Whether you call it mechanical protection or mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), this specialized coverage—offered by Mercury—takes care of specified repair costs when your vehicle breaks down. Much like an extended warranty, MBI is known for being more affordable than out-of-pocket repairs. Unfortunately, it comes with stricter coverage limits.
If you purchase a brand-new vehicle, you can expect your factory warranty to last right around three years, meaning you’ll be left with higher
car repaircosts as your vehicle ages. You could purchase an extended warranty, but those can get quite expensive.
That’s why many
car insurancecompanies offer MBI as an affordable add-on! We’ll take a look at Mercury’s MBI and discuss what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, how much it costs, and whether or not purchasing it is a good idea.
Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance: the basics
type of car insurance, mechanical protection or mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) can be added to your regular Mercury auto insurance policy to cover the cost of parts and labor for approved repairs if and when your motor vehicle breaks down as a result of regular use. MBI does not cover collision-related damages or repairs needed as a result of bad weather, theft, or vandalism.
Here’s a basic breakdown of Mercury’s MBI insurance coverage:
- Who’s eligible: Mercury customers who have a new or used car that is under the original manufacturer's warranty and is less than seven years old with fewer than 100,000 miles on it are eligible.
- How long it lasts: Your coverage will last until your vehicle is seven years old, reaches 100,00 miles, or your original factory warranty expires—whichever comes first.
- What you pay: Costs vary, but you can expect to pay about $75 a year for MBI—in addition to your regular car insurance premium.
- What MBI covers: MBI covers the cost of fixing your car’s mechanical components—both parts and labor. However, it won’t cover standard maintenance services, intentional damage, damage caused by modifications, or damage caused by a lack of maintenance.
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What does Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance cover?
So what sort of mechanical issues will Mercury’s MBI plan cover? Here are a few systems you can expect to be protected:
- Power system
For example, if you experience a major mechanical issue, like an
engine fire, MBI could significantly decrease your out-of-pocket costs when it’s time for repairs. Plus, unlike a new car warranty, Mercury’s MBI allows you to pick your preferred repair shop and submit a receipt to your insurer for reimbursement. You don’t have to take your car straight to the dealership!
What does MBI not cover?
MBI doesn’t pay for absolutely everything. Here are some examples of parts that absolutely won’t be covered:
- Spark plugs
- Fluids (coolant, oil, wiper fluid, etc.)
- Repairs categorized as normal maintenance
- Intentional damage
Finally, Mercury’s MBI will only cover “fair and reasonable” charges—meaning they may deny coverage if they think your mechanic is overcharging for parts and labor.
How much does Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance cost?
Just like regular car insurance, what you pay for MBI will depend on a variety of factors. However, you can expect the coverage to be generally affordable, with an average cost of $75 per year. That’s just over $6 per month!
The vehicle you own will have a major effect on the actual rates you’re offered. Drivers with the following vehicles tend to pay more:
- Vehicles that are very large (like a pickup truck or full-size SUV)
- Vehicles that have a lot of miles
- Vehicles that earn below-average reliability ratings from companies like J.D. Power
- Vehicles that are equipped with advanced technological components
For example, a reliable and compact sedan—like the beloved
Honda Civic—may cost very little to insure with MBI, while a fully-loaded luxury SUV will likely cost more.
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Is Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance worth it?
The short answer: MBI is worth the cost for most people. It lasts longer than most manufacturer warranties and costs significantly less than an extended warranty or
vehicle service contract.
Plus, for just a small amount of money each month, you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re covered should your vehicle need costly mechanical repairs.
However, repairs (especially when your car is so young) are not a guaranteed expense. If your vehicle experiences zero major issues during the MBI coverage period, you might feel like you’ve wasted your money. Plus, there is the possibility that your MBI won’t cover the repairs you do need.
Mechanical breakdown coverage vs. extended warranty
Before purchasing MBI insurance from Mercury, be sure to compare it to an extended warranty plan offered by your car dealership or a third-party provider. While extended warranties do vary quite a bit, we’ve performed a basic comparison to help you get started:
Mercury mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI)
Can only be added to vehicles that are less than seven years old, with fewer than 100,000 miles and still under their original manufacturer's warranty
Offer much more flexibility in terms of eligibility
A variety of plans based on your specific needs
Lots of providers to choose from, which offer multiple tiers of coverage
Length of coverage
Maximum limit of seven years/100,000 miles
Coverage options can extend to 15 years/300,000 miles
Varies, but $250, $500 or $1,000 are most common
Deductibles generally range from $0 to $250
Regulated by state insurance commissioners
24-hour roadside assistance, rental vehicle assistance, road hazard tire protection, trip interruption coverage, and more
Various perks included depending on policy; roadside assistance is quite common
Approximately $75 per year
An average of $1,300 to $4,000 per year
To summarize: Mercury’s MBI comes with a high deductible and shorter length of coverage—but it’s regulated and far cheaper than an extended car warranty.
The bottom line
If you can afford to spend a few extra bucks each month on car insurance, MBI from Mercury offers an extra layer of protection that certainly doesn’t hurt. However, don’t forget to carefully compare MBI coverage costs to available extended warranties—and even to MBI coverage from other insurance companies like
Progressive—to ensure you’re getting the best deal out there.
Of course, if you’re trying to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible, MBI is definitely something you can forego. It’s not as important as collision or comprehensive coverage. Just remember that, should mechanical issues arise (and they do!), you’ll have to cover those costs out of pocket.
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