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Engine Issue (blown head gasket): My credit union (American Airlines CU) recommended me to IWS. IWS will not stand behind their policy and will find any excuse not to pay. My story is similar to other complaints, but anyone who has experienced issues with them please email me at **. We can remedy this mess. My engine is in pieces & the cylinders are exposed (rusting). Thanks to IWS failure to repair the engine after telling me to authorize teardown by the Dodge Dealership.
I got off luck so far. My problem cost me the $113 that should have been covered. My credit union offered the useless policy and I agreed to adding the $1,399 cost to my loan. Called IWS and asked if there was a repair shop that I should go to. Was told "no, go to any licensed repair shop in your area." So I went to the repair shop near me that I have used before and is well respected in my area. Bill was $113 but now turns out that they are not an "approved" shop.
Repair was to fix a broken wire but IWS claims they don't cover "physical" damage and refer me to VIII section C. Complained to customer service rep, and manager. Now they are going to pay in bad press on that I am going to generate everywhere I can think, of hope I can create more than twice $113 worth. Since credit union would not back me, and as they were the agent, their site will have a review not to let them sell you this bad policy,
Notice that American Bankers Insurance is the underwriter. They will hear from me. Plan on getting in touch with the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce in their home city. Trying to get wife to let me file a small claim court case even as filing fee is more than the bill. If I lost, which I don't think I would, they would have to appear and that would cost them time and travel.
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I have had several policies with IWS over the past few years. With my last policy I had an intake manifold replaced which was fully covered and I had no deductible which was nice. I was in a rental car for a few days and had to have my truck towed to the dealer - all covered under my platinum coverage. The only issue was the dealership telling me they called in the claim when they hadn't. Had to go back and forth a little but that was completely my service advisor's fault. He pretty much sucked.
Purchased policy (12 months/12,000 miles powertrain). Company failed to cover repairs with point of failure under warranty. Purchased policy in November 2013 on used car with 108,000 miles (12 months/12,000 miles powertrain warranty). Experienced complete engine failure in June 2014. Warranty company had vehicle towed to AAMCO in Orlando, FL. with 113,000 miles.
AAMCO diagnosed engine and reported rear rocker arm failure in motor causing complete engine failure, AAMCO stated a new engine was necessary. Intercontinental Warranty Services (IWS) directed AAMCO to tear down engine to point of failure. AAMCO stated this was unnecessary and they could see point of failure if IWS sent a tech. IWS refused and ordered tear down. I authorized 7.5 hours of labor for tear down.
AAMCO broke down engine to point of failure. IWS directed them to tear the engine down even further, I was forced to authorize an additional 7.5 hours of labor or tear down, 15 hours total now. AAMCO completed further tear down and requested IWS send out a tech, IWS refused and ordered they build the engine back up partially and take measurements. I was forced to authorize an additional 4 hours of labor, 19 hours of labor total.
AAMCO provided IWS with measurements, IWS sent a tech to AAMCO on October 10th. IWS informed me failure was due to a missing rear #3 thrust bearing in the engine that was never there, stated it must have been removed during a repair prior to my purchase of the vehicle and never replaced and IWS does not cover missing parts. AAMCO and several other mechanics reported this is incorrect, this part is mechanically necessary for the engine to operate and there is no way I would have been able to drive the car without that part. AAMCO reported the part was probably damaged/destroyed when rocker arm/drive shaft failed. IWS stated there was no indication of damage whatsoever in that area of the engine.
When I spoke to IWS, I provided them with facts surrounding that part and numerous ASE certified mechanics reporting the engine would instantaneously fail without that part and I appealed the claim. IWS reviewed claim and contacted me hours later to report there was miscommunication and the part was there, however, a main bearing was in place where the thrust bearing should be. I challenged their ability to identify this as the point of failure and IWS stated damage to the area where the thrust bearing should be indicated that was the point of failure. This contradicted their previous statements that there was no damage to that area whatsoever and the part was missing and never there.
