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:
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.
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:
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!
After a vehicle’s comprehensive warranty expires, its powertrain warranty kicks in. A vehicle’s powertrain warranty is always longer than its comprehensive warranty.
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.
“When a vehicle model (or group of models) has a problem that impacts its safety, the manufacturer or federal government will issue a recall. This can be a specific year/make/model, or it could be several years/models within the manufacturer’s lineup.”
Recalls can be caused by a number of different components in a vehicle, from airbags to batteries to suspensions. And it’s not a problem that is unique to certain makes or models, as everything from Ford to BMW to Volkswagen to Honda to Toyota and every other brand in between can be affected. Vehicle recalls in Canada are common and it’s important for owners to check every few months or when doing regularly scheduled maintenance if there are any for their vehicle.
What to do if your vehicle is recalled
If you hear about a recall for your vehicle from being contacted by the manufacturer itself, your best course of action is to follow their instructions about what to do next. If you hear about your vehicle being recalled through a news report, you could try contacting your local dealership for the car brand and ask them for guidance.
In almost all scenarios, the next big step will be the same: make an appointment to take your vehicle in to get the issue in question fixed.
The good news: fixes and changes are almost always free in the event of a recall, with consumer safety being given a higher priority than profit.
How can I check to see if there is a recall out for my vehicle?
If a recall is issued for your vehicle we strongly recommend that you get it resolved. If a failure happens to a recalled component that the manufacturer announced responsibility for, they are liable for the replacement or service of that component.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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.
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.
Automobile replacement insurance is a unique product. Vehicles depreciate over time, and few drivers can afford to buy a brand new automobile after suffering a write-off. The value of replacement insurance in the event of a total loss is undeniable.
New car replacement insurance isn’t free, however, and there are options about what kind of coverage to purchase. For many automobile owners, the goal is finding the best value for the price.
To help potential customers better understand this topic and avoid paying too much for your coverage, let’s take a look at your options available for car replacement from Obvi.
Annual policy from Obvi
This option allows you the flexibility of obtaining coverage year over year. You purchase one year of coverage at a time, and then at the end of the year you can choose to renew for another year or to let the coverage lapse.
The downside to this option, however, is that if you keep your coverage for 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 years, the total that you will end up paying will be much higher than if you would have purchased a multiyear policy from the beginning. The upside: if you have a claim in Year 2, you would have paid much less for the policy by going year-to-year, and you get to pay monthly.
Multiyear policy from Obvi
These are easily the policies that offer the best value. By agreeing to a multiyear policy right at the start, you get a significant discount for the total cost of your premium. If you know right away that you want multiple years of coverage for your vehicle, this option is a no-brainer.
Replacement insurance from your existing auto insurer
More and more insurers are offering a replacement cost rider with your collision and comprehensive coverage. While adding this kind of coverage onto your existing primary insurance seems convenient, it comes at a high cost.
How? Premiums are set very low in the first year, to entice people to buy, but they increase significantly year over year. The cost of your policy for Year 5 will be a lot higher than the cost of your policy for Year 1.
So, why should someone buy a multiyear policy from an independent company instead of their existing insurance? Let’s have a look at what can happen if you don’t:
Coverage is only eligible from existing insurer when vehicle is new, so if you switch insurance providers in Year 3 you could lose the replacement endorsement
The premium charged for Year 3/4/5/6/7 is significantly higher than Year 1 or 2, and you have no way of knowing what it will look like
What if your auto insurer non-renews your auto insurance or you find a better deal? A 3-year old vehicle might not be eligible for replacement when it is no longer new
What if your auto insurance becomes increasingly expensive while you carry collision and replacement with the same carrier?
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.
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 tobe.
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.
How does Obvi handle my claims? How do I make a claim?
In the event of a claim you can take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility in North America, including dealerships, and instruct them to forward the estimate to email@example.com. Once received, we will review the claim, approve it and pay the shop directly. It’s that easy! Don’t forget: any licensed repair facility is happy to accept payment from Obvi on your behalf!
Will Obvi provide a refund or incentive for not making a claim?
Obvi is proud to have reinvented vehicle warranties at a fair price without one of the most clever marketing tools ever used: the no-claims bonus. The deck is stacked in favour of any provider making claim to a refund on insurance. It contradicts the fundamental principle of how insurance works — losses of the few paid by the many. If everyone received a refund for not filing a claim that would mean those who did make a claim would have paid more in premium than claims would ever hit. Read our blog here for a complete breakdown.
Where can I see what is covered? What do Obvi warranties cover?
The Obvi program offers full comprehensive coverage that is subject only to exclusions — this is how the original manufacturer’s warranty is usually issued. With Obvi you receive a full comprehensive policy with an easy-to-understand list of excluded components. Beyond that, you are covered for any failure that isn’t explicitly excluded, making this the broadest form of coverage you can buy. You can check out our warranty web page for more details about our program, including a simple PDF of some of the exclusions.
Is my Obvi warranty insured? How does that protect me?
Yes! All of our policies are insurance policies that are backed by a licensed and financially stable insurance company. When purchasing a warranty with a multi-year lifespan, the financial stability and ability to pay claims throughout the life of the policy is of utmost importance. With an “A”-rated Obvi warranty in hand, you can rest assured that your claims will be covered throughout the full term of the policy.
