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.
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.
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.
When motorists go to buy a new vehicle, they’re often faced with a number of important questions: what’s my budget? What type of vehicle should I buy? What make of vehicle should I buy? What features and options do I want included?
Another factor that should be taken into account more often than it usually is: how much warranty coverage am I getting?
It may come as a surprise that different car manufacturers offer different warranty coverages. For example: Ford and Toyota offer 3 years / 60,000 kilometres, while Kia and Hyundai provide 5 years / 100,000 kilometres.
This matters because there are different perks to having your vehicle covered by warranty — and there’s nothing worse than needing it, only to have discovered that it has already expired.
Here are some important reasons why it’s beneficial to have your vehicle covered by warranty for as long as possible.
Less money to spend on repairs
This is an obvious one.
If a breakdown occurs that is covered by your warranty policy, you won’t need to pay out of pocket to have it fixed. Costly breakdowns can happen to all vehicles, including brand new ones, so the longer you have a warranty for, the longer your breakdown repairs will be covered for.
Warranties add value for trade-ins and private sales
Even if you spend plenty of time researching and deciding what new vehicle to purchase, there’s no guarantee that actually keeping the same vehicle will be the right decision.
Maybe an unexpected financial emergency pops up that requires you to save money somewhere, such as downgrading to a more affordable vehicle. Perhaps you soon realize that you need a vehicle that has more seating or better towing capacity. Or, heck, maybe you discover that you just flat-out don’t enjoy driving the vehicle as much as you thought you would.
If you decide to trade in or privately sell a vehicle, an existing warranty adds a lot of value to it and helps you to negotiate a better price.
Stuck with a short factory warranty? Get it extended
So, you’ve taken your time and done all of your research, but for one reason or another you’ve still decided that the next car, truck or SUV you purchase will be one that comes with a shorter warranty of just 3 years.
Luckily for you, getting the benefits of longer protection is still possible, thanks to an Obvi extended warranty!
Not only do we specialize in selling extended automobile warranties, all we require is that you still have some existing comprehensive factory warranty remaining on your vehicle prior to purchasing with us, and that you’ve followed the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines up to that point.
Additionally, Obvi’s extended warranties are for up to 8 years from when the vehicle was new, so even if you get 5 years of coverage straight from the manufacturer we can provide you 3 years on top of that, giving you the perks discussed above for longer.
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.
“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
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.
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
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.
Have the shop contact us regarding the estimate to repair. We will need a copy of the estimate emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most claims only take a few moments to approve.
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!
New Car Replacement claims
If something has happened to your vehicle and it has been written off by your auto insurer, contact us.
We will request your claim information for processing.
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.
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.