Don't fall for warranty traps - read our guide on AUL Extended Car Warranty
Nicholas Hinrichsen - Published: January 15, 2021
Overview of the AUL Car Warranty (VSC Plan)
Our goal is to help you build financial strength by making the right financial choices when it comes to your car. We wrote in-depth articles on a variety of VSC plans (Vehicle Service Contracts, and also known as aftermarket warranties) so you can compare the different carriers, lower your monthly payments, decide whether a VSC contract is right for you, and get the best plan at the lowest rate possible. If you’re looking for ways to manage your AUL VSC, you might be interested in one of these quick links:
Manage your VSC Plan
Managing your extended auto warranty plan isn’t always easy! Sometimes all you’re left with is the phone number and contact details for your aftermarket warranty provider. To reach AUL you can call 800.826.3207.
This VSC provider doesn't have an online portal unfortunately. You'll need to call in or email a representative to get answers
Get a Quote for Coverage
Not every provider is able to give a quote directly to its members (known as direct providers). Many times you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket warranty at the time of sale, and through a dealership. There are several reasons why a warranty company will only sell through a dealer: The car is in a known condition, there is no adverse selection (e.g. the dealership is selling a warranty before an issue has arisen), and the dealership has repeated experience with the warranty company so that pricing can reflect the risks of “the vehicles that a dealer sells”. So if a dealer tends to sell vehicles that need additional repairs, the warranty company can adjust prices accordingly to the dealership as a broader group.
Make a Claim
The process of making a claim is pretty straightforward with AUL. You can find details of how to submit a claim here -
The process is like most VSC providers where:
- First contact the claims department (normally via email, phone call, or through an app)
- The repair facility will then communicate with AUL with an initial estimate before repairs are made
- A claims adjuster will then submit/give approval for the authorized repairs in scope
Cancelling your AUL Insurance Policy
You can cancel your AUL insurance policy anytime after you’ve purchased. You’re entitled to a full refund within the first  days, and afterwards entitled to a prorated refund. In order to cancel the contract just ensure to have your policy number, current vehicle odometer, and other plan details ready.
You’ll need to contact AUL directly through one of the contact methods listed below to complete your cancellation.
Get in Touch with AUL
If you want to just get in touch with AUL there’s the formal channels:
- Phone: 800.826.3207
- Address: 1250 Main Street, Suite 300 Napa, California 94559
These are the social links listed below:
Background on AUL Warranties & VSC’s
AUL warranty and VSC company has a storied history:
- It was founded in the year 1990
- Its founder is Luis Nieves
- Company headquarters are located in Napa, CA
- Currently employes around: 120+
- Has a current estimated revenue of: $25M+
What plans are available from AUL?
AUL has a variety of plans available for coverage for your car. You can find a complete list of coverage options by going here:
In general VSC coverages generally fall into several categories (but are all relabeled something else):
- Exclusionary Coverage Plans: These plans are generally the highest coverage plans available for used cars and they’re labeled exclusionary plans because they generally provide coverage for everything “except” what’s listed in the plan. So rather than listing what components ARE covered, the plans list what IS NOT covered (or excluded). These plans are most similar to the bumper to bumper coverage that normally comes with the vehicle. Reading the fine print is often easier for these plans, but they also tend to be more expensive.
- Inclusionary Coverage Plans: These plans work oppositely from the exclusionary coverage plans. These plans only cover what is explicitly mentioned in the plan. So if the plan covers “Pistons and Crankshaft” but not “Crankshaft Shell Bearing” you may end up paying for lots of components that need replacement but weren’t explicitly mentioned. Often these plans exclude electrical components, gaskets and seals, turbochargers, and other high expense items.
- Powertrain Coverage Plans: These plans can be either inclusionary or exclusionary, but these plans cover only the drivetrain of the car. This is generally limited to the Engine, Transmission, Differential and drive axles. This more limited coverage is generally less expensive, but obviously excludes a large portion of the vehicle.
How to contact AUL for customer service or claims
To contact AUL for customer service, there’s several means to reach them:
You can find various means to contact AUL Get in Contact :
In general there may be several departments you mind need to reach:
- For all inquiries try the following:
- Phone: 800.826.3207
- Policy Questions:
- Phone: 800.826.3207
- Claims Questions:
- Phone: 707.257.9700
AUL warranty and VSC plan reviews and ratings
AUL has mostly good, but there are some negative reviews reviews if you look online. While its often considered a better alternative to other VSC providers, there are items in its review history worth examining.
