All Posts By

Obvi Derek

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 Does Obvi’s Claim Process Work?

Going through problems with your vehicle can be a stressful experience — the loss of use of your vehicle, the disruption of your plans and schedule, the new errands required to get the vehicle back on the road, etc.

Obvi knows that the last thing you want in that kind of situation is more stress, which is why we try to keep our claims process as simple and straightforward as possible for clients who have a policy with us.

Here is a quick explainer of how our claims process works for our different policies:

Extended Warranty claims

  1. Contact us and let us know there is something wrong while you go to any licensed repair facility in Canada or the U.S. for a repair estimate.
  2. Have the shop contact us regarding the estimate to repair. We will need a copy of the estimate emailed to claims@obvi.ca. Most claims only take a few moments to approve.
  3. Once approved, the shop can proceed with the repair. We will then pay the repair bill directly via credit card. You’re on your way!

GAP Insurance and New Car Replacement Insurance claims

  1. If something has happened to your vehicle and it has been written off by your auto insurer, contact us.
  2. We will request your claim information for processing.
  3. Once approved, payments will be settled promptly.

 

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.

How To Tell If A Warranty Provider Is Trustworthy

extended warranty provider

Imagine the following scenario:

You recently purchased a new vehicle and you’re looking to buy an extended warranty for it to help protect your investment. The dealership you bought the vehicle from offered you an extended warranty, but the price seemed really high and the pushy salesperson in the finance office rubbed you the wrong way.

So, you decide to look online for an extended automobile warranty instead. After a few minutes on Google you discover a warranty policy that’s thousands of dollars more affordable than what the dealership was offering, and the coverage terms are better as well, but it’s being offered by a company that you’ve never heard of before.

The product seems too good to be true. How do you determine if what you’re seeing is the real deal, or all just smoke and mirrors?

To help make life easier for consumers, we’ve compiled this handy guide to help separate the contenders from the pretenders when it comes to warranty products by explaining what factors to look for.

They’re a licensed insurance company

Insurance is an important, far-reaching industry that affects the lives (and bank accounts) of millions of Canadians, which is why provincial and federal governments have enacted a wide array of legislation to regulate it. This is a huge benefit to consumers, who are protected from both fraudulent and careless companies.

When it comes to warranty products, buying them from licensed insurance companies is a huge advantage because they are bound by more laws than non-licensed companies are.

They’re backed by an A-rated insurance company

If one licensed insurance company is secure, two working in collaboration is even more secure! This is a common occurrence in the insurance world, especially when it comes to brokerages and new companies.

Within the insurance industry you can also find credit rating agencies, which specialize in analyzing and reporting the reliability of insurance companies. AM Best is one of the most well-known of such organizations, and they issue ratings using letter scales, with “A” being good and “D” or “F” meaning bad.

If you discover a company you’ve never heard of, but they’re backed by an A-rated insurance company, that is a strong indicator of their credibility and security.

They offer a personal touch

Consumers need to be careful when shopping online. Unfortunately, it’s possible for dishonest individuals to start faceless companies, offer up little background information, take money from customers and then disappear without ever holding up their end of the bargain.

It’s always a good sign when companies offer a personal touch, whether on their website or when they communicate with you. If you know an employee’s name and have a way to reach them directly not only is your business more safe, you’re also more likely to receive excellent customer service once a customer-employee relationship has been built.

There are positive customer testimonials

The internet has made it wonderfully easy to share information, and that includes company feedback and customer experiences. Consumers now have the ability to protect and help one another by sharing their experiences online. If a company’s website lists positive testimonials written by previous or existing customers, that’s a great sign about its trustworthiness.

And when it comes to online reviews, keep an eye out for negative ones — or a lack thereof. Consumers who have negative experiences with warranty products are significantly more likely to leave reviews than consumers who never have any problems. An absence of negative reviews can say a lot about a company, even if the total number of reviews is low.

Their policies have cancellation clauses

Nothing exudes confidence in a warranty product quite like a company offering a cancellation clause. While some unscrupulous companies might want to lock down your money while later breaking promises about their product or service, offering consumers the option to cancel their policy (within predetermined terms that are fair to both parties, of course) is evidence that a company is credible and authentic.

The Obvi advantage

Obvi strives to go above and beyond to ensure that our customers are safe and satisfied with us.

As such, we’ve incorporated all of the above factors into our business: we’re a licensed insurance company, we’re backed by an A-rated insurance organization, we offer a personal touch, we share customer testimonials and we include cancellation clauses in our policies. But if all of that isn’t enough, we make ourselves easy to contact if you ever want to learn more about us.

Beyond extended vehicle warranty, Obvi also offers GAP insurance and new vehicle replacement insurance. Visit our website to find our more.

What Is Insurtech, And Why Is It A Benefit To Consumers?

In a country where the cost of living keeps rising but wage growth is mostly stagnant, it’s incredibly important for individuals and families to be smart with their money.

As a famous old saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

There are many strategies and tricks that consumers can use to use to save a little more in their bank accounts or scrounge up some extra fun money, but one area that a lot of people don’t think about investigating is what they pay for insurance in all of its various forms.

