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Obvi Derek

Beware the increasing costs of vehicle repairs

repair

 

It wasn’t that long ago that a fairly handy and determined automobile owner could fix most of the components in his or her vehicle. Need to replace an alternator? Easy — grab a repair manual or look the information up online, pick up the necessary replacement parts, and take a few hours in your own garage or backyard to complete the work.

But what if your new vehicle’s infotainment screen suddenly stops working and goes black? Well, that’s a whole lot more complicated.

Vehicles today are more complicated and specialized than ever before, and that is a trend that isn’t going to slow down any time soon. While these changes have made them more fun and luxurious, it has also made them more difficult and expensive to repair.

Here is a list of some unexpected vehicle repair claims that Obvi had settled and their costs:

 

  • Running board motor: $1,200
  • Front radar obstruction sensor: $1,600
  • Instrument cluster: $3,650
  • Navigation/infotainment system: $5,900
  • Blindspot monitor: $2,200
  • Rear electric door lock failure: $1,300
  • Back-up camera: $650
  • Side-view mirror cameras: $1,050

 

For more information about repairs to watch out for, check out this useful database from the website CarMD.

Not all car brands are the same

It has become common in the age of the internet for drivers to research vehicles before buying them, and the information that people are finding about vehicle reliability is changing the industry.

To put it simply: some vehicles break down more than others do, and some vehicles cost more to repair than others do. For example, if you have a Ford F-150 (the best-selling vehicle in Canada) it is a lot easier to find original factory parts or aftermarket parts for it in comparison to something like, say, a Jaguar F-Pace. To phrase this another way, the total cost of vehicle ownership can vary a lot from brand to brand or model to model.

The Obvi difference

Obvi’s extended warranties are built to factor in these (sometimes huge) differences. That’s why we price all vehicles uniquely. Our costs to settle repair claims varies from vehicle to vehicle, which is why our prices vary from vehicle to vehicle. If your car, truck or SUV is proven to be reliable and easy to fix, then we’re happy to offer you low rates for a warranty.

Have question? Connect with an Obvi agent to learn more.

The difference between a powertrain warranty and a comprehensive warranty

If you’ve ever purchased a brand-new vehicle, you might have noticed something a little weird about its warranty: there are more than one of them!

What is offered varies from brand to brand, and can include protection for some really specific things, such as emissions and corrosion. However, in the automobile industry there are two primary types of coverage that come with each vehicle: “comprehensive” and “powertrain” warranties. The name “bumper to bumper” has also frequently been used in place of comprehensive, but that is starting to change because it is a misleading title, as we’ll explain below.

So, what do these two main types of warranty cover and how do they differ from each other? Here’s what you need to know:

Comprehensive warranty

This is the highest level of coverage that automobile manufacturers offer, and it begins the very day that the car is first sold (which is also known as the first-in-service date).

What does it include? While the fine details change a little between brands and specific vehicles, generally speaking, this warranty is protection for the vast majority of a vehicle’s components, which numbers in the hundreds. These warranties are always set up with exclusionary wording. What does that mean? It means that if something isn’t specifically listed by the manufacturer as an exclusion, then they cover it if it breaks down.

Excluded components are primarily wearable parts that are expected to degrade over time (such as tires and spark plugs) and things that only break or become damaged due to user error or accident (such as glass and upholstery).

It is better to describe this coverage as “comprehensive” instead of “bumper to bumper” because there are always components between a car’s two bumpers that aren’t covered — and, funnily enough, the bumpers themselves are never covered either!

Powertrain warranty

After a vehicle’s comprehensive warranty expires, its powertrain warranty kicks in. A vehicle’s powertrain warranty is always longer than its comprehensive warranty.

What is included in a powertrain warranty? As the website AutoGuide describes:

In simple terms, a powertrain warranty covers the parts of a car that provide power and make it move. Typically that involves the engine, transmission and drivetrain.

Other possibly included components are transfer cases, differentials, and other internal workings of the engine. As you can see, powertrain warranties are quite limited. They don’t include electronics, heating and cooling systems, and a number of other components.

It is important to note that powertrain components are still covered when the factory comprehensive warranty is active. For example: if your vehicle has three years of comprehensive warranty and it suffers a transmission breakdown in the second year of ownership, you should still be covered.

What Obvi offers

Obvi is reinventing extended automobile warranties.

Brand-new vehicles are eligible for comprehensive extensions beyond what the manufacturer offers, and many other slightly older vehicles are as well.

