Endurance is an aftermarket automotive extended warranty company that provides service contracts that protect your vehicle after the period of the original vehicle warranty has ended. Almost like a healthcare insurance company, Endurance says that it pays the repair shop directly for work performed under its warranties. The company is a direct provider, which means that they only sell the warranties that they administer.
Endurance offers warranties that cover everything from the air conditioning system to turbochargers and superchargers. Depending on the age, value, and condition of your vehicle, the company has four different warranties that come with varying levels of coverage. When a repair claim is submitted, the company will pay directly for parts and labor to the shop. The company says that its warranty coverage is accepted at any dealership and at any ASE-certified mechanic. If you are unsure about your warranty purchase, the company has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Endurance is one of the largest independent service contract providers in the business, which is surprising since the company has only been around since 2006. Originally founded by Paul Chernawsky and Jordan Batt, the company quickly earned a reputation for aggressively marketing its products online and through traditional media.
Based in Chicago, Endurance claims to be “backed by an AM Best ‘A’ rated insurance company,” but there’s little information about what that insurance company actually is.
Throughout its homepage, Endurance calls its products “protection plans” and “extended warranties,” but the fine print is interesting, and something you should understand. “Disclosure: A Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) is often referred to as an “auto warranty” or an “extended car warranty,” but it is not a warranty. A VSC does, however, provide repair coverage for your vehicle after the manufacturer’s car warranty expires. A VSC is a contract between you and a VSC provider or administrator that states what is a covered repair and what is not.”
Endurance offers six different plans, which ascend in order according to price:
The short answer to this question is “read the contract.” We’re going to write this about 300 times in this story, because it’s really the only way to understand what the various plans actually cover. Each of the individual plans has a separate contract, so if you’re trying to decide between two or all six of the plans, you have to read all six contracts.
For example, the contract for the Secure plan (the cheapest product offering), has a list of six major systems the plan covers:
In all of these plans, the contract goes on for a FULL PAGE describing everything it doesn’t cover, in a bold-faced, densely packed section called “EXCLUSIONS.”
The contract for the the most expensive Advantage level of coverage (has a much longer list of things it covers, but that fully packed page of “EXCLUSIONS” is still there.
We could list everything all six of these plans cover, but you'd have been here scrolling for a month. We’ve simplified it into a list of 10 relatively common things that are covered by warranties like this, and checked to see if the items are actually covered. We’ve also provided a link to the sample contract so you can read them for yourself:
|Avg Cost||Secure||Select Premiere||Superior||Supreme||Secure Plus||Advantage|
It’s nearly impossible to put into a chart what the difference in these plans are. You need to CAREFULLY read each individual sample contract to know what’s covered. But here are a few things to think about:
Do you drive a hybrid or an EV? Look somewhere else. No endurance plan is right for you if you drive a hybrid or an EV. There’s a lot of language that applies to these vehicles in the contracts, and it’s all bad. Only three of the plans even offer coverage for hybrids, and when they do, a surcharge applies, and the only thing that really ever fails on a hybrid -- the batteries, after hundreds of thousands of miles -- isn’t covered.
Do you live in California? Look somewhere else. Endurance does not provide service contracts in California.
This is really the bottom of the barrel. It provides coverage on the bare minimum of components and systems, and as a result, its value is dubious at best. Here’s what’s covered:
Endurance’s Premiere warranty is designed for high-mileage vehicles that are presumably less valuable and have a higher risk of mechanical failure. The warranty covers:
The Endurance Superior warranty covers most vehicle components, which means that it could almost be considered comprehensive. Nearly every part of the vehicle is covered, including:
As the name suggests, the Supreme warranty offers bumper-to-bumper coverage and is Endurance’s most comprehensive vehicle protection plan. It covers “ALL of Your Vehicle’s part(s) or component(s), including seals and gaskets, except those listed under the Exclusions Section - What Is Not Covered.”
Again, that “EXCLUSIONS” section is a page long, so really understand what’s NOT covered on this one.
Secure Plus covers everything the Secure plan does, plus:
Endurance Advantage is actually three plans, with increasing levels of coverage that go up with the cost of the plan. The three plans are:
So what’s the difference between these plans and the others? All of the Advantage plans have some kind of maintenance component included. The plans all include:
Annual Oil and Filter Changes: Provides up to fifty ($50) dollars per Oil and Filter Change (maximum of three (3) Oil and Filter Changes per year).
Brake Pads/Shoes: Provides up to one hundred forty ($140) dollars towards the replacement of Brake Pads/Shoes when deterioration is beyond the OEM’s specified tolerances. The catch is that you can only use this benefit ONCE the entire life of the contract.
