You can’t drive any vehicle – car, truck, used, new – without insurance, which protects you and other drivers financially in the event of a collision.
This covers you in the event of an accident but what happens if your car stops working for mechanical reasons. Not all insurance covers instances like these, but frequently it happens, especially with a used vehicle. A mechanical breakdown can be expensive to repair. If you purchase mechanical breakdown insurance on your loan, you could be out as little as your deductible.
Here are five things to know when choosing your breakdown insurance.
What Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Includes
Even if you’re purchasing a used car instead of new, you might be wondering, why not just get a warranty from the dealership rather than paying more for insurance? The answer is that dealership warranties are typically nowhere near as extensive as mechanical breakdown insurance, and they could miss certain parts.
With a dealership, you’re typically going to get a generalized, umbrella-style coverage that aims to take care of the entire car. But with mechanical breakdown insurance, you get specified protection for parts, including your engine, alternator, and battery.
Another benefit of breakdown insurance is options. You can choose how much of your vehicle you need to be covered. If your car is newer, you may not want as many minor parts protected as you would for an old vehicle.
What Breakdown Insurance Does Not Include
While it would be nice, mechanical breakdown insurance does not typically include routine maintenance like oil changes or tire rotations. Breakdown insurance exists to help drivers in the event of the types of large expenses that can inevitably happen to older, used cars.
This means replacing things like filters, brake pads, and lubrication will most often still be up to you, the owner. Before signing the dotted line, make sure you know what is included in your coverage.
The Bottom Line
In addition to being more extensive than dealership warranties, breakdown insurance is usually also less expensive, even for used vehicles. This is because you have to have insurance regardless, and usually your agent can just add the fees into your existing policy, even if it’s a new one.
If you’re looking to save on overall costs, it’s better to go with breakdown insurance rather than a warranty from the dealership. Additionally, warranties expire, whereas breakdown insurance can be renewed and continued each year. An insurance policy is also much more flexible than a warranty.
Learn the Specifics
Like all major purchases, it’s good to know the right questions beforehand. For mechanical breakdown insurance, some of these are:
- What does this coverage include and exclude?
- What costs are covered? Labor/parts/both?
- What repair shops are part of this coverage?
- Is there a limit on my car’s mileage for this plan?
- What is the deductible?
Be sure to ask about total cost for your plan before committing, you don’t want to get blindsided by hidden fees.
Wear and Tear
Most mechanical breakdown policies do not include what insurance companies call “wear and tear,” but the definition of this can be vague. Talk to your insurance agent about what this covers. If your car breaks down but it’s labeled as a factor of wear and tear, you can end up paying for the repair and your policy all the same.
Once you know the details of your mechanical breakdown insurance, you’re ready to apply the policy to your used vehicle. And to make sure you get the best car for your needs give WEOKIE a call at (405) 235-3030 or 1(800) 678-5363. Download our guide to the tools that will help you get the best deal on your new ride!
*See a WEOKIE rep for details. Federally Insured by NCUA