Visit our quote page to receive a free quote for your vehicle or to get in touch with our licensed agents to answer any questions that you might have.

Frequently Asked Questions About Insuring Off-Warranty Vehicles

Are you interested in purchasing an extended warranty for your off-warranty vehicle, but still have questions about what is available to you and how the coverage works? You’re certainly not alone.

We here at Obvi recently launched our brand-new off-warranty program, and we want interested customers to be as knowledgeable about the program as possible before deciding to buy. Here are some answers to some of the most important questions:

 

Why do I need to get an inspection?

Insurance fraud is a real issue, and we need to ensure that all vehicles we cover are safe to do so. By filtering out problem vehicles prior to issuing policies, we are better able to provide industry-leading claims service to all of our customers.

 

Which vehicles need an inspection?

If your manufacturer’s full comprehensive warranty has expired (most are 3 years/60,000km or 4 years/80,000 km) you will need an inspection from Obvi to purchase a warranty. New vehicles still under warranty do not require inspections.

 

Why do I have to use Obvi and its partners for my inspection?

Streamlining all of our inspections through one trusted mechanic partner provides consistency and makes our claims process faster and more efficient for customers. We also want all of our customers to have the luxury of working with a mobile mechanic that comes right to their home or workplace. Additionally, some dealerships don’t always take the inspection process seriously because they are more focused on closing sales.

 

Do I need to have a quote before I can get an inspection?

Yes. A discounted inspection rate is available to those who want to get a warranty for their vehicle. Get a quote for your vehicle before booking your inspection.

 

Where can I get my vehicle inspected?

Inspections come to you! Your vehicle inspection can be done at your place of work or your home.

 

How much does the inspection cost?

Inspections are offered at a discounted rate of $129 (plus taxes).

 

What cities and provinces do you offer inspections in?

We are currently only able to serve the greater municipal areas of Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia for inspections. If you are able to travel to these locations we can set up an appointment; otherwise, we will look to expand our locations in the future.

 

If I don’t live in Calgary, Edmonton or the Lower Mainland, could I still drive to one of those areas for an inspection?

Yes, it’s possible to go to these areas for a scheduled inspection. Please plan ahead to determine a safe place to meet the mechanic.

 

What does the inspection include?

Certified mechanics perform a 147-point inspection. You will receive the results of the inspection electronically. The inspection includes:

  • Thorough inspection of the vehicle’s mechanical, cosmetic and electrical systems
  • Identify existing conditions
  • Identify potential safety and financial problems
  • Wheels will be taken off, vehicle raised and then taken on a test drive

 

What happens if the inspection finds an issue?

If your vehicle has an issue that would be covered under warranty you will need to get it repaired before you can purchase a warranty. This doesn’t apply to excluded items like tires, rims, body panels, etc. Our partner mechanics can also help with the repairs for you at the time of inspection.

 

How do I know that Obvi will be there when I need them?

Obvi is an online-based company, so we are more reliant on showcasing positive reviews to attract new customers than dealerships are. We take customer service very seriously and will work diligently to ensure that all of our customers are satisfied with their experience with us. We are also a licensed insurance broker, so we are bound by provincial and federal regulations, and this policy is underwritten by an A-rated insurance underwriter.

If you still have other questions, please visit our website to chat with a live agent, or schedule a phone call with us for a time that is convenient for you.

Introducing Obvi’s New Coverage For Off-Warranty Vehicles

Since Obvi was founded, one of the biggest requirements for vehicles to be eligible for extended warranty was that they needed to have some comprehensive factory warranty remaining.

As of now, however, that requirement is a thing of the past. After months of hard work, Obvi is proud to announce the release of our brand-new off-warranty policy!

We listen closely to feedback from our customers, and we noticed the clear and consistent demand for this type of coverage. For all those customers who wanted to work with us before but were previously ineligible, we are thrilled to finally work with you now.

Some key points to know about our new plans include:

  • Most vehicle brands are covered
  • Vehicles must be 2011 models or newer and have fewer than 200,000 kilometers on their odometers to be eligible
  • Coverage is available to automobile owners who can conduct inspections in the areas of Calgary, Edmonton and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia
  • Price quotes are available prior to purchase. All quotes are free and the process only takes a few minutes. Give our Instant Quote system a try on our website
  • Vehicle inspections are required after receiving a quote and prior to purchasing a policy. Please visit our inspections page to learn more
  • Our plans are underwritten by an A-rated insurance company, so you’ll know that your policy will be secure for the entire term. Read our blog on this topic to learn more.

