If you’re in the market for mechanical breakdown insurance, Progressive is no longer going to be your best bet. In the past, the company offered Progressive Advantage® Mechanical Repair plans through Warranty Direct, but it currently does not sell any mechanical breakdown insurance plans.
Progressive does offer 24/7 roadside assistance, which can help you out after your car breaks down by providing towing, winching, jump-starts, fuel delivery, and battery changes. However, this policy will not pay for the cost of repairs after your vehicle is in the shop.
If you're set on purchasing a mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) policy and you are already a Progressive customer, you have other options. You can switch to a provider that does offer MBI, or you can purchase an extended auto warranty from a warranty company. This article will explain the difference between MBI policies and extended car warranties and recommend some of the top providers in the industry.
If you want to get started comparing costs from the best extended car warranty providers, you can do so by clicking below.
In this article:
- What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
- Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?
- Where To Buy Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Vs. Extended Car Warranties
- Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Mechanical breakdown insurance, or MBI, is a car insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs to certain vehicle parts after they break down as the result of normal use. A typical insurance policy covers you when your car needs repairs after an incident such as an accident, theft, or severe weather. But such events are not the only reason a vehicle may need repairs.
As vehicles age, certain components can break down or malfunction, particularly if they were installed improperly or have a defect that went undetected during the vehicle manufacturing process. Mechanical breakdown insurance covers the cost of any unexpected breakdowns that may occur, as long as the damage is not the result of improper maintenance, neglect, or negligence.
Most MBI policies are paid on a month-to-month basis along with your basic car insurance and include a deductible for repairs. As with other types of auto insurance, after a breakdown occurs, you file a claim with your provider and the provider pays your repair facility directly if the claim is approved. Although you can’t get mechanical breakdown insurance from Progressive, a few other big car insurance companies have MBI.
What Does Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cover?
Mechanical breakdown insurance will typically cover car repairs for every mechanical component and system. Items that are typically excluded from coverage include non-mechanical parts such as exterior trim, interior upholstery, and auto glass, as well as:
- Regular maintenance services such as oil changes and tire rotations
- Wear-and-tear items like wiper blades, brake pads, bulbs, and fuses
The full list of exclusions may vary from provider to provider and will be detailed in your MBI contract.
Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?
Like other types of insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance can help guard your finances against potentially major expenses. While not likely, it is always possible that your vehicle could experience a major engine malfunction or other expensive breakdown. In such a case, an MBI policy could save you thousands. However, if you never experience a major breakdown, you could be paying for coverage you don’t use.
Most MBI policies must be purchased while your vehicle is still relatively new and covered under a factory warranty. While your manufacturer coverage is still in place, an MBI policy provides little value, as most repairs are already covered by the factory warranty.
You should only purchase an MBI policy if you plan on maintaining your mechanical breakdown insurance coverage after your manufacturer’s warranty expires. MBI policies are typically inexpensive to add to your basic car insurance policy, so even after paying for months of extra coverage you don’t need, the total cost is still reasonable to protect your vehicle after your factory warranty expires.
Where To Buy Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
Only a few major insurance providers offer mechanical breakdown insurance. Progressive is not one of them. However, one very well known provider – Geico – offers mechanical breakdown insurance for interested customers.
In our Geico review, we rated the company highly, and along with inexpensive comprehensive car insurance, it offers low-cost MBI options. Check with your insurer to see if they offer MBI, as your best bet will be to add this coverage to your existing car insurance policy.
If you’re looking for mechanical breakdown insurance from Progressive or another provider that doesn’t offer this type of coverage, you’ll need to switch providers. If you don’t want to switch providers, you can instead look into an extended car warranty, which offers similar coverage.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Vs. Extended Car Warranties
Perhaps the biggest difference between mechanical breakdown insurance and extended car warranties is that MBI policies are regulated by the state insurance commissioner. As a result, MBI policies may offer better peace of mind if you’re on the fence about an extended warranty.
See more differences between MBI and extended car warranties in the chart below.
|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 government|
|Coverage must be purchased for newer vehicles||Coverage can be purchased at any time|
|Coverage typically lasts no longer than 10 years||Depending on the provider, coverage can last
up to 15 years or 250,000 miles
|Paid monthly as part of car insurance premium||Can be paid monthly or in a lump sum|
|Includes a deductible||Includes a deductible|
|Usually costs between $50 and $100 per year||Usually costs between $400 and $800 per year|
|Offers one level of coverage||Offers multiple levels of coverage|
|May have the option to add on benefits like roadside assistance for an additional cost||Typically come with benefits including rental car reimbursement, trip interruption coverage, and roadside assistance|
If you know that you want to extend your vehicle’s warranty protection for an additional few years and your insurance provider offers MBI, it may be your best bet. Keep in mind you will likely need to begin paying for this policy within the first year of owning your vehicle. If you want to get coverage for an older vehicle, an extended car warranty will likely be your only option.
Additionally, if you’re looking for mechanical breakdown insurance from Progressive because you already purchase your car insurance through Progressive, you’ll be out of luck. You can, however, purchase an extended car warranty from a warranty company without switching your insurer.
Top Recommendations For Extended Car Warranties
If you think an extended car warranty would be better for you, it’s important to compare rates from reputable providers so you can get the best deal. We recommend starting with two of our most reputable providers: Endurance and CarShield.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Endurance offers top-tier coverage at a competitive cost. With Endurance, customers can choose from the following plan options:
- Secure: Affordable coverage for powertrain components such as the engine, transmission, and transaxle
- Secure Plus: Covers powertrain components as well as your brakes, air conditioning, steering, and certain electrical parts
- Select Premier: Designed for high-mileage vehicles (up to 150,000 miles) and covers everything included in the Secure Plus plan, as well as the fuel system, engine cooling system, and enhanced electrical parts
- Superior: Provides the highest level of stated-component coverage, protecting most vehicle systems and components
- Supreme: An exclusionary coverage plan that includes nearly all vehicle components with select exclusions and is the most similar to an MBI policy
Because of its extensive coverage offerings, high level of customer satisfaction, and positive industry reputation, we’ve rated Endurance 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. Learn more by reading our full Endurance warranty review, and get a free, personalized quote from the provider by clicking below.
CarShield: Best Value
Like Endurance, CarShield offers five levels of car warranty coverage. However, according to our first-hand research, CarShield’s prices may be lower than Endurance. CarShield’s plan options include:
- Aluminum: Provides specialty coverage for most electrical and computer parts, such as the engine control modules, starter, alternator, and navigation
- Silver: A powertrain warranty that protects parts of the engine, transmission, drive axles, and water pump
- Gold: Covers powertrain components as well as the alternator, starter, power windows, and air conditioning
- Platinum: The highest-level of CarShield’s stated-component coverage, protecting everything included in the Gold plan as well as most other vehicle components
- Diamond: Exclusionary warranty coverage that projects most all vehicle parts with few exceptions and is most similar to an MBI policy
CarShield is also one of the only top providers to offer a coverage plan for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. We named CarShield the best-value provider because of its low-cost policies and rated the company 4.4 out of 5.0 stars for its strong reputation and excellent coverage. Learn more by reading our full CarShield review. You can also click below to get a free, individualized CarShield 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.