We take a closer look at the pros and cons of the third-party extended warranty provider.
You know it’s smart to protect your vehicle with an extended warranty, but with all of the providers out there, it’s difficult to know who you can trust. We understand the dilemma, which is why we took a deep dive to see what Continental Warranty was all about.
Below, we look at the good, the bad, and everything in between. After analyzing the company’s coverage plans, customer service, and claims process, we will be able to determine whether or not Continental deserves your hard-earned money when it comes to vehicle protection.
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In this article:
- What Is Continental Warranty?
- What Plans Does Continental Warranty Offer?
- How Does The Claims Process Work?
- Continental Warranty Reviews
- What We Like and Don't Like About Continental Warranty
- Our Recommendations for Extended Auto Warranty Coverage
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Continental Warranty?
Continental Warranty specializes in covering new and pre-owned vehicles with extended protection plans. The Delaware-based company has been in business for more than 20 years and offers a variety of vehicle service contracts for all types of cars.
What makes Continental different than some other third-party companies is that consumers cannot purchase warranties directly from Continental. Instead, they must visit participating dealerships for coverage. On the bright side, reputable dealerships for luxury vehicles promote Continental. Still, there are some downsides to purchasing a warranty this way. We will explore this more below.
What Plans Does Continental Warranty Offer?
Continental provides five levels of coverage ranging from the premier Exclusionary Vehicle Service Contract to the basic Continental Powertrain. On top of that, the provider offers additional contracts that cover specific situations or types of damage. These include:
- Lifetime Powertrain Protection
- GAP Coverage
- Tire and Wheel Road Hazard Coverage
- Paintless Dent Repair
Here’s a closer look at the five main service contracts:
Exclusionary Vehicle Service Contract
This is the cream of the crop of Continental’s service contracts, covering most of your vehicle’s parts and systems. It provides the smallest list of exclusions and includes 24/7 roadside assistance, but it also has the highest price.
Ultra Care Vehicle Service Contract
The Ultra Care Vehicle Service Contract is one of the most comprehensive extended warranties in the industry. With this plan, you choose from selectable deductibles and receive additional protection with:
- Seals and gaskets
- Extended sensor, module, and electrical protection
- Optional air ride, GPS, and NAV coverage
- Optional lockout and full roadside coverage
The Gold plan is Continental’s mid-level coverage, protecting a long list of stated components. It includes selectable deductibles and some optional coverage for things like four-wheel or all-wheel drive, turbocharger or supercharger, towing services, and rental car reimbursement. You have stated coverage for:
- HVAC components
- Electrical system
- Fuel system
- Front suspension
- Steering system
- Modules and sensors
- Braking system
This plan provides complete powertrain coverage along with a few extras. It includes selectable deductibles and optional coverage for four-wheel or all-wheel drive, turbocharger or supercharger, towing services, and rental car reimbursement.
The Continental Powertrain plan covers all of the vehicle’s most essential and expensive components. It comes with selectable deductibles and includes rental car reimbursement.
How Does The Claims Process Work?
When an incident occurs, filing a claim with Continental Warranty doesn’t seem to be difficult. The website recommends contacting roadside assistance if covered and then notifying Continental of the breakdown. Continental will work directly with the service center to verify coverage and authorize repairs. You don’t need to pay for the repair and wait for reimbursement.
There is a network of qualified repair facilities that you can choose from. To get a list of dealerships, independent repair shops, and national chains, you need to contact Continental directly once you have become a member. The support team will help you to find a provider in your area that suits your needs.
Continental Warranty Reviews
Continental Warranty holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Looking at customer reviews, we are seeing mixed results when it comes to how vehicle owners feel about the company. Customers are either praising the coverage for saving them money, or they are disappointed that repairs they thought would be covered were denied.
What we found most interesting is how the company handles complaints on review sites. It appears the team is extremely responsive and attentive to customer feedback.
One recent complaint left with the BBB states, “I purchased a Continental Warranty for a 2013 Jaguar XJL which extended the manufacturer’s warranty from 4 years to 8 years with 100k miles. My car had $45k miles on it. I had the car into Jaguar a few months ago and it came to $6k for three separate repairs which Continental said was excluded on the contract. I then had the car in today and it needs a coolant expansion tank which Continental said this too was excluded on the contract. I spent over $3,000 for a warranty that I was told was a top line best in class program and thus far any attempt to use it has resulted in no payment and no support. It appears they have done their homework to not pay out numerous items that need to be repaired. A total rip off.”