To learn more, please visit our website. If you prefer to direct your questions to a live agent, you can use our website’s chat system or schedule a phone call at a time that works for you.

Are Extended Car Warranties Insurance?

When you buy an extended warranty product, how do you know that you’re making a secure purchase?

It’s a fair question, and one that many drivers ask for a reason. For decades Canadians had no choice, and there were companies that sold extended automobile warranties that weren’t always honest or reputable, and these companies gave the entire industry a bad reputation. Furthermore, honest companies like Sears defaulted and their warranty program went down with them, increasing the frustration faced by Canadians.

Luckily, however, many Canadian drivers can now buy safely because of one big change: extended warranties as insurance products.

Why are insurance products more secure?

Simply put, the world of insurance is guided by strict regulations and monitored for financial stability.

In order to run an insurance business, companies need to follow both federal and provincial guidelines about what they are and aren’t allowed to do. These restrictions are primarily  in place to protect consumers from unscrupulous companies.

What should consumers look for?

An A-rated insurer is the safest bet for Canadians because they have proven track records.

How do extended warranties as insurance work?

All insurance works by covering the consumer for events that shouldn’t occur.

Extended warranties as insurance work in a similar way: by covering your vehicle for problems that aren’t supposed to occur.

These policies are as good as the warranties offered by vehicle manufacturers, if not better. And with the financial security of insurance companies, these policies are welcomed by all shops because they know the insurer will be able to pay for the repairs.

What does an Obvi extended warranty cover?

Obvi models our warranties off of the comprehensive coverage offered directly from vehicle manufacturers. We outline a small list of exclusions, and if something isn’t explicitly excluded, it’s covered! This allows us to provide the most broad coverage as possible. This is important, because not only does it protect customers against problems that are rare or unexpected, it also helps us cover all the new and exciting electronic features that are constantly being added to vehicles.

Visit Obvi’s website to learn more, or get an instant quote for free within minutes.

Will Dealerships Honour An Obvi Warranty?

 

One of the questions that Obvi team members receive regularly goes something like this: “Will dealerships honour your warranties?”

This question has its roots in how the world of automobile extended warranties used to be.

For a long time, extended warranties could only be bought from dealerships or directly from manufacturers, and drivers would be restricted about where they could take their vehicles for claims. If you bought a Ford extended warranty you had to take your vehicle to a Ford service center, if you bought a Dodge extended warranty you had to take your vehicle to a Dodge service center, and so on.

To put that another way, a Ford dealership won’t honour a Dodge warranty, and vice versa.

Eventually, independent companies that also sold extended warranties entered the market, before the insurance industry ultimately took control. Insurance regulation was a huge turning point, as all shops — dealers included — are happy to accept payment from licensed, financially stable Canadian insurance companies.

Obvi gives you freedom about where to take your vehicle

We recognize that different drivers have different needs about where they service their vehicles. Some people like to take the vehicle back to the dealership where it was bought; some people have specific mom-and-pop shops that they have a long history with; some people like specialized garages for import cars; and some people just choose a place because the location or hours are convenient.

That’s why we want our customers to have choices about where to take their vehicles for servicing. As long as the destination is a licensed repair facility (sorry, we won’t pay your friend Bill for the repairs he does in his backyard), it’s fine by us.

Another big perk about our warranties: North America-wide coverage. Whether you’re driving away from home for work or making a road trip with your family, if a breakdown occurs we can still cover the cost of repairs.

How Obvi’s claims process works

We try to make our claims process as simple as possible for our customers.

First, notify your chosen shop that you have coverage through Obvi. Next, ask them to contact us directly with your information and the estimate. Finally, once the work has been approved and completed, Obvi will pay the shop directly.

That’s it! You don’t need to worry about paying for the repairs and then being saddled with those costs until we can reimburse you.

So, will dealerships honour our warranty? Yes!

The insurance industry pays billions of dollars in claims each year — there is no dealership or shop in the country that doesn’t want part of this. As long as dealerships are being paid for the work that they’re doing, they don’t really care where the money comes from. And to be honest, dealership service centers are great to work with. They know the brand, they know the parts, and they know how to get your vehicle fixed. If a dealer ever seems unsure about how our coverage works, simply tell them that you have a licensed Canadian insurance policy that will pay for the work on your behalf, and that they can contact us with any questions.

Visit our website to learn more about Obvi. You can also instantly receive a free Extended Warranty quote for your vehicle.

5 Tips For Trading In Or Privately Selling Your Vehicle

So, you’ve decided that, for one reason or another, you want to switch from your current car to a new one, either by trading it in to a dealership or by selling it privately.

