Many Oklahoma residents find themselves in a nightmarish scenario. A person purchases a vehicle for $40,000 and pays at much as $2,500 additional for an extended warranty (i.e. “vehicle service contract”) to protect their investment. After they have enjoyed their vehicle for a couple of months, it suddenly malfunctions and has serious mechanical issues. Though being stranded and dealing with the hassle of having one’s vehicle breakdown is frustrating, there is no real reason to be concerned because the buyer had the foresight to purchase an extended warranty. This is where the real nightmare begins. When the vehicle purchaser takes his or her vehicle in for repair, the dealership claims that the extended warranty is void because he or she failed to comply with the maintenance terms of the protection plan.
Our Oklahoma insurance bad faith claim attorneys routinely handle claims for bad faith denial of extended warranty coverage. This strategy is a common ruse used to dupe unsuspecting consumers. If your vehicle service provider is treating you unfairly and claiming your protection plan was voided because of maintenance issues, we can help. We will carefully review the provisions of your extended warranty policy and examine your records and receipts regarding required maintenance to establish your compliance with any maintenance issues and compel your extended warranty provider to perform its obligations under your vehicle service agreement. If the company refuses to be reasonable and deal with you in good faith, we may file a claim for bad faith denial of your coverage and seek punitive damages. To have us file a claim with on your behalf, start by scheduling a free consultation with us today.
All extended warranty contracts require certain regular maintenance, such as oil changes after a certain number of miles, or the protection plan coverage may be voided. It is essential that this scheduled maintenance is performed and that you keep all receipts and records documenting the work. If you fail to perform the required maintenance, this may affect the validity of your claim. You should also inquire when you purchase your extended warranty and carefully review the protection plan for any requirements that you have maintenance done at the dealer or at a select list of repair shops. While it may not void the policy if you perform your own maintenance or use a repair shop of your choice, this is an issue you should be completely clear on prior to purchasing the extended warranty.
Making an Extended Warranty Claim: What You Need to Know
Depending on the extended warranty that you purchase, there may be different procedures that you must follow to make a claim. With some extended warranty companies, you need only take your vehicle to an authorized repair center, which may be the dealer where the vehicle was purchased. You must bring your extended warranty contract and provide it to the repair center, which will contact the provider of your protection plan to obtain authorization for the repairs.
Some protection plans require that you take your vehicle to a repair center on an approved list. You may be expected to pay for the repairs then seek reimbursement from the extended warranty provider. Again, you should ask how long it would take to obtain authorization for the repairs and to receive compensation to cover the repair cost. You may have to submit the invoice to the extended warranty company to obtain reimbursement.
If the extended warranty provider refuses to authorize covered repairs or does not reimburse you in a timely manner, you should demand that the company provide a reason for denying your claim. This should include the vehicle service contract provider identifying what provisions in the contract they are relying on in denying your claim. The letter from the company will force it to commit to a position, which it must defend later if the warranty company indicates that you failed to perform required maintenance or that the specific component or system was not covered.
You should document any correspondence or communication in which you provide documents or identify the portion of the agreement that you believe covers the loss. Our experienced Oklahoma insurance bad faith attorneys may be able to help you establish your right to compensation. If your extended warranty provider refuses to provide a reasonable basis for their position and deals in bad faith, we may even be able to file a lawsuit for bad faith denial of your extended warranty claim.
Purchasing an Extended Warranty: What You Should Know
When purchasing an extended warranty, you should be aware that these plans vary widely. Below are some key elements of a vehicle service contract that you should be aware of before making a purchase:
- Type of Coverage: There are many types of coverage including powertrain, bumper to bumper or named component parts. These protection plans vary widely in terms of what they cover so you should carefully review the vehicle service contract. Some extended warranties also will apply to both components that break and those that malfunction because they have worn out. You should know whether your extended warranty covers both of these situations.
- The Cost of the Plan: Your extended warranty will have a number of costs that includes both the purchase price and the deductible. Deductibles may be calculated in different ways so you should know how your contract calculates the deductible amount.
- Coverage Period: You should know when the extended warranty period begins and expires.
- Maintenance Requirements: You should know what maintenance must be performed and whether you are required to take your vehicle to a designated repair shop or the dealer.
- Claims Process: It is important to understand the basics of the claim process including issues like where to take your vehicle and whether you need to pay for repairs and then seek reimbursement.
Our Oklahoma insurance bad faith attorneys represent people throughout Oklahoma who have been turned away when they tried to have their vehicle repaired under an extended warranty. Under Oklahoma law, a company that sells you an extended warranty has a fiduciary duty to its customers. If your insurance company breaches its duty of good faith and fair dealing by unfairly denying your claim, The Bennett Law Firm will diligently seek the compensation you deserve which may even include punitive damages.
Feel free to schedule a free consultation online or call The Bennett Law Firm at 405.272.0303 to discuss your legal options with an experienced Oklahoma City lawyer today. No Recovery, No Fee! We will meet with you face to face and can handle cases anywhere in Oklahoma. We can even come to you!