I reviewed statements made to AAMCO shop owner and lead mechanic and both stated IWS reported the part was missing and was not there for an extended period of time. AAMCO challenges this diagnosis and reports all bearings are correct undamaged and in place the point of failure is excessive play in the rear rocker arm causing drive shaft failure. IWS is attempting every scenario they can to deny a claim, they are lawfully bound by contract to honor by backtracking, changing statements and changing cause of failure. I requested a copy of the denial report be sent to me on 10/13 which I was told would be sent to me immediately. To date, I have received no correspondence from IWS.
IWS has left me with 19 hours of excessive unnecessary labor from tear down on a claim they never intended to honor, 4 months of damages from not having a vehicle for 4 months missed work, loan/insurance payments and to pay out of pocket for a new engine. IWS has changed their reason for denying the claim when challenged on the real world validity of their denial claim and has provided no evidence to me that the thrust bearing was the point of failure/wrong part. They have also refused to cooperate with AAMCO's requests to prove that as a point of failure and show them which bearing they were initially claiming was missing and now are claiming is the wrong part.
Since initially submitting my complaint against IWS, I have been afforded a copy of the inspection report, along with photos and supporting documents from IWS. Among these supporting documents was a CarFax that IWS is claiming as evidence that work had been done on the engine prior to my purchasing the vehicle. The CarFax clearly displays the vehicle report to be for a 2008 Mini Cooper, my vehicle is a 2008 Acura TL. Actions like this taken by IWS lead me to believe they are trying to be deceptive in convincing me their reason for denying my claim is a legitimate denial along the terms of their contract.
Ms.** stated, "There is no thrust bearing on the #3 main bearing. There is no evidence that the thrust bearing was installed in the engine. From the inspection it appears that a main bearing was used in place of a thrust bearing from a previous repair. The main and thrust bearings are similar shape - both are u-shaped and will fit in the same space. The difference is the thrust bearing has a raised edge on it that holds the crankshaft in place. In this case, since a main bearing was in place of the thrust bearing, the crankshaft would move and would cause damage to the timing belt and guides."
IWS has consistently stated that the #3 main bearing is not supposed to be in place where it was in my engine, as Ms. ** noted. This is completely incorrect. The #3 bearing is a main bearing, extended U shaped, identical to the 3 other bearings in the engine. The only difference is, the #3 main bearing is supposed to be supported by two thrust bearings on either side of the main bearings (completely separate parts that are designed and appear nothing like a main bearing). These thrust bearings are commonly referred to as thrust washers as they are very thin sheets of metal and provide the same function a typical washer would in maintaining stability. Clearly, it is physically impossible for a main bearing to fit in the place of a thrust bearing. Without these thrust bearings in place, the crank shaft would have violently moved bi-laterally causing heavy damage to the internal components of the engine and near immediate failure. Consultation with multiple master mechanics has confirmed that my vehicle would have operated for no more than 10 miles and engine seizure would occur with minutes of driving.
Ms. ** stated, "The vehicle can and did operate temporarily while the main bearing was in the place of the thrust bearing, but it caused the failure within a few thousand miles." I purchased the vehicle in November of 2013 with 108,651 miles. My engine failed in June 2013 with 113,405 miles. I do not consider a period of 7 months to represent a "temporary" period of vehicle operation, nor do I consider 4,754 miles to a "few thousand" miles. My vehicle operated for a sustained period of time for close to 5,000 miles. Any mechanic will advise you that it is impossible for a vehicle to operate for that length of time and for that distance with missing thrust bearings.
