Thousands of Iowans who bought extended warranties on their used cars may be forced to pay for their own repairs if they have a break down. A Nebraska-based company that sells what are called motor vehicle service contracts has collapsed, according to Craig Goettsch, superintendant of securities for the Iowa Insurance Division. Late last month, National Warranty Insurance Company stopped making payments on the insurance claims being made under the contracts and filed for the equivalency of bankruptcy protection in the Cayman Islands, where it’s regulated and domiciled. The company has its headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska. Goettsch says many Iowans bought their car warranties through this company.About 30 complaints have come in from Iowans who have their cars at dealerships and can’t get their repairs paid for and perhaps hundreds or even thousands more Iowa consumers are also under National Warranty, but haven’t learned about the problem because they haven’t had their cars in for work.Goettsch says the state of Iowa has filed a cease and desist order against the company, which offers warranties under names including: Smart Choice 2000, Smart Choice Program and Encore Performance. He says Iowans who bought used cars and got an extended service contract should check their paperwork — and may need to call a lawyer.An official at one Des Moines car dealership says they’ve sold some five-thousand warranties through this company in the past four years.
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