What’s the next step you should take?

There are a few, actually! And they’re all important steps to take to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that you receive a fair deal.

Here now are Obvi’s Top 5 tips to know before selling your vehicle:

Make your vehicle look pretty

This is an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning. Make sure to give your vehicle a good cleaning — both inside and outside. Even though it doesn’t actually affect what the car is worth, it’s still a sign to potential buyers that it was well taken care of. If the outside of your car is covered in deep layers of dirt and there is garbage all over the floor on the inside then it’s going to be harder to convince anyone that you’ve taken the time and effort to give the vehicle routine check-ups and oil changes.

Research its value

Accurately determining a car’s value is no easy task. There are many different kinds of vehicles on the road, specific makes and models can have a variety of special features, and all vehicles lose value relative to how old they are and how many kilometres they have been driven. Just because you value your vehicle at a certain dollar figure in your mind doesn’t mean that the market of potential buyers is going to agree.

The “Price a Car” tool on the Autotrader website is a great way to determine your vehicle’s value, but it’s also worth taking the time to look online to see what other people are selling similar vehicles for to get a slightly better feel for the market. Both Autotrader and Kijiji Autos are good resources for that.

Get a CARFAX report

A lot of different things can happen to a vehicle that reduce its value, and not all of them are immediately noticeable. Unsurprisingly, this makes many dealerships and private buyers incredibly cautious and skeptical before agreeing to a deal, even if your car has never had any problems.

By getting a report from the trusted company CARFAX, you can prove to any would-be buyer the major history of your vehicle.

Have your documents ready

Not only does having your bill of sale and proof of insurance help prove that you’re not some sort of scammer, having receipts of all your oil changes and service appointments on hand to show a potential buyer increases the trust in both you and your car.

Shop (or sell) around

If you aren’t in any kind of immediate rush to make a decision, it’s worth putting in the time and effort to shop around (or, more accurately, sell around). The more potential buyers you find that are interested, the better your odds of finding a fair deal — or maybe even getting a better price than you initially expected.

Important Information To Know About Extended Warranty Refunds

Like most goods and services, extended warranty policies come with the option of getting refunds.

However, extended warranties — especially automobile extended warranties — are unique entities, and as such, have unique characteristics about when and how refunds are available.

The purpose of this Obvi blog is to help spread some important details that consumers should know and remember about how these work.

First, let’s consider how buying warranty or insurance works. The losses of the few are paid by the many, which explains why no other kind of insurance product in Canada offers a refund — not home insurance, not life insurance, not car insurance.

So, why are many automobile extended warranties eligible for refunds? Truth be told, the deck is stacked in favour of the warranty provider — let’s look at why.

Exclusions and eligibility

As with any and all insurance policies, it’s always important to read the fine print for exclusions and eligibility. The last thing you want is to think you’re still covered, and make decisions based on that assumption, only to later discover that you were wrong.

For example: many vehicle warranty policies have kilometer caps for refund eligibility. Once a kilometer threshold has been crossed, there goes your chance at getting a refund.

Claims erase your right to a refund

This one might seem obvious, but some people still miss it. For most policies, any time you make a claim it waives your chance to collect a refund at a later date. Why? Because if an insurance company has already paid you money for a claim then your premium is considered to have been used up.

Check the timeframe limits

All policies with refund options have a timeframe where the request has to be made. For example, 60 days after the policy has expired. Some companies will offer you something back if you miss this deadline, but not the full refund amount that you would have been entitled to otherwise.

Pro rata cancellation

How much refund you’re entitled to often depends on how much of your policy has lapsed. For example: many insurance policies offer refunds on a “pro rata” basis. The website Insuranceopedia gives a good example of how this works:

“For example, a policyholder purchases a one-year policy for $1,000 but cancels it after six months. In a pro rate cancellation, they would receive a refund of $500, which is equivalent to the remaining six months of coverage they forfeited.”

You might have to commit to the car if you want a refund

According to a recent article by Autotrader, the average length of time a driver keeps a new vehicle is 71.4 months, or roughly six years.

This is important to remember, because many policies require you to  keep your vehicle — and keep it safe — for the full term in order to be eligible for a refund. That means no sales or transfers, nor can the vehicle be written off. These kinds of requirements are red flags, as it suggests the company isn’t actually serious about refunding premiums — they fully expect you to lose your eligibility before the date it can become active.

If you have further questions about how Obvi’s refunds work you can always contact the company to connect with an agent.

