An extended warranty can protect you from paying out-of-pocket for high and unexpected car costs. However, some vehicle protection plans have a waiting period. The extended warranty waiting period is the time you must wait after buying a plan before you can use it.

How Long Is the Waiting Period?

The time varies across different vehicle protection plans and providers. In fact, some companies put no waiting time in place at all, but these plans are harder to find. Most extended warranties require a waiting period of 30 days and 1,000 miles before you can file a claim.

If you’re a low-mileage driver, ask whether the company has an alternate waiting period that better suits your driving habits. Some common alternatives are 90-day/200 miles, and 60-day/500 miles.

Why Does an Extended Warranty Waiting Period Exist?

Most people buy vehicle protection plans for a rainy day down the road. However, there are some people who are looking to cover a problem that already exists. By adding a waiting period requirement, companies hope to weed out people who fraudulently purchase extended warranties to cover preexisting conditions.

Rather than require an inspection at the time of purchase, causing extra time lost and money spent by clients, the coverage company can require a waiting period. The idea is if a vehicle can wait at least 30 days and drive the average of 1,000 miles in a month, it is more likely to be in good, working order.

What Should You Do If an Issue Arises Before the Extended Warranty Waiting Period Is Over?

If you experience a problem with your vehicle before the waiting period ends, you should still take it to a licensed repair facility as soon as possible. While it likely will not be covered by your coverage, if you fail to fix the issue and it causes other issues down the line, that could result in a much larger repair bill falling on your shoulders.

You may also want to contact your vehicle protection plan provider for advice on what to do next. Many companies will be glad to walk you through the problem over the phone. At autopom!, we have customer advocacy experts who will help drivers understand the terms of their agreement.

(Want to learn more about autopom!’s other great benefits? Request a free quote!)

How Can the Warranty Company Check for Preexisting Conditions?

Extended warranty companies do not often ask potential customers to take their vehicles in for inspection. They make a warranty decision based on the vehicle’s make, model, year, and mileage at the time of purchasing. These companies then rely on the extended warranty waiting period for protection.

However, if the company expects a fraudulent purchase for preexisting conditions, they may start to dig deeper into your vehicle’s history. There are a few different things they could look at when they do:

  1. Vehicle’s Maintenance/Repair Records: If you have kept up with regular servicing and there is no record of the issue before your extended warranty purchase, it is unlikely to be deemed a preexisting condition.
  2. Signs of Wear and Tear: If you have not kept up with regular maintenance on your vehicle, this is where a problem could come back to haunt you.
  3. Diagnostic Test: This helps identify any problems that may have existed. Sometimes, companies can see codes that the vehicle previously generated and when.

When Your Manufacturer’s Warranty Expires, Choose autopom!

Waiting periods and vehicle protection plans exist to protect companies against fraud. As long as you are purchasing a plan to protect yourself from damages that arise in the future, you will not have to worry.

If you have questions about whether your current maintenance might affect eligibility or the extended warranty waiting period, feel free to contact our team. You can then start the process by getting your free quote.