Does Hybrid Battery Conditioning Really Work?

Anyone that is even remotely familiar with hybrid vehicles is aware that even with the many benefits they give, there are some potential drawbacks that are necessary to consider. One of these drawbacks, according to mechanics and consumers, seems to be with their battery’s longevity, power and all-mighty gas mileage over time. The drawbacks do not affect every consumer and every hybrid on the road – and there are plenty. Current reports estimate some two million hybrid-gas-electric and diesel-electric vehicles on the road in 2013 and the EIA estimates that in 2011, there were nearly 11 million alternative fuel vehicles in the United States. With that many hybrids driven, there are bound to be some battery issues and most have to do with loss of power and gas mileage.

Most consumers are willing to take the risks and many warranties have extended battery coverage to 100,000 in many cases. Most batteries will last well beyond those estimates and can continue to perform as new. But there are some batteries which even after this amount of life just need some new life breathed into them. If a hybrid car experiences a battery failure outside of its warranty, however, the owner is on his or her own when it comes to battery replacement. Consumers who are not aware of the hybrid battery conditioning option may find themselves in awe at current hybrid battery prices, some climbing over $4,000. Dr. Mark Quarto and his team at the Automotive Research and Design have developed technology that can restore a hybrid battery to over 95% of its original performance.

The technology sounds quite mind-blowing, but the question remains – does it work? Many consumers are anxious to save thousands of dollars with hybrid battery conditioning rather than replacing their old battery. Not only are financial savings evident, but many hybrid owners are anxious to enjoy the environmental benefits of this exclusive technology as was one of the original factors in why they purchased a hybrid in the first place. Dr. Mark Quarto is an expert in hybrid battery conditioning and states that his proprietary technology will change the hybrid industry. His familiarity with nickel metal hydride, lithium technologies and the history of hybrid development makes for some very interesting and research-based finds.

If you notice that your hybrid has less power than ever before, or that your fuel efficiency is far below your normal range, your battery capabilities may be under some sort of failure or deterioration. How does a hybrid battery lose performance capabilities? There are two systems that can impact your hybrid’s acceleration. Of course, when it comes to traditional cars you only have one propulsion system composed of the engine which goes on gasoline. With a hybrid, you have the engine with gasoline and then you have an electric propulsion or traction system. Both must work together in order to make your hybrid what it is. There are times where the hybrid battery pack may be low on energy and power. When you begin the acceleration process, the hybrid requires that electric traction system to make the vehicle go. If that battery pack isn’t providing the proper amount of energy, you may feel the hybrid hesitate or seem more sluggish than usual. If you can identify the cause or work with an auto repair shop specialized in finding solutions for diminishing batteries or acceleration issues, your hybrid can continue to last you for many years.

That is why battery conditioning is gaining so much popularity. Hybrid owners can immediately enjoy their vehicle’s performance again. The hybrid battery conditioning is straightforward and costs a fraction of the cost of a new battery. This alone is what consumers are most excited for, and rightfully so. There are thousands of old hybrid batteries filling up landfills across the country. In order to make a difference on the environment, as most hybrid drivers want to do, so hybrid battery conditioning can help eliminate landfill waste.

At an average cost of $4,000 to $4,500, this is a significant investment that essentially eliminates the reason for buying a hybrid vehicle. Hybrid vehicles tend to be a little more expensive upfront but are not necessarily more expensive to maintain during their lifetime, unless you need to replace the battery after the warranty is up. Hybrid battery conditioning eliminates this drawback by costing less and giving your vehicle more life. Because the hybrid battery is an integral part of the vehicle’s operation, it is often compared to the vehicle’s transmission. Most hybrid batteries do not need to be replaced. In fact, 60-80% of hybrid batteries which were bought new didn’t have to be replaced when they were not performing well (when under warranty or not).