Battery: Provides up to one hundred ($100) dollars towards the replacement of a failed Battery when deterioration is beyond the OEM’s specified tolerance. Two catches here: One, batteries are REALLY expensive now. A replacement for a 2020 Toyota Camry is $241 at most auto parts stores, so this plan doesn’t even cover HALF of the cost, PLUS, you can only use it once the entire length of the contract.
Cooling System Maintenance and Lube: Provides up to fifty-five ($55) dollars towards Cooling System Maintenance and Lube services including drain/refill, pressure check, inspect hoses/belts/clamps, and lube chassis. Again, you only get one for the entire length of the contract.
Annual Services: Up to forty-five ($45) dollars towards Hand-Held Computer Engine Diagnostic exam; Up to twenty-five ($25) dollars towards Alignment Check, and; Up to fifty-five ($55) dollars towards State Safety Inspection where required by state. This is limited to once per year for each service.
Annual Tire Rotation: Provides up to thirty-five ($35) dollars towards Tire Rotation with air pressure check (limited to one-time per year).
Wiper Blades: Provides up to twenty ($20) dollars towards the replacement of one (1) set of front windshield Wiper Blades when deterioration is beyond the OEM’s specified tolerance. This is only good once the entire length of the contract.
Three (3) Manufacturer’s Recommended Service Intervals: Up to twenty-five ($25) dollars towards first recommended service visit; Up to forty-five ($45) dollars towards second recommended service visit, and; Up to sixty-five ($65) dollars towards third recommended service visit.
Beyond warranty coverage, members of Endurance’s services receive benefits that can help keep things rolling when a breakdown occurs. The program is called Endurance Elite and is provided to all members for the first year of their warranty coverage at no charge. Services include:
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The short answer is, who knows? Endurance talks a lot about giving out free quotes, but it only does so under certain conditions. When you fill out the lead generation form, you have to submit a phone number. Not wanting to have these people calling me night and day for the rest of my natural life, I didn’t give my real phone number, thinking the quote would come via email. It does not. The ONLY way you’ll get a quote is on the phone.
So, we started looking around to find out what others are being quoted. What you’ll find is that the numbers are all over the place.
Note that the cost, term and deductibles for these plans are all over the map, depending on how many miles are on the vehicle, which plan you choose and which level of deductible you choose. There’s also no hard and fast rules about pricing because the plan cost varies based on your car.
|Vehicle*||Plan Name||Term*||Total Cost||Deductible**|
Here’s what we learned searching every internet forum we could find:
A: We couldn’t find a single example of any warranty other than the Supreme coverage talked about in any of these forums, so either Endurance doesn’t make any effort to sell these products, or consumers don’t think they’re worth it.
B: As you can see above, if you’re buying an Endurance warranty on a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, it’s going to cost you thousands more than a similar service plan on a RAM.
C: We see a lot of stuff written suggesting that coverage is going to cost “between $700 and $1,500.” That’s hogwash. The prices that consumers have actually been quoted are MUCH higher. Yes, the low-coverage options with high deductibles might be cheaper, but that’s not what most people are being quoted, or buying.
While Endurance’s Elite Membership package sounds like a great deal, the benefits included with the Endurance is a direct provider. Many warranty companies are just middle-people, or pass-throughs for the actual provider, which can slow down claim services and make getting a hold of someone to ask questions or raise a concern very difficult. The company has been in business for over ten years and is backed by an AM Best A-rated insurance company.
program only last for the first year of warranty coverage. The company requires that members renew after the first year, which brings costs along with it. Some of Endurance’s competitors offer similar programs that run for the duration of the warranty coverage.
Similarly, the maintenance items included in the Advantage plans is absolutely not worth the extra money. A battery alone is going to cost more than twice as much as the $100 credit you’re allowed, and you’re only able to access that credit once the entire term of the warranty. It does credit you $50 for oil changes three times a year, but if you’re driving something that requires synthetic oil (read: pretty much everything now), you’re going to blow through that easily. If you’re driving a truck that requires seven quarts of oil, $50 is barely going to make a dent.
Endurance could be the best company for you if your priority is on straightforward customer service and a relatively transparent claims process. This alone adds significant value to the company’s coverage plans, because nothing is worse than wading through formalities when you’re trying to get your vehicle fixed in a hurry. That said, Endurance’s service offerings fall just short of those offered by its competitors and other warranty services like CARCHEX have earned high marks for customer service as well. Shopping around, we can see that many competitors offer up to ten years of coverage and some come with unlimited mileage limits for certain vehicles. Endurance stacks up well for its service, but you may find better value with another provider.