Luckily, the recent rise of a concept called “Insurtech” is changing the industry and — more importantly — helping consumers save thousands of dollars.

What is Insurtech?

According to the website Investopedia, Insurtech is “the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model. Insurtech is a combination of the words “insurance” and “technology,” inspired by the term Fintech.”

The definition continues:

“The belief driving Insurtech companies and investments by venture capitalists in the space is that the insurance industry is ripe for innovation and disruption. Insurtech is exploring avenues that large insurance firms have less incentive to exploit, such as offering ultra-customized policies, social insurance, and using new streams of data from Internet-enabled devices to dynamically price premiums according to observed behavior.”

To put all of that another way: by utilizing new technological advancements, companies are able to make the world of insurance faster, easier, more convenient, and more affordable for consumers.

How does Insurtech benefit you?

Beyond making insurance more cost-effective, Insurtech can benefit you as a consumer in a wide number of other ways, depending on the company and what they’re offering.

Some common uses of Insurtech include receiving online quotes for home, auto, extended warranty, or vehicle replacement cost insurance that can be compared to competing companies, connecting consumers to live agents through chat systems wherever an internet connection exists, understanding coverages in more detailed and interactive ways, and many more.

Broadly speaking, Insurtech gives consumers more control and flexibility over how they manage their insurance.

How Obvi uses Insurtech

As we wrote about in another recent blog post, buying a vehicle from a dealership can be a stressful experience, especially when the topics of extended warranty and financing payments enter the conversation.

But what if you could purchase Extended Automobile Warranty, GAP Insurance and New Car Replacement Insurance all from the comfort of your own home — and at a significantly lower price than what is offered at a dealership? That’s where Obvi comes in.

Visit Obvi’s website on a computer, tablet or smartphone and you can enter your information yourself and receive a free quote within minutes. It’s that simple! But if you do need any help in the process or have any questions, an Obvi Advisor is usually just minutes away via web chat, phone call or email.

The most important benefit of Obvi using Insurtech, though, is how the technology helps us offer our customers a fair price and financial peace of mind. Many people can’t comfortably afford a $4,000-$5,000 repair bill, and nobody wants to pay off a huge remaining loan balance on a vehicle that has been written off. As mentioned earlier, being smart with your money is incredibly important these days.

Obvi’s products

Check us out online to learn more about our Extended Automobile Warranties, GAP Insurance and New Car Replacement Insurance, or feel free to contact us so we can help determine which of our products best suit your needs. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, so we’re always here to help.

The Risks Of Buying Extended Car Warranties From Dealerships

car dealership risks

Have you ever walked out of a car dealership’s finance office carrying keys to a new vehicle and a bundle of complicated paperwork — without feeling entirely comfortable or informed about what you just purchased?  If so, you’re not alone.

Most of us think we can rest easy once we get to the finance office, but the unfortunate reality is that this is where the some of the biggest dealer fees exist, hiding in insurance premiums and monthly payments.

Finding a new vehicle to purchase can be a stressful and confusing process, and those problems are often made worse when you add in an overload of information about extended warranties and financing payments. It’s not uncommon for car buyers to leave the finance office confused with all the different options.

While many car dealerships are honest and trustworthy, some of them aren’t. These other dealerships often deploy deceitful sales tactics to help close a deal, focusing more on getting into your wallet than offering you services that you need or want.

Here are the biggest things to watch out for in the finance office.

Huge markup on insurance

That’s right, motor vehicle dealers have been provided a restricted insurance license to sell GAP Insurance, New Vehicle Replacement Insurance, and Extended Warranty on your vehicle.  What most people don’t know is that the markup is huge — 40, 50 and even 60% or higher commission charged by the dealers and built into these products.  Let’s break down these products:

  • GAP Insurance is for financed/leased vehicles: One of the unique aspects of the Canadian automotive world is long-term loans and negative equity. What GAP Insurance does is pay off any remaining loan balance if your vehicle is a write off, giving you the peace of mind to finance for up to 96 months with nothing down.  Remember: your primary insurer settles the loss on the vehicle and doesn’t consider that you will be left with a loan balance to pay off.
  • New Vehicle Replacement Insurance: As mentioned above, your existing insurer will settle any total loss claim based on the current depreciated value of your vehicle. With NVR you will benefit from the insurance proceeds to buy a brand new vehicle without any additional costs to you.
  • Extended Warranty: That’s right, Extended Warranty is now considered insurance in Western Canada. Why? So many problems within the industry drove the need for regulation to protect the consumer.  What many people don’t know is that dealers have competition, and the coverage from independents is just as good if not better. Plus, you will benefit from transfer options, half the cost, choice of repair facility and the list goes on.  Buying a new vehicle? The manufacturer’s extension might not be insurance, but the same heavy commissions are loaded within. Luckily, insurance alternatives exist and offer huge savings!