What Are OEM Parts, And Why Are They Important?

 

If your vehicle is involved in an accident and needs serious repair work done, one of the last things that you want to worry about is the vehicle decreasing in value.

Now imagine how much harder it would be to trade in or privately sell a vehicle with a replaced door that’s not quite the same colour as the rest of the car, or a replaced spoiler that’s clearly an aftermarket part.

One sad but common practice in the insurance industry is insurance companies forcing repair garages to seek out the cheapest parts available when fixing vehicles after a partial loss. Not only does this include aftermarket parts, it also often means parts pulled from scrap yards.

This problem is one of the many reasons why the demand for OEM parts has become popular among many automobile owners. Short for “Original Equipment Manufacturer,” OEM parts are ones made by directly by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

There are a few different perks to ensuring that your vehicle is repaired using OEM parts.

First, as touched on earlier, OEM parts can also help to protect the investment you made in your car, truck or SUV. If you decide to sell or trade in your vehicle in the future, well-trained eyes can notice whether important parts are OEM or aftermarket, leading to a tougher sale or reduced dollar figures in an offer.

Another perk is that you get the peace of mind of knowing that the parts were originally intended to fit the specifications of your vehicle make and model — in other words, that they’re the exact parts that the manufacturer wanted to be used.

How Obvi can help

Don’t get stuck owning a one-year-old vehicle with parts from a junkyard.

Customers who purchase a New Car Replacement Insurance policy from Obvi have the choice of adding on OEM parts protection to their coverage. This option pays up to $2,500 per year in additional costs to ensure that OEM parts are used in your vehicle. And with coverage for up to five years, you’ll ensure that your vehicle investment is protected for longer.

How To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and with it comes something that most vehicles owners in Canada dread: winter driving.

Not only are the roads harder to navigate because of all the snow and ice, the cold weather also makes life a lot harder on your vehicle’s engine. Whether you’re trying to avoid dangerous accidents or costly trips to the mechanic, how you prepare your vehicle for winter is incredibly important.

Here are some of Obvi’s top tips and tricks to keep your vehicle safe and running during the coming winter months.

Put winter tires on your vehicle

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of vehicle owners still neglect to do it.

Even though a set of winter tires isn’t cheap, the added traction and stability on icy, snow-covered roads could save you from the costs of an accident — both personal and financial.

Get a winter checkup

Does your vehicle have enough engine coolant and antifreeze? Is your engine using normal oil or synthetic oil? Are your belts and hoses nearing the point of failure? How strong is your battery?

Cold weather is hard on our cars, trucks and SUVs, raising the chances of breakdowns and other problems. A quick and affordable winter checkup, which can be performed at most licensed repair facilities, is a good idea every year.

Keep an emergency kit in your car

There are few driving situations more stressful — or more dangerous — than being stranded on the side of the road with the temperature dropping.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a winter emergency kit or supply box in your vehicle.

Some items that are useful to have on hand include, but are not limited to: a portable (and fully charged) battery pack and connecting cable for your cell phone, a warm blanket (or multiple warm blankets), a change of warm clothes, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a radio, a bag of sand (to help get a vehicle unstuck), an extra pair of gloves, non-perishable snacks, road flares, an ice scraper and a shovel.

Learn seasonal driving tips and techniques

Simply put, driving on icy and snowy roads is much different than driving on clean, dry pavement during the warmer months. With less road traction and reduced visibility, drivers need to be much more careful and alert when they get behind the wheel.

According to Transport Canada, some tips and techniques for winter driving include removing all snow from the vehicle’s exterior before moving, use your lights to make yourself more visible, give yourself extra time to make trips, avoid using cruise control on slippery surfaces and, most importantly and applicably, SLOW DOWN!

Get vehicle replacement insurance

Even if you take all the necessary precautions and drive as safely as you can, accidents can still happen — after all, you can’t control the other drivers on the road. And if an accident happens in the winter, getting around in the cold weather without a car can be quite a challenge.

In the event of a write-off your insurance company might reimburse you, but what they’ll pay is the depreciated Actual Cash Value of your vehicle —not what you initially paid. If you need a vehicle that can handle driving through deep snow or reliably make highway winter drives, sometimes that insurance payout isn’t enough to get you back behind the wheel of the type of vehicle that you need.

Purchasing vehicle replacement insurance, such as the kind offered by Obvi, is a great way to ensure that your investment is protected against costly depreciation in the event of an accident. You can contact Obvi to learn more about vehicle replacement insurance.