Ms. ** stated, "Mr. ** authorized the vehicle to be towed to the repair facility of his choice, being AAMCO located in Orlando, FL. They diagnosed the vehicle and stated that a new engine was necessary. Mr. ** approved the tear down of the engine by the repair facility." Upon engine failure and contacting IWS, I expressed concerns with having my vehicle towed to this repair facility due to repairs taking longer than usual in the past, as well as this being the third incident in which my vehicle had experienced a mechanical issue. I was advised by IWS claims representative "Aneesha" that if I did not have my vehicle towed to this location IWS would not fund the tow and IWS would not authorize any repairs due to the fact that failure could have occurred due to improper repairs by AAMCO and some of the parts may still be covered under warranty by AAMCO. My vehicle was not towed to the repair facility of my choice, IWS made it clear I had no choice but to authorize a tow to this facility.
Upon review of the inspection report, the independent contractor specifically noted, "The inspector cannot determine if the engine had been disassembled in the past. Undetermined cause of engine failure and missing thrust bearing." I am very interested to know how IWS is determining that these thrust bearings were removed from a previous engine repair when a review of a CarFax on my vehicle (purchased personally) indicates there is no record of engine being disassembled in the past, as well as IWS' independent contractor noting he is unable to determine if the engine had been disassembled in the past. The independent contractor even notes an "undetermined cause of missing thrust bearing". There are many scenarios that could have lead to the cause of the missing thrust bearings. My engine is currently completely disassembled in a manner that it cannot be broken down any further.
Upon visiting AAMCO, I observed my engine broken down into approximately 45 different components located in cardboard boxes placed all around the area of my vehicle. These thrust bearings could have been easily misplaced or fallen out of the engine onto the floor when the main bearings were dislodged during breakdown (while this would be no fault of IWS, I did not want my vehicle towed to this shop but was advised if I didn't IWS would not fund a tow or repair). The thrust bearings could have been damaged during engine failure and dropped into the oil pan that was subsequently drained and discarded upon engine breakdown. IWS is simply choosing the scenario that is most convenient for them to deny the claim.
While I understand that I am the only person who can authorize an engine tear down to the repair facility, I was left no choice but to authorize these hours of labor. IWS stated numerous times they would not fund a repair unless the engine was completely disassembled. Had IWS not been involved in this repair, the diagnosis would have taken 3 hours of labor total. There should be checks and balances when it comes to tear downs and diagnosis by a warranty company so a customer is not left responsible for 15 hours of additional unnecessary labor. As I originally stated in my complaint, IWS has provided no evidence that there has been previous repairs conducted on my engine that would determine the thrust bearings were removed and not replaced. It is impossible that my vehicle would have operated 7 months and 4,754 miles without thrust bearings in place.
The independent contractor hired by IWS to evaluate my engine stated he was unable to determine if my engine had been disassembled in the past, unable to determine a cause of the missing thrust bearings. If a certified mechanic (IWS contractor) physically on-site with my vehicle is unable to determine this, how is IWS able to come to these conclusions from Boca Raton, FL when my vehicle is in Orlando, FL and deny my claim for this reason? IWS extended a warranty offer to me knowing they were covering a used high mileage vehicle. They had no problem accepting payment for the policy, but fail to honor their contract when repairs are needed. IWS is providing no evidence backing their claims that previous work was done on the engine resulting in the removal and failure to replace thrust bearings, they are only theorizing which is ineffective. How can IWS come to the determination that this is the case and that the thrust bearings were not destroyed during engine failure (which is a common occurrence in Acura TL resistance engines).
IWS offer to resolve this complaint with a $689 refund is unacceptable. The cost of a new engine and labor is approximately $5,500. I have also incurred financial damages for the 5 month period I have been without a vehicle having to make loan payments, car insurance payments, loss of work hours when I had no transportation to work and having to pay for a rental vehicle out of pocket. A used vehicle warranty is supposed to protect you from these damages. If IWS is in the business of covering used vehicles then a complete comprehensive inspection should be done prior to offering a warranty on a vehicle. Otherwise, incidents such as mine are just bad for business.