Does Obvi have a deductible?
Our warranty policies may have a deductible of $100 for any one warranty claim. Please refer to the terms and conditions in our policies for more information.
Why are cancellation and transfer options so important?
People’s needs change, and Obvi recognizes that. Any of the manufacturer-backed extended warranties are not insurance policies and are typically fully earned after 15-60 days. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of buying a manufacturer’s extension.
Why are Obvi warranties so much less than other options?
Obvi has streamlined the entire automobile warranty experience to make it easy and affordable. We sell our policies exclusively online, without any dealer markup or fees. This allows us to offer our best price and coverage upfront.
When do Obvi policies expire?
We offer multi-year and kilometer options so it’s best to get a quote or speak with an agent to find out what will work for you. Most manufacturer warranties are for 3 years.
When is the best time to buy? Can I finance my warranty?
The best price possible is always when the vehicle is new, and you will pay more when the vehicle is off warranty. We provide you with options about how to pay, including financing for up to 3 years. Please connect with an Obvi agent to learn more.
2019 is nearly over, and with the end of the year (and the decade!) fast approaching now is a good time to think about the year that was and to take stock of what was learned.
For Obvi, 2019 was our second full calendar year in business, and we’re thrilled with how much our company grew and evolved over the past 12 months. We’re offering something new and exciting to the Western Canadian automobile insurance industry, and the positive response we see from our customers is incredible. Obvi was created to give drivers a fair alternative to the overpriced and underwhelming extended warranty policies offered by dealerships, so it fills us with joy to see how much money people are saving.
In order to be a successful company we need to be alert and aware about both the automobile industry and the insurance industry. We also want to pass our knowledge on to our customers. As such, here is a rundown of some of the most important things that we learned in 2019.
Popularity of New Car Replacement Insurance
Obvi added one new policy in 2019: New Car Replacement Insurance. We knew that the policy would be a popular addition, but we were surprised at just how popular. With the soaring cost of vehicles and drivers learning more about the costly effects of depreciation, we expect the demand for this kind of policy to keep increasing from here.
Insurance industry is preparing for big changes
Intact Financial Corp., Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer, is expecting a disruption to the industry in the near future. What that disruption might be is still up for speculation, but with rapid advancements in digital technology and the sheer power of huge tech companies such as Amazon and Google, there are a lot of possibilities.
Automakers selling their own insurance — a potential game-changer
A big change could be coming soon to the world of automobile insurance: manufacturers offering their own coverage. Both Porsche and Tesla have already announced plans to do so, and other companies could follow suit.
“The combination of autonomous driving and data changes the whole game,” Brian Carlson, director of product line management for connectivity and security at NXP Semiconductors N.V., told Design News. “So we’re starting to see where automotive OEMs will take more responsibility for insurance.”
It’s not yet clear how that would happen. The two could work cooperatively, enabling automakers to sell name-brand insurance along with vehicles. Or automakers could decide to do it themselves, bankrolling and selling insurance in the same way they now provide new-car financing. Either way, experts believe it would be a natural product extension for the industry.
“If they want to get into insurance, they will, and they should,” noted Sam Tawfik, CEO of LMP Motors, an e-commerce platform for buying and renting vehicles. “They already have the installed base of distribution. And if vehicles become autonomous, they can just roll the insurance onto that.”
One thing remains clear: insurers are struggling to keep up with rising claims costs, and with the autonomous driving this will only get worse. The biggest challenge insurers — new and old — will face is that not all vehicles will be autonomous, and the claims costs from old vehicles hitting new will be staggering.
Insurance rate increases will squeeze Albertans
Knowing that Albertans were feeling the pinch from tough economic times, the previous NDP government instituted a five per cent cap on car insurance rates in 2017. But the new UCP government, elected in April, decided to let that cap expire, leading to insurance companies increasing their rates.
The effect on Alberta car owners? A jump in what they pay for insurance, potentially as high as 20 to 30 per cent. Visit our friends at Surex to compare auto insurance.
One of the biggest reasons why is that vehicles are simply made better than they were before, making it take longer for one to become a “Beater.” Another reason is an increase in the popularity of financing. If you’re financing a vehicle for as many as 84 or 96 months, it only makes sense that you’ll hold on to the vehicle as opposed to trading it in.
Looking forward into 2020
It’s impossible to fully predict what the future will have in store, but there are a few trends that we predict will happen.
The biggest one: new technology is going to lead to new problems.
The more technologically advanced vehicles become, the more specialized knowledge is required to fix them. This is especially true for electronic components such as sensors, back-up cameras and entertainment displays.
With so many different things that can go wrong with vehicles, it’s now more important than ever to make sure that you’re protected from expensive repair bills. With an Obvi extended warranty you can get up to 8 years and 160,000 kilometres of comprehensive coverage, including complex electrical components. Visit our website to get a free instant quote or chat with a live agent, or schedule a phone call at a time that works for you.
Copyright 2016-2021 Obvi Inc. Insurance policies are sold by Obvi Inc. Always refer to your insurance policy for information about your coverage, including limits, deductibles, and exclusions. In case of discrepancy, the insurance contract prevails over general information available on this site. Any policy related changes made on this site will not be effective until you receive confirmation.