Upselling the payment plan

An extra $9 a week for 8 years… that sounds a lot better than $3,744, right?  Nothing wrong with financing options, but make sure every single product they are selling is presented to you as a total cost. Whether it’s automotive sales or a household appliance, salespeople are trained to understand your monthly budget to hide the actual cost.

This CBC Marketplace episode shows just how aggressive the payment plan is pushed.

Fast-talking, aggressive salespeople

According to a 2017 investigation by the Automobile Protection Association, the addition of extra charges by car dealerships was “rampant” in Calgary.

Don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson to slow things down, repeat themselves or write out specific numbers for you. Taking the extra time to fully comprehend what you’re buying could save you thousands of dollars.

A lack of willingness to help down the road

You wouldn’t buy house insurance from a realtor, or life insurance from a doctor — so why are we accustomed to buying car insurance from car dealers? The reality is that the insurance market has taken time to get online and that was the only choice consumers had. However, now we can buy directly from the company who will be paying the claim.

Think about this scenario: a total loss claim has occurred and you’ve emailed the finance office about your problem, but they haven’t emailed you back after a long period of time. You decide to call the dealership, but your call gets bounced between a couple of different employees and then you’re told to contact the warranty/insurance provider of the plan they sold you. The sad truth is that the finance office has ZERO involvement in the claim and is limited to obtaining commission dollars from you.

Let’s also not forget the biggest myth in the industry: “if you buy the manufacturer’s product from me you can rest assured all claims are covered, no matter what.”  Not exactly the case — the extended warranty from the manufacturer is subject to terms and conditions just the same as insurance policy. Read our blog here to learn more.

The Obvi advantage

For the team at Obvi, customer satisfaction is the highest priority.

We know how important vehicles can be in people’s lives. Our goal is provide as much peace of mind as possible that you’ll be in good hands and back on the road again soon. As both a seller of extended automobile warranties and a handler of claims, we’re with you every step of the way. And while dealership salespeople can be pushy when commissions are on the line, that’s not the case with Obvi. More than anything else, we want you be satisfied with your experience.

Visit our Extended Car Warranty page to find out more of feel free to contact us any time if you have any questions.

What Is New Car Replacement Insurance, And How Does It Work?

car replacement warranty

Obvi is now offering New Car Replacement Insurance in addition to extended warranty and GAP insurance. In this blog, we explain what Vehicle Replacement Cost Insurance is and why it can be worth it.

What is New Car Replacement Insurance?

In the event of an accident, comprehensive / collision insurance will cover the current value of your vehicle. This means that if you bought a new vehicle and several years later you had an accident, your vehicle would be worth a lot less than what you originally paid for it due to depreciation. This comes as a surprise to many drivers, who pay insurance premiums year after year while the insurance company limits the claim amount as much as possible. Replacement cost insurance will cover you for the depreciated loss, meaning you get a brand no car and don’t have to be out of pocket.

New Car Replacement Insurance example

You purchased your vehicle used 3 years ago for $32,000. After 3 years of use, at an average depreciation rate of 10% per year, its current value is now $23,000. You really liked your car and have your eye on the brand-new model, which now costs $40,000. What will your insurance policy contribute?

If you only have collision / comprehensive insurance, your primary insurance settlement will be for the current value of your vehicle: $23,000.

If you purchased a New Vehicle Replacement Insurance policy, you would receive the additional $17,000 towards a new vehicle on top of the $23,000 so that you could purchase the new $40,000 vehicle using both settlements.

Why do I need this type of coverage?

We love new vehicles, but the reality is that they depreciate the second we drive off the dealership’s lot. What’s even worse is that this plays to the advantage of your insurance company, which now gets to pay less if there is a claim.

With New Car Replacement Cost Insurance you can get the true benefit of buying collision / comprehensive insurance by not having to pay the full loss of depreciation.

Other benefits available

Beyond simply covering the difference of depreciation, a New Car Replacement Cost Insurance policy in BC and Alberta with Obvi can also include a number of other different perks:

OEM Parts : Your existing collision/comprehensive insurance policy will pay to repair your vehicle after a partial loss with the cheapest available parts. These could be recycled parts from a scrap yard or aftermarket parts of lesser quality. OEM Parts pays the difference between the cost to repair with those parts and the cost to repair with brand-new parts from the vehicle manufacturer. Coverage until model year 5, $2,500 coverage per year, maximum $10,000 coverage per policy.

Partial-Loss Deductible Reimbursement: If you are charged a partial-loss deductible during the policy term, the policy will reimburse your deductible up to $500. Unlimited use throughout the policy term.

Rental Vehicle Reimbursement: If loss of use coverage is exhausted under your primary insurance policy due to a delay in repairs or replacement of the vehicle, the policy will reimburse the additional cost of a rental vehicle up to $50 per day to a maximum of $2,500 per year.

Lost or Stolen Key Fob Protection: If you lose your key fob during the policy term, we will pay to replace it. Coverage is one time use per policy, up to $500.

Obvi’s other products

Obvi also sells extended warranty and GAP insurance online to customers in Western Canada. Contact us or visit our website at obvi.ca to find out more and get an instant quote.