Fidelity Warranty Services: : Full-Featured Dealership Coverage
Updated: September 4, 2023
When you're thinking of purchasing a car at the dealership, do you wonder about the warranty protection it has? If you're looking at pre-owned vehicles, chances are their warranties have expired-- or will soon. However, with a vehicle service contract (VSC) from Fidelity Warranty Services, you may be able to get the proper coverage you need so that you can focus on enjoying your new purchase.
Their contracts are available at almost 4,000 dealerships nationwide, providing extended auto warranties for added peace of mind. With a contract in place, you can protect your vehicle investment and avoid the stress of unexpected repair costs or having to haggle with mechanics.
However, as with any service provider, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. We hope to clarify these points in our discussion of the company's coverage options, pricing, and suitability criteria. We will also look into their customers' level of satisfaction and the specific feedback they give about them. In our Fidelity Warranty Services review, we can help you decide if you should buy a contract from them.
About Fidelity Warranty Services
Fidelity Warranty Services (FWS), which is based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, has been a trusted provider of vehicle protection plans since 1978. They offer a variety of plans to suit the diverse needs of their customers that go above and beyond typical warranty protection. They sell their plans at a network of over 3,800 dealerships nationwide that partner with their parent company, JM&A Group, and they honor repairs at over 6,000 authorized repair shops or any ASE-certified center in the US and Canada. They strive to ensure that all covered parts are repaired promptly.
They hold accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives them an "A-" rating. However, customer feedback online presents a mixed message about the company's quality of service. But what can we learn from that? We'll dive into it below.
The Benefits & Drawbacks of Fidelity Warranty Services
There are many reasons why you might choose to buy an extended warranty from one company over another. You would look at your coverage requirements as compared to the features, benefits, and convenience factors found at a provider and decide if there is a fit. That being said, below are a few points, both pros and cons, that may help you determine if this is the company for you.
The perks of FWS
FWS presents some appealing features that can be found throughout their coverage options. You may choose to buy their protection plan for the following reasons:
- Nationwide coverage: If you break down in the United States or Canada, you will be able to get serviced at their extensive network of over 6,000 service centers, and you may choose any other licensed facility if more convenient
- Transferable contracts: If you need to sell your vehicle, your plan transfers with it, which increases its resale value
- Alternative transportation reimbursement: If your vehicle is being repaired, they will pay for your transportation, be it a rental, rideshare, or public transportation, while you wait
- Trip interruption reimbursement: If you find yourself on a road trip or facing a vehicle breakdown far from home, they will cover some of your expenses while you wait for repairs
- Higher term limits: You may be able to choose a plan with a longer contract period of up to 11 years and 150,000 miles of coverage
- Various other protection options: Aside from their vehicle service contracts (VSCs), FWS offers a multitude of other protection products that address areas not covered by a warranty. The ability to get all-encompassing protection from one source may appeal to you
- EV and hybrid coverage: Their plans include protection for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars, which include protection for the battery. You may also be able to protect alternative-fuel vehicles
Why you might not choose FWS
You may be discouraged from buying a Fidelity Warranty Services VSC because of the following:
- Only available through dealers: You may only buy their plans through their partner network of dealerships, and there is no way to contact them directly to inquire before purchasing, pressure-free
- Lack of transparency: While they have some information online about what their plans cover, there is not enough information about who would be eligible, when you could buy it, pricing, or exclusions. No sample contract is made available, nor is there a way to get a quote outside of your dealer
- May not include roadside assistance in plans: Roadside services are fairly standard in VSC plans, but FWS does not make mention of any of these services in their vehicle service contract details, aside from towing
Fidelity Warranty Services Coverage
FWS advertises five protection plans online that provide extended auto warranty coverage. Three of those are standard coverage options, conceivably for lower-mileage vehicles. The other two are meant for high-mileage vehicles, although FWS does not specify online what qualifies as such a vehicle.
Aside from those, FWS also offers many other plans that provide services outside of what a warranty plan would cover, including a plan meant for new cars with valid manufacturer's warranties.
