CarShield's Aluminum Plan: Ensuring Peace of Mind
Published: August 29th, 2023
Are you tired of worrying about unexpected car repairs and the financial burden that they bring? If you have a car with complex electronics that you need protection for more than any other item, you might want to purchase something more specialized than a standard auto warranty plan for it. In such a case, CarShield's Aluminum plan may ease your worries and provide the right kind of coverage for you. The plan provides protection for a long list of electrical and mechanical components, excluding powertrain components, ensuring you have the more affordable, focused coverage you desire.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to the Aluminum Plan, its key features, coverage details, and exclusions. We will analyze the cost structure of CarShield's Aluminum Plan, evaluate its compatibility with different types of vehicles, and compare it with other similar plans. We hope to help you decide if CarShield’s plans, including the Aluminum warranty coverage, are worth it for you and if they can help you feel more at peace while driving.
Understanding CarShield's Aluminum Plan
CarShield is a leading provider of extended auto warranties, offering a range of vehicle service contract (VSC) plans for different types of cars, motorcycles, and ATVs. They act as warranty brokers for you, finding you appropriate coverage from third-party VSC administrators like American Auto Shield, who handle claims in the case of repairs. They are a very popular provider in the extended car warranty industry and get mostly positive reviews from customers on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And although they do receive a substantial number of negative reviews and complaints against them, they tend to respond to those diligently and swiftly. They generally have an excellent customer service reputation and allow you the flexibility of picking any licensed repair shop authorized by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®), and you may access their services through a convenient mobile app that can be found on the App Store and Google Play.
What's Included in CarShield's Aluminum Plan?
CarShield offers four main plans of varying extents of coverage, with the exclusionary Diamond plan being their highest level and the Silver plan being their most basic. CarShield's Aluminum Plan differs from those plans by not offering any coverage for powertrain parts such as the engine, transmission, drive axles, and transfer case, which could be some of the more costly items to repair or replace. It otherwise provides near-comprehensive breakdown coverage for your vehicle, protecting against expensive repairs of the cooling system, electrical, steering, air conditioning, suspension, brakes, electronic high-tech, fuel system, and audio system components.
You would be charged an extra fee to cover a car that has a "branded title", as you would for a car with a lift kit, diesel engine, turbocharger, or 4-wheel drive. If you use your car for business purposes, you may also cover it after paying a surcharge. However, those purposes have to fall into the following categories:
- Commercial: This fits governmental or commercial uses that include, but are not limited to, delivery, company travel or carpooling, service calls, and construction. Some business uses will not be covered, so read the contract carefully
- Agricultural: With this, you may use your car for farming, whether for transportation or production purposes
- Ride Share: This covers your car as an Uber or Lyft vehicle, but not as a taxi or carshare vehicle
With the Aluminum plan, you can enjoy the added benefits of 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, and rental cars during repairs. The provider allows you to purchase this plan on a month-to-month or term contract basis, and a full list of included benefits and components, such as the water pump, fuel pump, GPS, and alternator, can be found in the linked sample contracts that CarShield provides online.
What Does CarShield's Aluminum Plan Not Cover?
This policy will not cover any components associated with your car's powertrain, although it does cover electrical components associated with those parts, such as the engine control module. It also may not cover all components you would associate with the previously listed categories. Luckily, the sample contract also lists non-covered items explicitly.
It's also a good idea to look at the general limitations, which the contract should spell out for you. There, you will find your specific waiting period before you can file a claim, which differs between monthly and term contracts, as well as certain dollar limits for benefits and reimbursements. You will also find that there is a limit of liability for all claims and benefits, which stipulates that you are only covered for up to a certain amount, such as the cash value of your car. Keep in mind that this means the administrator can require you to put in used or remanufactured parts to save costs.
There are also some general exclusions within the CarShield contract to wear and tear damage, factory defects, maintenance service and items, and issues that started before your coverage. It's a fairly long list that you should read and discuss with your sales rep before purchasing.
Who Is CarShield's Aluminum Plan For?
