In addition to the standard types of auto insurance, Geico also offers a product called mechanical breakdown insurance. Geico mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is available to most customers and can be added to existing policies for a fairly low price. But do you need MBI?
Mechanical breakdown insurance is similar to an extended car warranty in that it helps cover the cost of repairs if your vehicle unexpectedly breaks down. Our review team has taken a close look at the best extended car warranty options on the market, and while an MBI policy isn’t exactly the same as an extended warranty, both provide similar coverage. Read this review to see how MBI policies compare to extended warranties and learn if Geico mechanical breakdown insurance is a good investment.
What Is Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Geico mechanical breakdown insurance is a type of car insurance that covers repairs to certain vehicle parts after they break down due to normal use. MBI policies are one way to protect your wallet against hefty repair costs if your vehicle has faulty parts or defects in workmanship. In this way, they are similar to car warranties.
Geico is one of the only top insurance companies that offers additional coverage for car repairs. Through Geico, mechanical breakdown insurance is available for new or leased cars that are less than 15 months old and have less than 15,000 miles on the odometer. Coverage is renewable up to 7 years/100,000 miles. Geico MBI covers all vehicle parts and systems, with a small list of exclusions.
Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Exclusions
Among the items not covered by a Geico mechanical breakdown insurance policy are:
- Regular maintenance services such as tune-ups, suspension alignments, and wheel balancing
- Maintenance parts like filters, lubricants, coolant, and fluids
- Wear-and-tear parts that deteriorate naturally over time, such as spark plugs, tires, and brake pads, linings, and shoes
Only damage that results from normal use is covered. Geico’s MBI policy does not cover intentional damage and damage that results from misuse or improper maintenance. Additionally, it will not cover damage that results from a crash, vandalism, or weather – you will need collision and comprehensive car insurance policies for those incidents.
How to Use Geico MBI
If you need a repair that’s covered under Geico mechanical breakdown insurance, you can take your vehicle to the repair facility of your choice and provide your MBI policy number. Geico will then go about authorizing your claim. If your claim is approved, Geico will pay the repair shop directly, minus a $250 deductible that you will need to pay out of pocket.
Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cost
According to the insurer’s advertisements, Geico mechanical breakdown insurance can cost as little as $30 per year, but our research shows the average MBI policy costs between $50 and $100 annually.
Like any type of car insurance, the cost of Geico mechanical breakdown insurance will vary from person to person. Things such as your vehicle, age, and driving record may all factor into the final cost of your policy.
Is Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?
A Geico mechanical breakdown insurance policy may be worth it for some drivers but not all. If you’re able to lock in a low annual rate, MBI can give you added peace of mind on the road knowing you’re covered in the event of an unexpected breakdown.
However, much of the coverage offered by an MBI policy is already included with your vehicle’s factory warranty. Typical new car warranty coverage lasts for three years, so you are unlikely to gain any value from an MBI policy until after that time. This means that if you wait until Geico’s 15-month vehicle age cutoff, you’ll be paying for MBI coverage for almost two years before you’ll see any benefit from your investment.
That said, if you’re only paying $30 to $100 per year for the extra insurance coverage, it could be worth fronting the cost to renew your policy long-term. If you keep your policy for the full seven-year coverage term, it will end up costing significantly less overall than a typical extended auto warranty.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Vs. Extended Car Warranties
Mechanical breakdown insurance is similar to an extended auto warranty, though the two products are not the same. The table below outlines some of the key similarities and differences between each type of coverage.
|Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance||Extended Car Warranty|
|Covers repairs after certain car parts break down or malfunction||Covers repairs after certain car parts break down or malfunction|
|Does not cover regular maintenance||Does not cover regular maintenance|
|Regulated by state insurance commissioner||Not regulated by state insurance commissioner|
|Coverage must be purchased before vehicles are 15 months old and reach 15,000 miles||Coverage can be purchased at any time|
|Coverage lasts up to 7 years or 100,000 miles||Depending on the provider, coverage can last up to 15 years or 250,000 miles|
|Paid monthly or in a lump sum as part of car insurance premium||Can be paid monthly or in a lump sum as a separate bill|
|$250 deductible||Deductible options between $0 and $200|
|Can cost between $30 and $100 per year||Usually costs between $400 and $800 per year|
|One coverage level||Multiple levels of coverage|
Geico MBI Vs. Extended Car Warranty: Key Differences
One important difference between mechanical breakdown insurance and extended car warranties is that MBI policies are regulated by the state insurance commissioner. This may be a deciding factor for drivers who are on the fence about extended car warranty coverage.
MBI policies also tend to cost less. However, they do not provide coverage for older vehicles. With Geico, mechanical breakdown insurance must be purchased while your manufacturer’s warranty is probably still in effect. Even taking this into account, an MBI policy is likely to be cheaper than an extended car warranty in the long run. However, Geico mechanical breakdown insurance comes with a higher deductible than most extended car warranties. If your vehicle experiences a number of inexpensive breakdowns, your policy may end up not covering many repairs.
Keep in mind that as vehicles age, the likelihood of an unexpected breakdown increases. So while an MBI policy from Geico may be a better choice for newer vehicles, because of its low coverage limits, an extended car warranty will likely be more beneficial for an older, higher-mileage that’s prone to needing repairs.
Geico Mechanical Breakdown Insurance: Recommended Alternatives
If your vehicle is older than 15 months, it is already too late to purchase Geico mechanical breakdown insurance. For vehicle protection similar to a Geico MBI policy, you could consider an extended car warranty. As with insurance, the best way to find the right price and the right policy for your needs is to shop around and compare providers.
Two companies we highly recommend are Endurance and CARCHEX. After rating and reviewing dozens of extended warranty companies, these two stood out from the pack for their high-quality coverage and outstanding customer service.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance warranties come with some of the most comprehensive coverage options in the industry. In addition to standard powertrain warranty and bumper-to-bumper warranty options, Endurance provides all customers with extensive benefits including:
- Rental car reimbursement
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Trip interruption coverage
- One-year Endurance Elite Benefits
The Endurance Elite Benefits program includes total loss protection, identity theft services, key fob and tire replacements, and a collision discount, among other benefits. You can renew your membership for an additional charge after the first year.
Overall, we rated the provider 4.6 out of 5.0 stars in our Endurance warranty review. It scored high marks for industry standing, coverage, transparency, and customer service. Learn more by reading the full review, and click below to get a free, personalized quote and see how much an Endurance warranty would cost for your vehicle.
CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars
CARCHEX has one of the best reputations among extended car warranty providers. It has been endorsed by industry leaders such as Kelley Blue Book, CARFAX, and Edmunds.com. Like Endurance, a range of CARCHEX vehicle service contracts are available for new and used vehicles. CARCHEX also provides additional useful benefits such as:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Towing reimbursement
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip interruption coverage
CARCHEX is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ BBB rating. It also holds a 3.2 out of 5.0 score on Trustpilot and scored 4.4 out of 5.0 stars in our CARCHEX review.
See for yourself how much a CARCHEX plan would cost by reaching out for a free, no-obligation quote.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
- Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.