GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) can cover vehicle repairs long after your factory warranty expires. But is it the best choice for extended coverage?
In this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance, considering plans, costs and alternative coverage options to help you decide whether it meets your needs and budget.
If you’re interested in long-term coverage but aren’t sure mechanical breakdown insurance is right for you, we’ve also reviewed the best extended car warranty providers. We’ll discuss our top picks further on in this article, and you can start getting free quotes from each company above.
What is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Although it’s offered by insurers, mechanical breakdown insurance is different from standard auto insurance. Collision and comprehensive policies cover damage caused by collisions and events like vandalism, theft and weather. MBI covers repairs due to defects in workmanship or materials, similar to your vehicle’s factory warranty.
What Does GEICO Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cover?
There is only one plan option for GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance, and it covers repairs to “all mechanical parts of the car.” You’ll need to read your policy thoroughly to be sure of what’s included, but here are some examples of covered parts and systems:
- Drive axle
- Cooling systems
GEICO MBI Exclusions
As with any warranty or insurance policy, some exclusions apply. GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance exclusions include:
- Regular maintenance services
- Wear-and-tear items like tires, brake pads and air filters
- Damage caused by misuse
- Damage caused by a collision
- Damage caused by a non-collision event like a fire, vandalism or theft
GEICO MBI Requirements
To qualify for GEICO mechanical breakdown coverage, your vehicle must be less than 15 months old and have fewer than 15,000 miles on it. If the factory warranty still covers your car, MBI will act as secondary coverage. This means that GEICO will only cover repairs not covered by your existing warranty.
However, once you purchase GEICO MBI coverage, you can renew it for up to 7 years/100,000 miles, which will likely surpass your factory warranty’s term limits.
How Much Does GEICO Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cost?
The cost of GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance will vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll need to reach out to the provider to get a quote for your car. Some of the factors that can affect the cost of your MBI policy include:
- Your car’s make, model, age and mileage
- Your vehicle’s high-tech components
- Your driving habits
- Your existing coverage
It’s important to note that high-value cars may not qualify for GEICO’s mechanical breakdown insurance.
The policy comes with a standard $250 deductible per repair. If you break down and need multiple parts replaced at once, you’ll only have to pay one deductible.
Although sample pricing is not available on GEICO’s website, we found customer reviews online reported paying between $72 and $120 per year for MBI coverage.
How to Get a Quote and File a Claim
To get a quote for GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance, you’ll need to reach out to the insurer directly. Be sure to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) and mileage information handy.
When it comes to actually using your insurance, you must get prior authorization from GEICO before any repairs are done. You can start a GEICO MBI claim by calling 800-443-7411 during the department’s business hours (Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance vs. an Extended Warranty
If GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance doesn’t quite suit your needs, there are plenty of extended warranty alternatives for long-term coverage. MBI and extended warranties both have their benefits and disadvantages.
Extended warranty providers offer several coverage plans to choose from, which can help drivers find the right level of coverage well within their budget. For example, Endurance, one of our top-rated providers, offers six coverage plans. On the other hand, most auto insurers only offer one MBI policy.
MBI is usually less expensive than an extended auto warranty, but MBI policies usually have high deductibles ranging from $200 to $500. With GEICO, for example, you’ll be paying $250 out of pocket for any repair. Comparatively, our top-recommended extended warranty providers offer $0, $50 and $100 deductibles.
MBI won’t cover your vehicle late in its life, typically when the most expensive repairs occur. GEICO’s policy will only cover your vehicle up to 7 years/100,000 miles, but third-party companies offer plans up to 15 years or 250,000 miles, depending on the provider you choose.
One benefit to choosing MBI over a warranty is that it’s sold as an insurance product, so it’s monitored and regulated by the government. This may give you added peace of mind if you’re on the fence about extended car warranty coverage.
Third-party extended warranties and MBI policies both allow you to take your vehicle to any licensed repair shop for service.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of MBI and extended auto warranty coverage:
|GEICO Mechanical |
|Eligible Vehicles||Used cars with fewer|
than 15,000 miles
|New cars and some used cars |
|Most vehicles, regardless |
of age or mileage
|Coverage Limit||7 years/100,000 miles||Varies||Up to 15 years/250,000 miles, |
depending on the provider
|Payment Schedule||Payment plan||Pay upfront|
or on a monthly payment plan
or on a monthly payment plan
|Average Cost||About $100 per year||Varies||$1,700 to $4,000 total|
|Deductible||$250||$0 to $250||$0 to $250|
Is GEICO Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?
GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance may be well worth the investment to protect you against costly auto repairs. But there are a few factors to consider before deciding whether this coverage would be a good choice for your vehicle.
First, take a look at your vehicle’s reliability and the average cost of repairs. You can search for your make and model on a site like RepairPal to get a sense of how likely it is that you’ll need to pay for a major repair – and what it may cost you. If your wallet hurts just looking at these prices, it might be a good idea to think about extended coverage.
Next, you’ll want to consider that MBI doesn’t cover minor repairs. With a $250 deductible, you’ll end up paying for the most common, smaller repairs out of pocket. You’ll only be able to cash in on your GEICO mechanical breakdown insurance if a major breakdown occurs.
Finally, it’s a good idea to compare GEICO’s MBI term limit to your vehicle’s factory warranty. Powertrain coverage can range from 5 years/60,000 miles to 10 years/100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. Powertrain warranties cover the engine, transmission and drivetrain, the most costly components to repair. If your vehicle’s manufacturer offers long-lasting powertrain coverage and your car is still under warranty, buying MBI coverage may be unnecessary.
Overall, GEICO’s MBI coverage could be a good alternative to an extended car warranty if you want cheap peace of mind. However, if you don’t have GEICO, you’ll have limited options for other insurance providers because few insurers offer MBI.
Our Picks for Best Extended Car Warranties
An extended warranty may end up being a better choice for your vehicle. We’ve reviewed every major third-party extended warranty provider and have identified the best companies on the market based on coverage levels, costs, customer service and more. Our top picks include Endurance and CARCHEX.
Endurance: Best Provider
Endurance stands out for its positive customer reviews, company awards and direct service model, which means it handles all plans and claims directly without a middleman. Customers can choose between six Endurance plans, which have term limits up to 8 years/200,000 miles.
Read more about this provider in our full Endurance warranty review. You can also click below to get a free, personalized quote from Endurance.
CARCHEX: Best for High-Mileage Cars
CARCHEX’s coverage terms max out at 10 years/250,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you own an older, higher-mileage car, or if you plan on keeping it for years to come, CARCHEX is a great option. Customers can choose between five coverage options, ranging from powertrain protection to bumper-to-bumper extended warranty coverage.
Learn more about this provider in our comprehensive CARCHEX review, and click below to receive a free, no-obligation quote.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBI
Is mechanical breakdown insurance worth the money?
Mechanical breakdown insurance is worth it for some drivers, but there are a few factors to consider. You’ll want to look at the average cost of repairs for your vehicle, the deductible you’d be paying and your monthly insurance premium costs. It’s also smart to evaluate the length of your manufacturer’s warranty, as you’ll likely be paying for overlapping coverage for some portion of your MBI.
What insurance companies offer mechanical breakdown insurance?
GEICO, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and AAA offer mechanical breakdown insurance or a comparable variation.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.