AUL Corp: Extensive Dealership Warranty Options
Updated: September 7, 2023
AUL Corp. is an independent extended auto warranty provider that has been offering car-related services since 1990. They have a large suite of auto warranty coverage plans and related products that they sell to end-consumers and dealerships. Their vehicle service contracts are customized to provide protection for a large variety of vehicles that may need emergency repairs. Could you benefit from their coverage?
In this review, we will go over all of AUL Corp's pros and cons to help you decide if it is the right provider for your vehicle.
AUL Corp Overview
AUL Corp. is a Finance and Insurance (F&I) company founded in 1990 and based in Napa, California. They claim to be the founders of the "used car service industry" and offer a wide range of extended warranties and related protection plans for used cars. Their offerings include vehicle service contracts, ancillary protection products, and GAP protection, which they mainly sell through dealerships nationwide.
In this review, we will take a closer look at AUL's vehicle service contracts (VSCs). Their contracts cover you from the day you buy them and are transferable and renewable. They cover both older and newer used vehicles for repairs at any licensed facility in the US and Canada and can fit a variety of car ages and mileages.
The Perks of AUL Warranties
You may be comparing between many VSC providers and don't know which to choose. If so, it's good to start by looking at the advantages that each company brings to the table. In the case of AUL, those perks are:
- Many plan options: AUL sells a high number of VSC products, some of which have several plan options designed to fit more customers' used vehicle protection needs. The plans may differ from dealer to dealer and may be bought with a pre-owned car
- EV and hybrid coverage: The company has plans that cater to electric and hybrid vehicles that range from core coverage to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper protection. And some even cover the battery and other items that are usually not included
- Broad eligibility criteria: They accept cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans with some plans, some of which will even allow vehicles of over one ton. They may charge extra fees for some vehicles, as they would for business uses, modifications, and other factors. Also, some plans may even accept cars of any age or mileage
- Unlimited term plans: Some of their offered plans have unlimited time periods or no mileage limits, and a few might have 'lifetime' terms
- Ancillary products: They offer a suite of additional protection products that go above and beyond warranty protection and can include regular maintenance
- Generous towing services: They may pay for towing of up to 150 miles away from breakdown site
- Day one coverage: Many plans have no waiting periods, although you may be subject to inspection before you are covered
Why You Might Not Choose AUL
Of course, AUL might not be your top choice for a few reasons, which include:
- Sold only at dealerships: They do not sell plans directly, and your level of coverage will be determined by your local authorized dealers. Your local dealer may not provide you with the coverage you need, and you may feel pressured to purchase on the spot
- No sample contracts: They do not supply sample contracts online, so for specific contract details, you have to go to your dealership and ask to see a contract
- Limited transferability: Most contracts can only be transferred once
- Stricter claims procedure: In many cases, you might have to take your car to your dealer and have them diagnose it before you can initiate claims
- Low rental reimbursement: If a plan covers rental cars, it might only reimburse up to $30 per day or $150 per claim
AUL Auto Warranty Plans
AUL Corp. provides both vehicle service contracts and limited warranties, which may come packaged with a pre-owned vehicle at the dealership. They offer many versions of their optional VSCs, each with somewhat different levels of coverage, term limits, and vehicle eligibility. The dealerships that sell those coverages may choose which plans to offer you based on the above criteria. Also, the variety of VSCs you may be offered will differ depending on whether you're at a dealership that's a part of a larger franchise or an independent one. That being said, most of their plans have no waiting period—you are covered from day one.
