties.

3)    Can you cancel? If you should ever feel that the claims service you receive is below your expectations, can you cancel your extended warranty at any time and receive a prorated refund? The best used car warranties will let you cancel the remainder of your warranty policy even if you have previously collected on a claim payment.

4)    Do the vehicle extended warranty plans include “wear and tear” coverage? (some vehicles may not qualify) Too many claims can be denied over the confusing definition of whether a part is actually broken or just worn, and therefore not a covered condition.

5)    How much per year will the cost be? Read: Does buying a car extended warranty really increase resale value? 

About the author: The Warranty Watchman, a.k.a. David Olthoff, has specialized in auto extended warranties for the past 21 years.