The dealership advised me that the bellows on my brake booster was beginning to fail, and they advised this is a covered item under my extended warranty. Once they made the repairs, IWS advised that since the booster had not 100% failed, this was not covered. This begun the fight. I had to speak with the customer representative as I was not allowed to speak with the actual claims adjuster who was working the file, went to the supervisor and finally the claims supervisor. They did not want to accept a written description from the dealership as to what had happened.
After advising that I was prepared to file a DOI complaint on them and after a month of follow ups with them and the dealership, they agreed to reimburse me; however they did not reimburse the full amount. They didn't bother to tell me they were reimbursing part of it when they called to tell me they were paying it. When asked why, they advised it was based on their review of the costs, and that they still didn't feel it was owed, but were paying any way. Their policy clearly outlines what is considered a mechanical breakdown of which a partial failure that is deemed to be failing by the manufacturer is a mechanical breakdown. Will never buy another warranty from them again. Bad customer service, they run you in circles, long hold times, everything they can do to get you to give up on your claim.
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August 26, 2013, Vehicle was at Ford Dealership on Thursday evening. Electronic dash blanked out, noticed gas gauge on electronic part behaving. It seemed to be using a lot of gas very quickly . Was not the case. I filled it up, 19 on a 20-gallon tank .Then on start up, entire cluster went out. Everything on the dash read at zero although the car is running and well. Stopped it, turned it off it. Came back halfway then on return trip home back to normal (except steering column controls for the panel inoperative). Per IWS and reason I bought the policy was it did cover electronic components.
Monday Ford calls, says the repair will be $650 and change, not covered. I did not do the repair. I could not afford it. I had purchased through Central Florida Credit union $2500.00 give or take $25. Would not cover. It's an electrical part in the fuel tank that sends signals to the electronic component which is the dash. Told me not part of the fuel pump. Knew that answer was not covered. Electronics failing and they want not to cover it claiming part of a system they don't cover. Then it was Bad gas that had caused the failure and not covered any way but the bad gas by the way they did not test so that point is unproven by them and they are welcome to come and test the Gas. Glossed over, not covered. But it is part of the electronic dash that has sensors all over the vehicle and that had failed. They want to find a way not to cover something. I have the contract. Stay away from these guys at all cost. Now out $2800 for repair. I could afford and a front guy so apologetic and excuse after excuse and no mention of electronics which this is a part of without exclusion.
Horrible horrible company. They approved a new starter, I had it installed, and then they said they were no longer going to approve it. They were very rude as well. The phone operators were like robots trained to know exactly what to say. DO NOT BUY A WARRANTY with this horrible company.
First, I would like to state that I am so dissatisfied with their service that I am going out of my way to write this review to warn people who may be considering IWS in the future. Even though I know my way around cars and work on my own vehicles, when I was offered this warranty for a higher mileage car I thought it sounded like a good deal at the time just for peace of mind. The brochure had this long list of parts that were covered and also listed a few it didn't cover. My warranty cost $1,200 for 1 year or 10,000 miles of coverage. I thought that was worth the peace of mind if something major went wrong. Luckily I didn't have to deal with these people for something major because the way they handled me for a 200 dollar fix was horrendous.
It started when 5 months after I purchased the car, my clutch pedal all of a sudden got a lot of play due to a leaking clutch master cylinder. This is a relatively common problem with the model of car I have and I can change it no problem. However, I thought to myself, why bother when I paid 1200 dollars for these things to be IWC's problem? While the clutch master cylinder itself wasn't listed to be covered OR uncovered, the brake master cylinder was and these two components are essentially the same thing. I knew they may or may not cover it but i wanted to call to find out. My first call to IWC was at 8pm on a Monday, within an hour of noticing, researching, and diagnosing the problem. They were closed. Ok, no big deal, I'll call back tomorrow. I call back the following morning and get a guy by the name of John. John answers the phone, "Thank you for calling IWS. This is John. Can you hold?" Mildly annoying, but ok, sure. 8 minutes later John takes my call.