The warranty products offered by AUL may come with up to five levels of coverage. Some products may only offer one level of basic or bumper-to-bumper coverage or cover only specialized vehicle types or parts categories. The company's names for their products will differ based on where they are sold and for which types of vehicles. They can carry expressive names like Absolute Lifetime, Absolute Certified, or Absolute Unlimited Time (AUN), or they may simply be called Used Car Coverage. That being said, here are all the possible AUL plans or levels you may be offered and what they may entail:
- Powertrain: This is the basic plan tier and generally only protects you for repairs of the engine group, transmission, drive axle group, turbochargers or superchargers, and seals and gaskets if needed in conjunction with a covered repair. Some hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) group components may also be covered by some such plans
- Vintage: This plan covers all that is covered by Powertrain, along with the power steering group, air conditioning, and electrical group
- Domain: This covers everything in the Vintage plan as well as the brake group
- Sterling: This covers everything in the Domain plan as well as the cooling group
- Estate: This covers all that Sterling does, as well as the front or rear suspension group, enhanced electrical group, hybrid and EV group, and the hybrid or EV battery
- Exclusionary or Reserve: This is their highest plan tier and covers everything except for a short list of specifically excluded components, as spelled out in the contract. For example, normal maintenance items such as filters, tires, upholstery, and exhaust systems may be excluded
- Wrap: This plan is meant for vehicles with still-valid manufacturer's powertrain warranties which extends their coverage to an exclusionary level
- Essential Coverage: This may be the lowest-level plan for certain products, but it covers more than a typical powertrain warranty. Covered parts include the engine group, transmission, drive axle group, power steering group, and basic electrical group. Seals and gaskets will only be covered if they are part of another covered repair
- Basic Coverage: This covers everything under Essential Coverage, along with the air conditioning and electrical groups
- Comprehensive Coverage: This covers everything under Basic, along with the brake group, front or rear suspension group, and cooling group
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle: This is a specialized plan for hybrid cars, or EVs. It's also an exclusionary plan that will cover everything except what is explicitly excluded
- Absolute AUL Tech (TCH): This plan only covers your vehicle's advanced safety and convenience tech, including the navigation system, original audio system, blind-spot detection, cruise control system, backup camera, remote start, and so on
As you can see, there may be some overlap between some of the middle-tier plans because they come from different AUL products. And with certain plans, you may be charged an extra fee for the seals and gaskets and enhanced electrical component coverage. You may also have to pay surcharges for business-use, modified, 4WD or AWD, hybrid, electric, diesel, or 'one-ton' vehicles.
Keep in mind that not all components that you'd associate with each of the groups listed above will be covered for repairs. You should check your supplied contract to see if all important components are listed or, in the case of exclusionary plans, if they are excluded. You will also find general limitations and exclusions there, like the limit of liability, which tells you the maximum amount the company will pay for repairs. Though AUL does not supply any sample contracts online, you can find some of this information on their webpage, which lists all their offered plans.
With most VSC plans, you will receive some roadside assistance and associated services. While these will differ from plan to plan, the benefits may include:
- Towing: If your covered vehicle breaks down on the road, they may tow it up to 150 miles to the nearest qualified repair shop
- Flat tire changes: They will send someone to put your spare tire on your car or provide transportation to the nearest tire store
- Emergency fuel delivery: They will deliver you enough fuel to get going, but you have to pay for the fuel itself
- Key lockout service: They will pay a limited amount for a locksmith service
- Battery jumpstarts: If your battery is dead, they will send someone to jumpstart it
- Rental car: If your vehicle is in the shop overnight, they will reimburse you a limited amount for a rental
- Trip interruption: If you break down more than 150 miles away from home, they will pay a limited amount for your food and stay
- Wear & tear coverage: With a few plans, they will actually cover wear and tear damage, which is unusual for a warranty plan
Term or period limits and eligibilities
AUL offers plans with a variety of term periods and mileage limits. You may be offered unlimited time terms with certain mileage limits or the other way around, and one of their products offers lifetime coverage. If not unlimited, their term periods generally range between 12 months and 10 years and cover up to 150,000 extra driven miles.
AUL offers plans that accept a variety of vehicle types, like cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. With so many possible plans, some may have stricter eligibility criteria than others. AUL is known for its "Any Year-Any Mileage" acceptance criteria for some of their used car coverage products. However, that is mostly limited to their lower-tier plans, as their comprehensive plans may not accept vehicles older than 20 years. Other products will have set acceptance limits for their VSCs of up to 12 vehicle years or 150,000 miles.
