Auto insurance companies typically only pay for vehicle damage resulting from an accident, theft, vandalism, or a force of nature. During its time on the market, Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance was an outlier in the insurance industry by offering to pay for a wide swath of auto repairs.
While Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance is no longer available, we’ll explain its former coverages before detailing some alternative plans. To help drivers find the best coverage for their needs, our research team has reviewed and ranked the country’s best extended auto warranty companies.
What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is a car insurance policy that pays for auto repairs on mechanical parts. Auto insurance usually kicks in after a car accident, environmental damage, or a theft, but MBI differs by paying for repairs as components break down.
MBI coverage is usually sold as a separate policy alongside standard auto insurance coverage. Cars become more susceptible to breakdowns as parts age, so mechanical repair plans can help motorists avoid paying for car repairs out of pocket.
An MBI policy differs from other insurance coverage like collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance because only newer vehicles, or used cars under a certain mileage, typically qualify for MBI coverage. It’s also not required by any state.
What Was Covered Under Progressive Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
Progressive unveiled its MBI program in 2016 as a partnership with Warranty Direct. It billed its Progressive Advantage® Mechanical Repair plan as an option for customers to buy coverage similar to an extended warranty outside of the strict terms of automakers.
Progressive said that vehicles qualifying for full coverage could get plans lasting up to two years with no-fee financing and complete access to any licensed repair facility. The initial press release added that Progressive offered the following coverage options:
- Protection for older cars up to 199,999 miles
- New car warranties
- Powertrain coverage
- Wrap around packages
Today, Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance plans are no longer being sold. The Progressive Advantage Mechanical Repair page has completely disappeared from the company’s site, as has all critical information about the program.
If you do want help in the event of a breakdown, Progressive continues to sell 24/7 roadside assistance as add-on coverage. Roadside assistance won’t pay for repair costs but does cover:
- Lockout services
- Flat tire changes
- Fuel delivery
- Battery jump-starts
- Winching services
Who Offers Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?
While Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance is no longer available, car insurance companies and third-party extended warranty providers offer insurance products that are almost identical to the Progressive MBI plan.
Here are a few coverage providers that sell services similar to Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance:
Geico is a solid insurance provider that still sells MBI. To be eligible, cars must be less than 15 months old and have fewer than 15,000 miles on the odometer. Once you buy coverage, Geico will cover you for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Geico’s MBI includes all parts and systems, not the stated component coverage found in most dealership warranties. Besides monthly payments, the only out-of-pocket cost for policyholders is a $250 deductible.
Exclusions from Geico mechanical breakdown insurance include wear and tear items and regular maintenance costs such as:
- Brake pads
- Wheel alignments
- Oil changes and filters
- Spark plugs
Another insurer that sells MBI is Mercury Insurance. The company claims that its Mercury Mechanical Protection plan can extend the life of a vehicle at a lower cost than extended warranties. Mercury Insurance also says it has options similar to a factory warranty, covering almost all of your vehicle’s mechanical and electrical components.
The Mercury Mechanical Protection plan is available for new and pre-owned vehicles, and perks for drivers include:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Trip interruption coverage
- Road hazard tire protection
- Transferable coverage
Similar to other policies, Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance won’t cover regular maintenance, nonmechanical components, or damage caused by owner neglect.
Unlike Progressive, Liberty Mutual still sells car repair coverage under its Lifetime Repair Guarantee. Liberty Mutual doesn’t have many details online, but the provider says customers have access to over 2,000 repair shops. Liberty Mutual also promises to pay the repair facility directly, minus the policyholder’s deductible.
Liberty Mutual mechanical breakdown insurance isn’t available in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Vs. Extended Warranties
If you’re deciding whether mechanical breakdown insurance is worth it versus an extended warranty, weigh the pros and cons of each type of coverage. One advantage of MBI coverage is that it generally costs less per year than a standard extended warranty.
By contrast, reputable extended car warranty companies offer greater flexibility in coverage levels, allowing you to choose exclusionary coverage or even protection for just a handful of powertrain parts. MBI policies also tend to have higher deductibles than extended warranties, so expect to pay more up front if a repair is needed.
Whereas MBI policies are usually reserved for newer vehicles, third-party providers often have no issues covering older vehicles. For a more detailed review, see the table below.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
Extended Car Warranty
Add-on for an existing car insurance policy
Can be paid monthly or up front
Regulated by state insurance laws
Not beholden to state insurance laws
Roadside assistance coverage is often sold separately
Roadside assistance usually included with the vehicle service contract
Limited levels of coverage
Has multiple coverage tiers
Top Recommendations For Extended Warranties
If an extended warranty seems like a good alternative to Progressive mechanical breakdown insurance, there are multiple options for comprehensive coverage. Our research team found that Endurance and CARCHEX offer similar levels of coverage to an MBI auto policy.
In addition to selling extended warranties for cars over 100,000 miles, both companies have flexible coverage plans.
Endurance: Best Coverage
Our top pick for extended warranty coverage is Endurance. It has six types of coverage that range from comprehensive bumper-to-bumper protection to plans that back only your major powertrain components. Endurance is also a direct provider, so it administers its own policies and handles customer service directly.
To learn more about our choice for Best Coverage, read our Endurance warranty review.
CARCHEX: Best For Used Cars
If keeping a used car on the road is one of your priorities, CARCHEX should be on your radar. The brand offers coverage for both new cars and used vehicles up to 250,000 miles, and customers can choose from five levels of coverage. CARCHEX adds peace of mind by including roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption coverage for contract holders.
See our CARCHEX review to compare options for extended coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
How We Rate Warranty Providers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
- Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
- Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the BBB score well in this category. Established providers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.
*Data accurate at time of publication.