Vehicle service contracts
FWS offers those VSCs for cars that have lapsed manufacturer's warranties, and they cover you for repairs anywhere in the US or Canada, either in their network of 6,000 service centers or at any licensed facility. Their plans vary in coverage periods and mileage limits and can be purchased for up to 11 years or 150,000 miles of protection.
Three levels of coverage are offered: Powertrain, Gold, and Platinum. The availability of coverage levels may be restricted depending on the age, mileage, make, and model of your vehicle. That being said, this is what each plan covers:
- Powertrain: This is their basic plan, and it covers the engine, transmission, drive axle, and associated seals and gaskets
- Gold: This is their intermediate plan and also their highest inclusionary option, which lists all the components that it covers. It includes everything covered under Powertrain as well as cooling, steering, brakes, air conditioning, electrical, and front and rear suspension components
- Platinum: This is their highest coverage and is an exclusionary plan that is meant to cover everything except what is explicitly excluded in the contract. It is therefore as close to your car's original bumper-to-bumper warranty as you can get through FWS and can handle the largest amount of electrical and mechanical breakdowns. Among the components excluded are brake drums, air bags, light bulbs, shock absorbers, non-OEM audio systems, and so on
Your coverage can be made to accommodate EV and hybrid components, as well as those of compressed natural gas or hydrogen drive vehicles. However, it is not clear if there is an extra surcharge.
Each plan comes with some additional benefits as standard, and these include alternate transportation coverage, towing, fluid coverage with qualified repairs, and travel coverage for breakdowns far from home. For more information on what specific components are included in coverage, you may visit their vehicle protection webpage.
High Mileage Vehicle Service Contract
You may still cover your car even if it is deemed to be a high-mileage vehicle, although FWS doesn't specify mileage limits or ranges. That being said, if your warranty coverage has expired and you are not eligible for a standard VSC, you may still have your car covered under one of two contracts that afford you up to 48,000 miles of coverage.
Their two plans offer the following levels of coverage:
- Drivetrain Plus: This is similar to the Powertrain VSC plan because it also covers the engine, transmission, and drive axle
- Owner Select: This is not as comprehensive as the Platinum or Gold plans, but it does go above what is offered under Drivetrain Plus by also covering the steering, brakes, and air conditioning
As with the standard VSC plans, you may additionally cover hybrid or EV components under these plans. The additional benefits are the same and include towing, fluids, travel, and alternate transportation coverage. More information about what is included in each plan can be found on their high mileage vehicle protection page.
Other protection products
FWS offers a large number of other vehicle protection products that go beyond what warranty companies usually cover and can supplement your coverage in many ways. Their vehicle protection and affiliated products include:
- Road Hazard Tire and Wheel: They have various levels and bundles that protect you against tire, wheel, and cosmetic damage due to a road hazard, and these plan options come with roadside assistance reimbursements
- Car Care Service Plan: This is a maintenance plan that fulfills your warranty contract requirements, which are not included in a VSC plan's coverage. This plan comes with a one-year OneCard membership for free
- Theft Deterrent System: They offer two vehicle ID technologies that help in locating your car, thus deterring thieves from stealing it
- Term Care Protection: This plan may be sold with a new car to cover things that your manufacturer's warranty does not, including brake pads, batteries, headlamps, windshield wipers, and so on. It comes with a OneCard membership that includes roadside and key replacement services
- Total Loss (GAP) Waiver: This affiliated plan covers you for expenses after your car is determined to be a "total loss" and assists in raising the valuation of your vehicle for insurance purposes
- Lease Excess Wear and Tear: This will cover you for expenses related to wear and tear or cosmetic damage to your leased vehicle
Fidelity Warranty Services Cost
As with most extended warranty companies, FWS does not advertise their prices. However, they do not offer instant quotes either, and you must go to one of their partner dealerships to discuss coverage costs. So, if you're purchasing a pre-owned car at one of those dealers, they will likely try to sell you coverage then, which they could include in the overall financing plan.
