Once you've been adulting for a few years, you start to realize that a lot of essential-sounding products and services out there really aren't worth the investment. Sure, at first they sound like something valuable that can save you a lot of time or money, but in the end, it turns out you would have been better off not making that purchase. If you're not familiar with mechanical breakdown insurance, you may be wondering if if purchasing a mechanical breakdown policy really is worth your while, or if it's one of those "nice to have, but not necessary" types of investments. We're here to help you weigh the pros and cons of mechanical breakdown coverage so you can decide if it's something that will really give you your money's worth in the long run.
What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Half of you probably just said, "Wait, mechanical breakdown insurance - that's a thing?" So let's back up for a moment and explain exactly what it is and how it works.
Mechanical breakdown insurance is not intended as a substitute for traditional auto insurance- you absolutely need to have that if you have a car!
Mechanical breakdown coverage is a special kind of supplemental insurance that you can purchase for your car. Unlike the auto insurance you are required by law to have as a driver, this type of coverage is purely optional, though it can be advantageous for you to take the option. (Please note, however, that mechanical breakdown insurance is not intended as a substitute for traditional auto insurance- you absolutely need to have that if you have a car!) Where traditional auto insurance policies only cover damage sustained to your vehicle due to a collision or theft, mechanical breakdown insurance covers the repair or replacement of parts due to typical wear and tear. In other words, mechanical breakdown coverage helps make costly, often unexpected repairs much more affordable for car owners.
Mechanical breakdown coverage also often gets confused with extended manufacturer's warranties, which can be purchased through your dealership at the time you purchase your vehicle. While having one of these manufacturer's warranties in place can be advantageous for vehicle owners, extended warranties offered through auto dealerships often require a lump-sum payment upfront at the time of purchase, while mechanical breakdown coverage is split into affordable monthly premium payments.
Most used car buyers search for "extended auto warranties". Extended warranties are actually either Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (in California) or a Vehicle Service contract (in the rest of the USA). If you are in California, be sure to check out Olive to get pricing for mechanical breakdown insurance.
When Is Mechanical Breakdown Coverage Worth It?
Let's say you are the owner of a vehicle that is six years old and has over 100,000 miles on it. If that vehicle's transmission breaks down and needs to be replaced, you're looking at an average of $2,500 out of pocket to fix it before you can drive your car again. Even with a manufacturer's warranty, with a high-mileage vehicle, you may find yourself out of luck! However, if you purchased mechanical breakdown coverage from a reputable company and are up to date on your monthly premium payments, all you'll need to come up with is the deductible, and they'll cover the rest. This could mean a savings of hundreds-maybe thousands- of dollars, all because you were smart and thought ahead about the future of your car.
Here's another scenario: you've had your car since you were old enough to drive- and it was old when you bought it! Your car needs a major part repair or replacement almost once a month on average, but it's your baby and you love it. With mechanical breakdown insurance, you're looking at a lot less pain with each repair bill your mechanic presents to you, and you're still able to keep your car running at its peak, whatever that may be, without having to break the bank every time it needs something else.
Mechanical breakdown coverage can even come in handy when your car is brand-new! Let's say you have an auto mechanic whom you've trusted for years to provide effective, affordable repairs on your vehicles. Since some extended warranties only cover service and repair performed by the dealership, you would have to take it there to get fixed, rather than visit your preferred auto technician. With mechanical breakdown insurance, however, you can take your vehicle to any automotive repair center you choose. The freedom and convenience afforded to you by mechanical breakdown coverage may make it extremely worthwhile for you to look into!
If you think you may be interested in mechanical breakdown coverage for your vehicle, it's important to make sure the provider is a reputable company with high ratings and positive consumer reviews. Investing in a mechanical breakdown insurance policy can help you afford repairs or part replacements that would have otherwise been devastating to both your car and to your wallet! Mechanical breakdown coverage can be extremely worthwhile to many drivers over the long term. Make sure to do your homework and choose the policy that's right for you!