Different protection products
AUL also offers products that fall outside of typical warranty coverage. They sell GAP plans that provide financial protection in cases where your vehicle's actual value is less than it's insurance policy or loan value. They also sell a suite of ancillary products that can include emergency roadside assistance, key replacement, tire and wheel protection, paintless dent repair, scratch repair, front windshield repair, theft protection, advanced appearance protection, and a vehicle maintenance package.
How Much Does the AUL Corp. Warranty Cost?
As with most VSC providers, AUL does not advertise their prices online. You would have to visit an authorized dealership to inquire, and your quoted price will depend on your coverage requirements, state, as well as vehicle specifications and mileage.
Based on our research, you may pay between $1,000 and $4,000 for an AUL service contract. This range is very wide because the company offers a high variety of term period lengths and coverage levels, and you would pay a lot less for a 12-month powertrain plan than you would for an unlimited-time Reserve policy. Their deductibles range between $0 and $250 per approved repair, and some plans feature 'disappearing deductibles'.
Who Could Benefit From AUL Corp. Warranties?
AUL offers many plans and benefits that appeal to a wide range of customers. But should you take a closer look and inquire about their coverage? You might, if you fit into one of the following categories:
- Buying a car: If you're in the market to buy a pre-owned car, whether it's a newer model or one with a lot of mileage, you may find appropriate AUL coverage for it at an approved dealer
- Have a large truck or van: AUL offers plans for all vehicle types, including trucks or vans of over one ton. They also optionally cover diesel engines and AWD/4WD vehicles
- Have a hybrid or EV: Their plans may include hybrid and electric car components for an added charge, and they even have customized exclusionary plans made for those vehicles
- Have an older, high-mileage vehicle: Some of their plans boast eligibility for cars of any year and any mileage
What Are They Saying About AUL?
AUL Corp. has a fairly good reputation in the industry. They receive accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives them an A+ rating. However, the customer experience picture for this company is somewhat different. Although they get relatively few reviews on BBB, their review score there is 1.56/5, and they do get a moderate amount of complaints. They have a 2/5 score on Yelp, but a fair score of 3.1/5 on Google Reviews.
One of the recurring themes in the negative feedback was denied claims. Some customers felt they were denied for inaccurate reasons, such as insufficient oil changes, even though their maintenance records show otherwise. Others report needing to pay for unexpected expenses like inspections to qualify, only to be told they will not be covered. There was even one reviewer, claiming to be a dealer, who says that he will no longer do business with them based on those experiences.
Other grievances include being billed after cancelation, partial claims payments, long claims wait times, and unhelpful or unsympathetic claims personnel. On the other hand, there were also many positive reviews from customers. Many praised the company's customer service representatives, whom they found very helpful and who would patiently fight to get their repairs done and covered. Others said they were happy with their savings, even with lower-tiered plans, and were surprised they got the full cost of repairs covered for big-ticket items, minus the deductible. By and large, those reviewers expressed being fully satisfied with AUL's level of service and responsiveness.
When customers formally complained to the BBB, AUL would reply quickly and thoroughly. Sometimes they would point out why a certain component repair was denied by referring to the contract text, with those denials sometimes due to a technicality rather than an excluded item. Their responses are very professional, and, while they do not compromise as much as other providers do, they do reassess and fulfill claims based on proper evidence. In short, they seem to take their time and give customers the same service promised by their contracts.
If you have questions or concerns about your existing coverage, you should first contact your dealership. However, if you want to inquire about the closest dealership that sells AUL contracts or if you have any further inquiries about your service, you may reach their customer service by filling out their online form or calling them at 800-826-3207 or 707-257-9700.
All in all, AUL Corp. certainly makes for a compelling choice that can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind on the road. They offer many plans for a variety of vehicle types, ages, and mileages at different budget levels. You might well find a plan that fits your criteria at your local dealership.
However, you have to buy their plans through a qualified dealership, and if you were able to find one close to you, they may not have the coverage plans you need. You may also be subject to sales pressure, especially if you're there to buy a car. We think that vehicle ownership is already stressful enough, and a warranty should help alleviate that stress. Don't just go with the first company that offers you protection—do your research and compare between top providers, then come to the best conclusion for yourself.
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