The warranty is expensive because Rovers break and cost a lot to fix
I have a '99 4.6. here is a prior post of mine discussing my warranty.
I purchased our 1999 4.6 off of our lease and had signed up with a supposedly reputible third party warranty company (WarrantyGold) that very quickly went bankrupt. While I lost some money, I had not paid for most of the service contract. This was the bad part.
Now for the good part.
As I had not yet reached the end of the factory warranty, I purchased the Land Rover Assured service contract. Three additional years and 25,000 additional miles cost about $2600 plus tax. I thought this was a bit expensive at the time. Boy was I wrong.
Here is a list of the things that have been paid for under the service contract, and my understanding of what the repairs would have cost at the dealer. Obviously, I would have had the service done elsewhere, so the actual out of pocket cost would have been less.
1. Replace EAS compressor and some other various EAS components. $1000
2. Replace head gaskets. $2000
3. Diagnose porous engine block. New Short Block installed. $8000 (This seems a bit high, but is what the dealer told me it would have cost. They only use new, genuine parts)
4. Replace heater core $1000 (mostly labor. Additionally, after they took the entire dash off, when replacing it they tightened all of the bolts, no more rattles)
Most importantly, other than the inconvenience of waiting (especially for the short block) for people from the service contract company to approve the repairs (during which time I had a nice new disco for a loaner) I never paid more than the $100 deductible. There was never a part or repair that was not covered. I think it would not be possible for a Land Rover program to claim that they would not cover a part in a Land Rover that they clearly knew was there. Third parties can always claim to not cover a part, as you have noted.
The result of my experience is that I believe there are only two options. Either buy the extended service contract offered by the manufacturer (check this if the dealer offers you a service contract to make sure it is from the manufacturer), or pay for repairs out of pocket. While the manufacturer contracts may seem more expensive up front, if you are buying the contract in the first place, you want to be covered for repairs. If one repair is not covered by the third party contract, I would guess all of the savings over the manufacturer contract will disappear.
Good luck with the repairs.
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