You may choose this coverage for a variety of reasons, and it really depends on your specific criteria. This plan gives you the level of comprehensive protection you get with CarShield's Platinum plan if paired with an existing powertrain plan. Therefore, you might buy it if you are a new car owner whose car is less than five years old and still has a valid manufacturer's powertrain warranty. With this plan, you would have something close to the bumper-to-bumper protection your car had when it was fresh off the dealer's floor.
You might opt for Aluminum if you have a newer luxury vehicle or a car with complicated and high-tech electronics and want to only cover those components, whether or not you have existing limited coverage. Other cars you might consider coverage for could be hybrid or electric vehicles, as their specialized electronic parts and batteries will not be serviced by the standard CarShield coverage plans anyway. Of course, you might also opt for a customized electric car policy, which you can read more about in our post about special vehicle coverage policies.
CarShield accepts vehicles with a lot more miles on them than many other providers, so you are more likely to be covered. As an added bonus, if you only purchase coverage for the items included in Aluminum, and not also for the engine, transmission, and drivetrain, you could save money.
Is CarShield's Aluminum Plan a Good Value?
As with other CarShield warranties, you would have to request a quote, which they customize to your needs, your chosen deductible, and your car's make, model, age, mileage, and history. You may typically be quoted something between $99.99 and $139.99 per month, with deductible options of $0-$100. CarShield’s prices are cheaper than those of many of its competitors. You can expect to pay on the lower end of that range for an Aluminum service contract. Keep in mind that CarShield may take your budget into account and quote you lower premiums, which could entail paying over a longer installment period.
When choosing the right coverage for your car, you might also consider more full-featured CarShield plans. If your vehicle's factory warranty has expired, you might feel better protected with a Diamond or Platinum VSC, especially if that car has a gas engine. Of course, those plans may cost you more, but you could find the price difference negligible in comparison to the expenses auto warranties can save you in the long run.
How does it compare to other providers' warranties?
You may be able to find similar policies from other extended warranty companies, although the choices aren't as many as those with powertrain coverage. CARCHEX has an Extra Care coverage plan that may be identical to Aluminum because it might be offered through the same third-party contract administrators as CarShield. However, CARCHEX does offer coverage to residents of California, unlike CarShield, although their monthly costs may be somewhat higher.
Endurance, another top provider of vehicle protection plans, offers the Supreme Wrap coverage option, which covers all parts outside of the powertrain. That policy seems to be sold as a complementary plan to an existing limited manufacturer's warranty because it is meant to mimic your original bumper-to-bumper warranty. In short, it provides a higher level of coverage than Aluminum, but might be more restrictive in terms of who may buy it and when. Still, you may choose to buy from this provider because they sell in California, have more optional packages you can add on to your policy, and their plans may be customized to cover hybrid car parts. They also administer their contract services in-house, unlike CarShield.
Some warranty companies like Ox Car Care will actually include hybrid parts as standard in their highest-tier policies. If those components are a priority for you then perhaps you should purchase Ox’s Diamond plan. Of course, other providers might offer exclusionary plans that cover all your car's repair needs, with a few exceptions, but those may come at a higher price.
Is CarShield's Aluminum Plan For You?
CarShield's Aluminum plan can be the perfect fit for you if your concern is for your newer car's non-powertrain parts. Perhaps your car still has its factory powertrain warranty, and you just want to supplement it with a comprehensive coverage level for peace of mind. Or maybe you worry more about the parts covered here, such as your vehicle's electronics and electrical system, than those in a standard warranty plan and want to save money. If you have a hybrid car, in fact, this might be the most cost-effective option. With its wide range of benefits and competitive pricing structure, it ensures that you are protected from unexpected repair costs.
On the other hand, CarShield offers many levels of coverage, and you may find one that hits the sweet spot of function and affordability better. They can work with you to come up with the right protection option and monthly payments that work for your budget. And if you're not satisfied with a certain plan, you may cancel for a prorated refund or a full refund if it's within the first 30 days.
You may also look into other competing warranty providers, like those discussed above. You may find that they have plans better suited to your criteria or that give you a better bang for your buck, and many of them will also have a money-back guarantee. We have an extensive list of other auto warranty providers, complete with in-depth reviews. Read through those reviews, then use our auto warranty comparison tool to pit your favorite providers against each other. We think that once you do that, your ultimate choice will become clearer.