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Is a Vehicle Service Contract a "Bumper-to-Bumper" Warranty?

Mar 3, 2021
Claims, Contract Holders

Purchasing a vehicle service contract is a really smart move. If you have already bought one and read your contract thoroughly, congratulations. You have thought ahead, and your service contract is ready to protect you from the high costs and inconvenience associated with covered repairs.

If you have not purchased one yet and are considering doing so, it’s important to understand that even though you may maintain your vehicle faithfully according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, things can and will go wrong at one time or another. As your car ages and mile after mile gets added to your odometer, the likelihood of something going wrong with your vehicle increases. That’s why having the protection of a service contract is so essential. 

However, it’s also important to understand exactly what you’re buying when you purchase a vehicle service contract. If you don’t do your due diligence and read your service contract, you might assume that your contract is equivalent to a bumper-to-bumper warranty, and that all of the thousands of various parts that make up your vehicle are fully covered during the lifetime of your contract. 

Unfortunately, that would be a wrong assumption. 

A vehicle service contract is not a bumper-to-bumper warranty. While there are many different service contracts available for you to purchase, it is highly unlikely that you will find any of them being promoted as offering “bumper-to-bumper coverage.” There’s a simple reason for that. It’s simply not true. Although a service contract offers valuable coverage for an astonishing number of components throughout your vehicle, it will not cover everything from front to back. A service contract will only cover those components that are specifically listed in the contract itself. 

When you’re at your car dealership and are offered a service contract for your vehicle, take the time to read the contract and fully understand your coverage options. If you’re looking at one of iA American’s service contracts, look for the section titled “WHAT IS COVERED” or similar. There you will see all of the possible components that can be covered by that service contract. If you’re not sure what a particular term means, ask your salesperson to explain it to you. They have the knowledge and know-how to help you make the best decision possible for you and your needs. 

Although no service contract will cover absolutely everything throughout your vehicle, it usually doesn't need to. Depending upon the level of coverage you purchased when you bought your service contract, if something goes wrong with your vehicle during the term of your contract, the coverage options available to you should be sufficient to cover most situations. 

If you ever see a service contract being advertised as having complete “bumper-to-bumper” coverage, don’t hesitate to question it. Also, regardless of which vehicle service contract you purchase, read the contract carefully and fully understand all of your coverage options before you sign on the dotted line. That way, there will be absolutely no surprises and misunderstandings later on down the road. 

Be informed. Read your contract. Enjoy your vehicle!