American Auto Shield: A Reputable Third-Party Administrator
Updated: September 6th, 2023
American Auto Shield (AAS) is an extended warranty company that works differently than other providers in that they specialize in the development of vehicle service contracts (VSCs) and the administration of automotive claims. They offer a range of coverage options and are known for their customer service and good industry standing.
In this review, we'll take an in-depth look at American Auto Shield's contracts, reputation, and role in the auto warranty industry.
A Brief Look at American Auto Shield
Based in Lakewood, Colorado, American Auto Shield (AAS) is a developer and claims administrator of vehicle service contracts (VSC) and mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI). Since 2002, AAS has been dedicated to crafting contracts that shield drivers from unexpected repair expenses and road-induced worries. Acting as a reliable third-party administrator, AAS diligently manages the repair claims associated with their contracts, which are distributed through esteemed brokers such as CarShield, CARCHEX, and other industry leaders.
As a point of clarification, AAS doesn't directly sell auto warranty plans; rather, they provide their expertise and services to these car warranty companies, who tailor their contracts to align with their plans. Benefiting from AAS's seamless administration, these companies are able to efficiently process claims and ensure customer satisfaction. If you are in the market for an auto warranty and have received a contract from a company that partners with AAS, then this review is for you.
AAS administers a number of coverage options for cars, motorcycles, and ATVs, including basic, exclusionary, and powertrain plans. Each plan has its own set of benefits and exclusions. Customers have the flexibility to purchase these contracts through AAS' extensive network of dealerships and partner companies, tailoring their choice based on individual circumstances and budget.
It's worth noting that they are on alert from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and are not BBB-accredited.
Exploring the Advantages & Disadvantages
When searching for the ideal auto warranty to fit your needs, it’s crucial to evaluate the pros, cons, and unique offerings. The following is a comprehensive list of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing contracts that are managed by AAS.
The Benefits of American Auto Shield
AAS contracts and administration are designed to streamline the process for drivers, making auto warranty coverage easy and hassle-free. Here are a few advantages of purchasing an AAS-managed policy:
- Nationwide coverage: Their claims are accepted at thousands of ASE-certified repair facilities across the country, so you can get service no matter where you are. You can also purchase the contracts they design from their various partners across the country
- Transferable warranty: Some contracts are transferable to a new owner if you sell your vehicle. You can submit a transfer form online through their website
- Online claim engine: AAS offers an online claim engine that allows you to submit and track your claim in real time, making it easier to get the repairs your vehicle needs quickly
- Online support center: They also have online options for getting roadside assistance, finding repair shops, and submitting a ticket
The Drawbacks of American Auto Shield
Despite the fact that purchasing an American Auto Shield managed contract has many advantages, there are some disadvantages to take into account, such as:
- Limited information: Their website doesn't provide a lot of information about the specifics of their administration services or who sells their contracts
- BBB alert: The BBB has identified some concerns about American Auto Shield's services and relationship with contract sellers, which we discuss in more detail below
American Auto Shield Services
AAS's main two services are creating vehicle service contracts for their partner companies and administrating policy claims and repairs; they do not sell plans themselves.
The contracts they service cover a wide range of vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), with each vehicle category having its own set of plans. Their contracts offer additional benefits such as roadside protection (including winching, towing, and emergency tires), trip interruption, and rental cars or alternative transportation. They oversee VSCs and MBIs that range from comprehensive to named component to powertrain coverage. The coverage begins after 20 days and 500 miles or 40 days and 250,000 miles from the contract purchase date. The Powertrain contracts offer protection for vehicles up to 250,000 miles.
The service contract you receive at the time of sale may differ from the sample contracts on the company's website. The scope of protection and prices will vary depending on factors such as the optional coverage chosen, the state, and the local dealership or company from which the contract was purchased.
The contracts they administer don’t cover everyday wear and tear, abuse, neglect, improper maintenance, preexisting issues, rust, or corrosion. Each sample contract included on their website has its own section for exclusions and provisions that you should be aware of and read carefully once your dealership or partner company provides you with the contract for your vehicle. It's crucial to read the fine print and learn the specifics of the contracts administered by AAS.
Is American Auto Shield Right for You?
To answer this question, consider the pros and cons listed above. The contracts that AAS manages will probably be tailored to fit the needs of the business that sells them, so the quality of service you receive may vary. Since they offer a variety of ways for their policyholders to submit claims and contact the company for repairs, they might be worth considering if you decide to purchase a contract they service through one of their partner companies.
American Auto Shield Reviews: Real Testimonies
AAS doesn’t have the strongest reputation as an extended warranty developer and administrator; their page on the BBB has a current alert listed. They also have mixed customer reviews, with a 2.82 score on the BBB, a 3.0 on Trustpilot, and a 1.1 on Yelp.
Some people have reported positive experiences when it comes to the approval of their claims and repairs. Customers appreciate the helpful customer service representatives. Some customers also gave positive feedback on how easy it is to file a claim when experiencing a breakdown.
However, there’s a pattern of complaints on their BBB profile that should be considered, which is why they are on alert. Complaints were made regarding the misleading advertising the company used. Customers claim that when they sign up for a contract through vendors or sellers, they are unaware of the policy's limits until they attempt to use the service. Customers have also complained that customer service does not respond quickly when they file a claim and that getting approval for repairs covered by their contracts is difficult.
Remember that some reviews and complaints might not pertain to AAS directly because they sell their contracts through other companies like CarShield. That means that many of the reviews might be from people dealing with vendors or sellers. As a result, AAS’s rating on BBB may not be an accurate representation of their services.
We recommend looking for consistency and patterns in both the positive and negative reviews and considering platforms like BBB, Trustpilot, and Yelp to conduct your research and make an informed decision about this company. We also highly recommend asking all the important questions to the sales representative, such as the overall costs, exclusions, and who you will have to contact in the event of a breakdown.
To contact AAS, you can call their phone number at 303 420 7488 or 800 531 1925. You can email them at [email protected] or [email protected]. Their business hours are Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST and on Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM MST. If you have further questions, you can visit their FAQ page.
To file a claim with them, you can either report a claim online or have your repair shop report it for you. Provide the necessary information, follow the instructions to submit the required documentation, and wait for authorization before getting the repairs done at an approved facility.
American Auto Shield develops and manages a diverse selection of auto warranty plans that come with numerous benefits for customers in the automotive industry. These plans provide a wide array of options and stand out, particularly for their comprehensive coverage of motorcycles and ATVs. It’s important to remember that, as previously stated, in order to obtain an AAS-managed contract, you must first purchase it from another company, such as CarShield.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider, such as certain coverage limitations and delays in the claims process. It's important to conduct a detailed analysis of the different warranty plans administered by American Auto Shield and compare them to other competitors in the market. Also, we recommend conducting thorough research on AAS’ partner companies. Factors like cost, coverage, and customer reviews should be considered before making your final decision.
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