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Car Repair Insurance: Is it worth it?

13 ON YOUR SIDE Money Guide: All about car repair insurance.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We've all seen the commercials about auto repair insurance, also known as vehicle service contracts, that are supposed to protect you when you need a major repair. But the question is, is it worth it?

"Whether it's health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, auto insurance, today, repairs are high. So why not prevent yourself paying some of those out-of-pocket expenses sometimes," said Bruce Angell, finance manager at Gezon Motors.

Angell says the cost of repairs are going up for the simplest things, and you should buy a vehicle service contract to protect your investment. But he says, they don't cover everything.

"The consumer is still required to do their routine maintenance," said Angell. "So things like oil changes, tire rotations, lightbulbs, wiper blades, belt hoses."

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Angell added, "I tell them probably the two most expensive things that are not covered is when it comes time to do brakes, they're on the hook for their brake pads and if it requires a rotor, and eventually their tires are going to wear out too. So, the tires are not covered."

Angell said the service contract does cover some of your big ticket items base on what level of insurance you buy. He said if you need to repair or replace things such as: air conditioning, cooling systems, electrical systems (including the car's computer) engine, exhaust, fuel systems, steering components, transmission -- things that can cost you thousands of dollars.

So, is it worth it? Well, that depends on your needs and finances.

Experts say there are few questions you should ask before purchasing auto repair insurance like: Can you choose your own repair shop? and Does the car repair insurance policy come with any added benefits?

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