Your coverage costs will depend on your vehicle's mileage, make, and model, as well as the length of the term and coverage level. Based on our research, customers report paying between $1,800 and $3,000 in entire contract costs for a VSC. While many pay this amount in full, it may be financed as part of your car purchase price or in monthly installments if purchased separately. Their deductibles range from $0 to $300 per repair occurrence, and the lower the deductible, the more the contract costs.
Some customers were sold multiple protection products with their vehicle, and their bundle prices sometimes reached over $5,000.
Who Are Fidelity Warranty Services For?
You might consider buying VSC coverage from this provider if you fit certain criteria, which include:
- Buying a car: If you are at one of the over 3,800 dealerships that sell FWS contracts with your new or pre-owned purchase, you might find it easier and more satisfying to get coverage there. You might be able to get a great deal on comprehensive protection and get it financed with the car in one package
- Want full vehicle protection: If you're looking to get covered for your car's all-encompassing needs, including for maintenance services and cosmetic damage, then you would consider FWS for their many products that you can bundle together
- Have an EV, hybrid, or alternative fuel car: They will cover associated components as an extra package, which a lot of providers may not cover at all
What Are Others Saying About Fidelity Warranty Services?
FWS gets a moderate amount of feedback online, which displays both positive and negative experiences. Along with their accreditation and A- rating from the BBB, this provider gets a respectable 3.68/5 customer review score on that website. However, they also receive many complaints on BBB—more than double the number of reviews. They were only reviewed twice on Trustpilot but receive quite a lot of feedback on Google reviews, where they have a 3.1 review score. Their Yelp score is a low 1.5/5.
Customers who are pleased with FWS tend to praise their claims department for smooth, predictable processing of covered repairs, although those same customers may complain about the sometimes slow service that is not as available on weekends. Many directly and indirectly praise the customer service department for helpful, patient service, and some previously unhappy reviewers were surprised to have the company quickly reassess their denied claims and process payments as needed. Even previous customers who had to cancel were happy to receive their refunds as promised.
Negative reviews and complaints mostly dealt with denied or partial claims, slow refunds, and customers generally feeling misled. Some complain that they were tricked into purchasing coverage by the dealership or that it was added after the fact without their consent and that they had trouble canceling it. One customer complained that they were sold a contract for a new car thinking that its term would commence after the factory warranty expired, only to find out it ran concurrently.
FWS replies diligently to complaints via their paralegals, and their replies are thorough, wordy, and overly professional. They will go into detail about claims stipulations, such as the limit of liability, and how those affect the service their customers get. Through their replies, we see that many dissatisfied customers may have expected repairs to non-covered parts, but many were also wrongly denied adequate coverage. In the case of the latter, FWS would reassess and admit their mistake, then process refunds.
They were also generally diligent about processing refunds for former customers that canceled, including those that were billed for coverage they did not desire. We give the company credit for being even-handed with their replies, compromising when it is best to.
Fidelity Warranty Services Customer Support
Fidelity does not deal with its customers directly, so if you want to receive a quote or have any questions or concerns, you will have to talk to a dealership that deals with Fidelity.
If the dealership you are dealing with is out of business, you can contact Fidelity directly. To reach them, call 1-800-327-5172 during business hours.
Fidelity Warranty Services provides vehicle service contracts (VSCs), among a large number of other vehicle protection products. They may be less convenient than other extended warranty providers because they do not deal with customers directly, and you must obtain their contracts through one of their 3,800 partner dealerships across the country. Also, they are not transparent online about pricing and contract limitations, and some people may feel pressured when having to inquire about those details at their dealership.
However, if you are purchasing a car or have a good relationship with your dealer, you might be enticed to purchase an FWS contract, and you can choose between three standard service plans and two for high-mileage vehicles. Perhaps you will be as satisfied as some of their existing customers are with their customer support and claims fulfillment, provided you read their contract and ask a lot of questions. They certainly do have compelling services that could fit your requirements. But we still recommend you compare between warranty providers before making your final decision.
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