Car Repair Insurance or Extended Warranty?


Coverage Protects You Against Uninsured Drivers

Have you ever looked at your insurance policy and wondered what these two lines mean?

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage Property Damage (UMPD/UIM-PD)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage Bodily Injury (UMBI/UIM-BI)

It’s not as it seems – you’re not paying for coverage for people who can’t afford it, you’re paying to protect yourself. UMBI pays for your injuries, and UMPD, for your vehicle’s damages if you’re involved in an accident with another driver who either doesn’t have insurance coverage or doesn’t carry sufficient insurance to pay for the damage. It also kicks in if he or she commits a hit-and-run. For example:

Jack doesn’t have insurance. He crashes into you, leaving you with $50,000 in medical bills and $15,000 in vehicle damages. Your policy’s UMBI/UMPD would pay for both, up to its UMBI/UMPD limits.

You live in Colorado, which requires $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, and $15,000 in property damage liability. Jack only carries state minimum liability limits. He crashes into you, resulting in $50,000 in your medical bills and $20,000 in vehicle damage. His policy would pay $25,000 of your medical bills, $15,000 towards your car’s damage, and your UIM-PD/UIM-BI would pay the difference.

Always match UMBI/UMPD limits to your liability limits – don’t insure someone else for more (or less) than you insure yourself.

Your City at Night: Beautiful…But Scary

CityYou could think of it as an astronaut’s guide to correcting light pollution – as compiled by non-astronauts.

Since 2003, International Space Station crews have been taking photographs of the earth at night giving us a glimpse of our cities from space. Until now, these images have been scattered around the Internet. But according to a recent article in the Atlantic, a group of volunteers has now put many of them together on a searchable database.

At Cities at Night (, users can click on a map to find images of different cityscapes, as viewed from space. Envision your hometown beaming light into the universe.  Many of the pictures are still unclassified, and viewers are asked to get involved by helping identify the cities in the photographs.

Cities at Night isn’t just about viewing your home from space. It’s about showing and learning about the effects of light pollution, which can cause health problems, disrupt ecosystems, and interfere with research into the hows and whys of our galaxy, among other things. Organizers hope to identify patterns in light pollution to motivate change.

This Month’s Smile: Burning Questions

QuestionHave you ever had a burning question and needed it answered now? It’s usually a simple question that few people want – or need – answered. Except you.

Take, for example, the pronunciation of the condiment, Worcestershire sauce.

Do you pronounce all the syllables, or is there another way? A right one? That’s easy: According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s pronounced “wooster-sher” sauce.

But what about all those other burning questions, such as: “Is there a foolproof way to cure hiccups?”

Fortunately, some of these hot queries can be answered by experts, providing you’re a curious pre-teen. In Big Questions from Little People, children from four to 12 have some of their burning questions answered by a team of famous scientists. We all should be so lucky!

Car Repair Insurance or Extended Warranty?

There’s a saying that one can either make monthly payments on a new car, or pay an equivalent amount for repairs on an older vehicle. Often true. So if you’re buying a new car, you might be thinking about getting mechanical breakdown insurance or an extended warranty for repairs needed outside of car accidents. But which?

Both help cover vehicle repair costs and operate similarly, both require repairs to be carried out at one of several pre-authorized repair shops, and both offer plans with different coverage levels, addressing various parts and repair types.

But that’s where the similarity ends. If you’ve bought a new car and are considering which to buy, here’s how they differ.

Who offers coverage? Mechanical breakdown insurance is an actual insurance policy offered by insurers who specialize in auto insurance policies. Extended warranties are offered by auto manufacturers or independent companies.

When and where to buy: Mechanical breakdown insurance may be available through your regular auto insurer as well as dealerships and auto lenders. Often purchased for new vehicles, most policies won’t be needed until the bumper-to-bumper manufacturer warranty period is up. Therefore, it’s often wiser to buy coverage once the vehicle is nearing the end of its manufacturer warranty.

Extended warranties are typically bought through dealerships at the time of purchase, but again, they usually don’t become useful until the manufacturer’s warranty is up. Some dealerships may sell them after the time of purchase.

Costs: Like auto insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance is paid over a determined period of coverage time, such as six months, and can be renewed, providing you continue to pay the premiums. Payments are spread out, and coverage can be dropped any time.

Extended warranties are paid for upfront at a negotiable rate. The rate can also be included in car loans. This may spread out costs, but you’ll typically be paying interest for it.