I explain to him my situation and give him my contract number. John is oblivious to what a clutch master cylinder is, and seems annoyed that I would even call him. Nevertheless, John reads me what is covered, taking extra care to point out that the clutch assembly (reading me every component) is not covered and they will not cover the part. I then explain to John that a clutch master cylinder is NOT part of the clutch assembly and is essentially the same thing as a brake master cylinder which is covered. John then asks me if I'm currently having this issue with the car. I'm thinking to myself, "No, I just wanted to call and chat with you because you're such a pleasure to talk to," but I reply yes, I'm currently having this problem. John asks me to hold again. 5 minutes later John comes back and says you can take the car to certified shop to have them diagnose the problem. I reply, "So if they find it is the clutch master cylinder, will you all cover it?" John yet again places me on hold.
When he gets back he says, "So the clutch assembly is not covered." I again told him it is not part of the clutch assembly. At which point I was placed on hold... again. I'm irritated at this point. John gets back and says, "Well, I knew it wasn't covered because it wasn't listed, but I just confirmed it is not covered." So in other words, this guy told me to take my car to a shop knowing they weren't going to cover the bill. I said ok and ended the call with John. The fact that this guy told me to take my car to a shop knowing they wouldn't cover the bill is what really rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't know if they would cover my problem and wouldn't have been upset about it had I not spent 20 minutes to find out an answer from such an incompetent, rude customer service rep who clearly could care less if he wasted my time.
So, after getting off the phone with John, I decided to google the reviews of this place. That's when I found out I was not alone and this company makes money by scamming (perhaps a strong word but it's not far from it) people out of what they are contracted to do. After that, I come to the conclusion that this company is going to give me the run around for any claim I have to make so I'm going to cancel my warranty and cut my losses with them. So I call them again. I get a lady this time. She seems nicer than John but still not a very pleasant person to talk to. I ask this lady about canceling my warranty and give her my contract number. She casually tells me that I will receive the prorated amount back and that I must fill out some paper that she could either mail, fax or email me. She doesn't ask why I'm canceling, you could just tell she’s had that conversation many times before.
I inform her that I would like the paper emailed to me and give her my email address. So I'm done dealing with these people right? Wrong. I made that phone call at 11:30am Tuesday morning and at 1am Wednesday morning, I still have no email. So now I have to call these people again, when they're open of course, and probably deal with a rude guy placing me on hold, and hope this one actually sends me the paper. I just want to get my measly prorated 4xx dollars back from these people and chalk it up as a lesson learned. If anyone is reading this and wondering if you should consider a warranty through IWS, RUN. Don't bother. It sounds like a great deal, but based on my experience and the other reviews on this site they will give you the run around and don't care about a good customer experience in the least bit.
I have the worst experiences with this company. They are deceitful liars. They will tell you everything is covered except car fluids and brakes. As soon as an issue appears, the customer service will find anything possible to not cover the repairs. Example, I have seized caliper failures in my Lexus which was documented by Lexus of Rockville Centre on paper. Having horrible experiences with its extended warranty, I first called up InterContinental Warranty company and described my issue prior to visiting the dealership again. I was then told everything is covered except the brake pads. Perfect, you would think. Not perfect. After leaving my vehicle with Lexus, I later received a phone call from my service advisor telling me IWS will not cover the calipers because there is slight rust on it. Now, I am stuck with a $700 bill that should have been covered by my warranty.
If you have purchased a used car, stay away from this warranty. If it's determined by their standards that the vehicle had mechanical problems unknowing to you or Carfax’s, the warranty will not cover it. This warranty is a rip off and don't be misled by the credit unions. The small things the warranty cover does not add up to the dollar amount of the purchase price for this useless warranty. Save the thousands you will spend on this warranty for those unknowing mechanical expenses. Everything is pre-existing to them. MPD be aware!
InterContinental Warranty Company Company Information
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- InterContinental Warranty Company
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