AUL has very good reviews for a Service contract company. While most of the time you might see average reviews of 2-3 stars, AUL normally gets between 3.5-5 stars. Furthermore, unlike a lot of other plans which are littered with consumers who are frustrated at the amount of time it takes to approve a claim, or the number of claims that were confusingly denied - AUL has fewer of these complaints. Some complaints focus on the "difficulty" of finding a certified repair shop, but those complaints are infrequent.
You can find some more complete review, and find other details on accreditation through looking at these resources:
- BBB Reviews are Located Here: Link
- Yelp Reviews are Located Here: Link
- Consumer Affairs Reviews are Located Here: Link
Picking the right plan from AUL Warranty
Most aftermarket VSC, and protection plan companies have multiple coverage plans. We’ll cover only the most popular options here. AUL has three major plans for covering your auto repairs:
The Reserve plan is AUL's highest level of coverage. This is an exclusionary coverage plan, but the list of items not included is relatively long, but includes: Spark/Glow Plugs, Cap and Rotors, Points, Fuses, Wiper Blades, PCV Valves, Emission Components, Fly Wheels, Flex Plates, Clutch Assembly and Hydraulics, Brake and Clutch Linings, Pressure Plate, Throw-Out and Pilot Bearings, Hoses, Molded Rubber or Rubber like items, Filters, Glass and Glass Lenses, Windows, any component whose only purpose is for illumination, such as but not limited to: Sealed Beams, High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D. or Xenon) Bulbs, H.I.D. Headlamp Assemblies, Ballasts, H.I.L.E.D. Cooling Systems, L.E.D. Assemblies, Light Bulbs, and Lenses; Wheels, Tires, Trim, Moldings, Bright Metal, Upholstery, Paint, Exhaust System (excluding Exhaust Manifold if cracked or warped), Brake Rotors and Drums, Batteries, Carburetor; Adjustments to: Carburetor, Throttle Body Assembly, Ignition, Transmission Bands, Belts or Clutch System; Clean Fuel and Cooling Systems, Remove Sludge or Carbon Deposits, Add: Oil, Coolant, Fluids, Lubricants, Greases, or Refrigerants; Phones, Wireless Transmitting Devices, Television/VCR, DVD Players, LCD Screens (except as listed), Satellite Radio, and Electronic Device Software. Please refer to Section 8 of the service contract for a complete list of what is not covered.
While this may look like an awfully long list, the truth is that the list is actually easier to understand than most exclusionary coverage plans. While a competitors might say "Audio amplification equipment" that then excludes a touch-screen radio, here AUL is more specific and notes "LCD screens not listed" are not included. Its odd to note a lot of this information is also highly outdated. For example there's no modern vehicles that require carburetor adjustment. So while the list may look long, its highly specific, and includes a few outdated policy notes.
The "Estate Plan" is a middle ground of coverage and is an inclusionary plan. You can read more completely about it in the brochure listed here: In essence this plan covers a good deal more than the powertrain plan but under an inclusionary policy. These named components that are covered are elements of the Front and Rear Suspension as well as elements of the Electrical system (such as the GPS system, LCD screens, cruiser control servos). It should be noted even adjustable suspension components are covered (this is rare amongst inclusionary plans).
The final plan is an inclusionary powertrain plan. This covers the main drive-components assemblies of the car including: The Engine components, turbo or supercharger components, axles and transfer cases, transmission, as well as seals and gaskets. This powertrain plan is more exhaustive than most, and has very few hidden "Gotcha's" that exist on some of the other plans.
Choosing the right plan obviously depends on your level of comfort with contracts and coverage, but we have a few general pieces of advice for extended warranty buyers.
Getting a quote from AUL Warranty
To get a free quote started, you’ll need your vehicle’s VIN and exact mileage. Then you can:
Call to get a quote: 800.826.3207
Competitors and Alternatives to AUL Warranty
AUL isn't the only extended service contract company. In fact there are many large national players. A few of the largest (which AUL is a member of) are listed below:
- Route 66
- Warranty Solutions
- Warranty Group
Who should get an AUL VSC or warranty plan
In order to determine whether a VSC from AUL is right for you, you’ll need to answer several questions first:
- What is the expected repair costs of the vehicle you are purchasing and how does that compare to the warranty cost?