The response posted by Continental says, “In reviewing the vehicle history, there were a couple of repairs that were unfortunately not covered per the terms of the contract. While Continental Warranty, Inc. service contracts do offer an extensive amount of component coverage, there are, understandably, some limitations. However, in the interest of customer satisfaction, Continental Warranty, Inc. has agreed to go outside of the terms and guidelines of the service contract, and will be assisting this customer with the non-covered repairs. We have contacted the customer and made him aware of the situation, and he will be receiving a reimbursement check within the next several days.”
This type of service is not the norm for most warranty companies. After all, exclusions are there for a reason. Yet, Continental appears to have gone ahead and reimbursed the customer anyway purely because the customer was displeased in their review.
Of course, this doesn’t ensure that you will get the same treatment if you experience a similar situation, but we think it shows Continental’s level of dedication.
What We Like About Continental Warranty
Continental’s dedication to customer service clearly stands out. We are also happy to see the BBB rating and accreditation, as that can provide vehicle owners with a little peace of mind.
In addition, it’s commendable that Continental warranties are all transferable. The company does charge a small fee, but this action allows customers to get more curb appeal for their used vehicles when it comes time to sell.
What We Don’t Like About Continental Warranty
We have two substantial complaints that may outweigh the good when looking objectively at Continental. First, we see some problems with having to go to a dealership to purchase a Continental warranty. One of the benefits of third-party warranties is the ease with which you can buy at almost any time during the vehicle’s life. Having the dealer involved could make things sticky, especially when discussing terms and conditions.
In fact, many of Continental’s BBB complaints seem to stem from being told one thing and later finding out that the opposite is true. This could be a sign of a lack of communication between Continental and the finance department at the dealership.
Second, because you are buying the protection plan from the dealer, you may end up paying more than you have to. While the amount you pay will depend on your vehicle’s make, model, year, and coverage options, the dealer may offer you a set-in-stone price.
Just look at a couple of these reviews left with the BBB:
“A sham of a company, scamming people like me who spend $5,000 on what is the ‘claimed’ best package.”
“I spend $4,000 of my hard-earned money on an extended warranty for my Volvo XC70… It is clear to me now that my warranty is basically meaningless and I have been scammed by Continental Warranty.”
The Value Of An Extended Warranty
When we took a comprehensive look at auto warranties, we determined that an extended warranty is a smart investment for maximum protection. The goal is to protect yourself from the cost of expensive repairs. According to the CarMD Vehicle Health Index, some of the most frequent auto repairs include:
- Ignition coil and spark plug replacement: $391
- Oxygen sensor replacement: $244
- Catalytic converter replacement: $1,371
In fact, car repair expenses were up 6.5 percent from 2017 to 2018 according to CarMD. That puts the average check engine light repair cost at $380.
The repairs listed above are all common repairs. The list doesn’t take into account what it will cost you if your engine or transmission fails. That’s a bill you don’t want to cover.
If you’re sold on the idea of an extended warranty but not sure if Continental Warranty is the provider for you, rest assured. There are some great other third-party warranty companies in the industry.
Our Recommendations for Extended Auto Warranty Coverage
Continental is a popular auto warranty provider, but ultimately we recommend getting a policy from one of our research team's top-rated providers. We've reviewed all the major players in the industry -- get a free quote from our top picks below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you transfer an extended warranty?
It depends on the provider you are with. Most third-party warranty companies provide the option to transfer coverage, but you will have to pay a minimal fee.
How much does an extended warranty cost?
The price is determined by your vehicle year, make, and model. There are also varying levels of coverage you can choose from that affect the price. The best way to determine what you will pay is to reach out to several different companies for quotes.
Can I cancel an extended warranty?
Some companies, like CARCHEX and CarShield, have a 30-day money back guarantee. During that period, you can cancel your contract and receive a refund for any reason. If you choose a company that does not have a money back guarantee, you must refer to your contract for cancellation details.
Should I choose the company with the lowest prices?
While saving money is a good thing, you can’t judge an auto warranty based on price alone. Sure, you want a company that offers competitive rates, and there’s no reason to pay more than required. Still, you want to evaluate customer reviews to determine how claims are handled. After all, it does no good to pay for a warranty if it doesn’t protect your vehicle from mechanical breakdowns. Do your research, and pick the provider that has everything you need for a reasonable price.