To see reviews of other warranty providers, check out our Best Car Warranties of 2021 recommendations.
The first thing you should know when shopping for an extended warranty is that buying one from the dealership where you bought your vehicle is probably a bad idea. Dealers mark up everything that isn’t tied down, and warranties are no exception. If you really want to buy and finance a warranty along with the price of your used vehicle, try to find out the dealer’s cost for the coverage and then offer $100-$200 on top of that.
Dealing with a separate warranty company may not allow as much flexibility, since the markups are (hopefully) smaller, but there are still steps to take to make sure you’re getting a good deal:
There are 1,600 reviews of Endurance on Trustpilot, and while there are too many to read, they pretty quickly fall into several categories:
The overwhelmingly positive reviews seem to be about the sales process, or someone the reviewer contacted because of a billing issue. That has very little to do with how the actual service is, though.
The negative reviews are almost all related to a very specific problem where the customer was denied coverage on a specific issue. Again, it’s absolutely critical to READ THE CONTRACT to understand what is covered.
“Very pleasant experience. Great explanation of coverages..Let us know we are important to Endurance. We definitely will be recommending friends & family.” -- Charles McMullen, Trustpilot
“I had the opportunity to speak with one of the customer service reps , his name is Tanner Sachs. He was so pleasant and informative. Wishing that there were more people that were like that when it comes to helping people with their understanding of their contract.” -- B Bunn, Trustpilot
“I really like endurance car warranty, great customer service and everything else.” -- Robert Holmes, Trustpilot
"I was very disappointed in making my first claim that was denied. When I purchased the warranty I was told it was a bumper to bumper warranty and I know of course they always hit you with a read your contract however I feel once you have already paid for your warranty they are very honest at that point in telling you what’s not covered however on the sales side It’s very misleading." -- Erroll Audrict, Trust pilot
"They declined my 1st claim as they said it was too close to my initial 30 day anniversary claiming a clause about pre-existing conditions. If that is the case, it seems they can use this clause anytime they wish to deny you." -- James, Trustpilot
Understanding the warranty options that are available to you is a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deal, but first you’ll need to determine if you actually need to buy extended coverage. Several used car experts caution against buying the extended warranty, because many times the cost of the coverage outweighs any repairs that might be needed. There are cases in which buying an extended warranty can be a great idea, especially if the vehicle being covered is notoriously unreliable. If you’re dead set on buying an extended warranty, Autotrader recommends that you choose an exclusion warranty, like Endurance Supreme, that covers everything on the vehicle except the things it specifically excludes. These exclusions are listed prominently on the service contract and take away any doubt about what will and won’t be covered.
Extended warranties are a bad idea for people that like to switch vehicles every couple of years or if the vehicle is still covered under the factory warranty. In these cases, you may not even own the vehicle when the factory warranty expires, so you’ll have paid extra for nothing. You may also want to pass on the extra warranty if the vehicle you’re driving has very good reliability ratings. Certain vehicles, like the Toyota Corolla, have a smaller chance of significant mechanical breakdowns compared to others, and paying extra for coverage may be a waste.
There are many other factors to weigh when deciding if you should get an extended warranty. Check out the chart we created to help you decide if an extended warranty is right for you.
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Endurance Elite is a roadside assistance plan that essentially works like a AAA membership. It offers the basic towing, out of gas and lockout services that a AAA membership provides, plus lots of services like lost key fob replacement.
Endurance offers FIVE different levels of warranty coverage (Select Premier, Secure, Secure Plus, Superior and Supreme) that all cover the basic internal engine components, transmission, drive axles, major electrical components, A/C, heating, cooling and fuel systems. From that Select Premier level, the plans add more components at additional cost, until you hit Supreme, which covers everything with the exception of a short list of exclusions.
There used to be. It was called the Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) and it was a non-profit that claimed to represent extended warranties and establish a code of conduct by which these companies operated. It doesn’t appear to be in service anymore, though. A visit to the website returns a not found message.
It’s not a great indicator of the performance of these companies. For example, one company we looked at had an A+ rating from the BBB, despite having almost 100 consumer complaints, mostly related to their predatory marketing practices, including the "DEMAND" and "Invoice" letters we mentioned above.
Yes, you can change your mind if you purchase an Endurance warranty and then decide that you don’t want it. The company considers the first 30 days a “review period.” According to Endurance, “If you decide for any reason that this isn't the extended auto warranty for you, simply call our customer service line. As long as you haven't used your policy during those 30 days, we'll be happy to refund your money and cancel your extended warranty.”
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. These are some popular options...