- Could you handle the cost of a large repair without undue financial stress?
- Can you find an alternative service contract or warranty for cheaper?
- How much is convenience worth to you?
On average, AUL warranties are making money. So on average the AUL customers spend more money buying a service contract than what the warranty pays out in repairs after factoring in for the deductible, denied claims, and un-cancelled contracts. For a normal dealer these plans make about $500-1000.
But, these figures are AVERAGES and so often there’s examples where the AUL Warranty is underpriced relative to the expected repair costs. In order to find some of the expected repair costs for a given make model, RepairPal is one of the best resources to find these costs, as well as Edmunds.
Question 2: Could you handle the cost of a large repair without undue financial stress?
Since warranties are often money-makers on average it's generally a good idea NOT to get them. That said, often these warranties can be a good means for financial discipline and protecting against extreme downside that might ruin your car experience and cause undue financial stress. Let’s take a money-making warranty case to make a point below.
Suppose you’re about to buy a 2010 Mercedes SL63 where the engine fails 1 percent of the time at a cost of $20,000. So, the average repair costs is $200 (.01 x $20,000). As a company, AUL can make money on the warranty by charging $500. And on average, this warranty is not a good financial decision since the repairs costs are only $200 expected vs. $500 cost.
However, if you ARE the 1 customer who has a $20,000 engine failure, you would be ecstatic to pay the $500. Not to mention, a $20,000 bill would cause other financial stress, and you may not even have the money to pay for this expensive repair. So now you’re left having to sell a broken vehicle, find new transport, and your perception of the Mercedes SL63 will be forever ruined.
So if the “bad luck” of expensive repairs could bankrupt you, cause undue stress, or ruin the vehicle experience than an Extended car warranty could be a safe means to buy peace of mind and avoid “car induced bankruptcy”.
Question 3: Can you find an alternative extended service contract or warranty for cheaper than the Endurance Warranty?
Up until now, we’ve focused on whether to buy “the AUL warranty” or not to buy. The reality is there’s a third alternative - buy an extended warranty/service contract through another third party. Before buying the warranty from AUL, you can also compare warranty options through a variety of different warranty companies mentioned earlier.
Make sure to be comparing plans with similar plans, deductibles, and mileage limits to get comparable costs. Additionally, ensure you vehicle doesn't already have some existing factory warranty coverage. For many car companies, the manufacturer's warranty is often still valid until 36,000, 50,000, or 100,000 mile intervals for the new car.
Question 4: How much is convenience worth to you?
Another benefit of AUL warranty - you don’t need to think too hard when your car requires unscheduled repairs. Instead of price shopping repairs, getting cost estimates, and renting a car while yours is in for repair - you can just drop off your car at your favorite ASE certified repair shop and get a rental car through AUL. Additionally, if your vehicle fails on the side of the road - an extended warranty often covers roadside assistance, towing expenses and other emergency roadside needs.
So while it might be possible to find cheaper alternatives, save money on repairs longterm, the AUL warranty just helps reduce the need for you to think too hard about repairs and maintenance.
When does AUL deny or make claims difficult
Like any company that specializes in losses (insurance companies, warranty providers, bond services) - AUL needs to ensure its not simply paying out in all cases. This can be extremely frustrating as a consumer but generally a warranty company falls into several categories when it comes to claims:
- The company makes money by making it “difficult” to file claims and get reimbursement.
- The fine print in the contracts makes it extremely difficult for the consumer to understand what’s covered and what’s not - often revealing hidden costs only at time of repair
- The company makes its best full faith effort to make claims easy, painless and transparent before and during a claims process.
Some customers had particularly bad things to say about AUL: "I bought your sterling policy thinking that if I had any problems with the used car I bought, the warranty would cover it. Nope..A couple of months into buying the car..even after having it professionally inspected, the catalytic converter went haywire. I thought my policy would cover it...Wish I would have known more about what it did and did not cover when the car dealer sold it to me, would not have bought it."
This has to be balanced against the good things customers have said like: "Had 2005 Pathfinder with faulty transmission, finally got it checked out and was very pleased to have AUL rep check out problem in timely manner and recommend coverage with honesty and integrity. Nearly covered the entire cost of the transmission and did not leave me high and dry. CanÕt say how pleased I was to have the warranty honored contrary to horror stories IÕve heard about extended warranties being Òworked around.Ó undefined
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