The battery system is much more complex, however. The hybrid battery is not one entity but a pack of battery modules. The battery pack is what gives the vehicle its power. Without this battery pack, a hybrid driver cannot and would not get the power or the fuel efficiency it claims. The Toyota Prius battery, for example, consists of 28 individual modules and when there is a battery pack issue, it is most likely due to one of the modules, not all of them. Each of the 28 modules has its own health state and at any given time they can be at a different state. Over time, the battery modules in the worst state in that pack end up triggering a diagnostic code and that sometimes can force a dealer or repair shop to replace the battery. However it may be that one or two of the modules need to be replaced and not the entire pack or the battery could just be imbalanced or low on capacity. Low capacity is where battery conditioning comes into play and is very common. Conditioning means that the pack is cycled (top charge taken down to zero then back to 100%). This is good for the battery pack and the cells but can also help diagnose any pack issues.

All in all, hybrid battery replacement is one of the most critical issues facing hybrid drivers. With hybrid battery conditioning as effective and as efficient as it is, drivers have another option for extending the lifetime of their hybrid and supporting a cleaner environment. Reconditioning a battery has been found to add about six years to the vehicle for one-fourth of the price of replacing the entire battery pack. It has been proven to improve fuel efficiency and increase power and has been highly recommended by consumers all over. Is it worth a shot? Absolutely. When shops can guarantee the advantages mentioned above, it is well worth it.

7 Scenarios Wherein a Car Insurance Claim Might Get Rejected

Car insurance is a mandatory investment as the law. Therefore, a large number of car owners opt to pay a premium for a car insurance policy to safeguard their cars against a possible collision. However despite this, a majority of their claims are rejected by companies. This is because people are unaware or rather ignorant to the intricacies related to car insurance. Therefore, a major chunk of car insurance claims are rejected. To stop this from happening, let’s go through a list of reasons where a car insurance claim might get rejected:

1. Intimating your insurer late or not at all: Please be informed that your claim is destined to be rejected if you fail to inform your insurance provider in the stipulated timeframe. On an average, you should update your insurance company within 48 to 72 hours from the time of accident or collision.

2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug: This one is a no-brainer but still most people are negligent about it. If you are driving when you have consumed alcohol not only are you breaking the law, but even your insurance company will refuse to cover in case of an accident.

3. If your car is being used for commercial purposes: If you have a private car and it is being used for any commercial use such as being used to carry goods or passengers than your car insurance provider can reject your claim. This is because there are different policies for Private car and commercial vehicle policies.

4. If you drive without a valid license: In case you or anyone driving your car is driving valid license and face an accident then your coverage becomes null and void. Therefore, ensure you renew your license on time.

5. Starting the repairs before inspection by insurer: When you intimate your insurer about the collision or accident, a surveyor will visit you to inspect the condition of the car and authenticate your claim. Without this inspection, the insurance company will be unable to trace the degree of the repairs and estimate the cost involved. Therefore, your claim is bound to be rejected.

6. Failing to transfer the policy from the previous owner: There is going to be some verification during the claim process. In case, the car insurance policy is not in your name then your insurer has the right to refuse your claim.

7. An Electrical or Mechanical Breakdown: In case your car is damaged without any external collision due to some electrical or mechanical breakdown then you are not covered by your car insurance policy. In this case, you will have to shell out some money from your own pocket.

Next time be more careful of all these reasons and ensure you make maximum utilization of your car insurance policy.

Selecting an Auto Body Repair Shop

Due to the amount of time we spend on the road the chances of us needed to find a great auto body shop may come up more than once. Most of us get a little flustered at the thought of searching for the right place that can work in your price range. No one ever knows where to start though. Here are a few tips on choosing the perfect auto body shop for you.

The first step is finding an auto body shop that will fix your car to look like the collision never happened. Some good auto body shops will only have the ability to fix your car to a point called pre-loss condition. Pre-loss condition is when the mechanic fixes your cars appearance, body structure, and keeps your cars mechanical reliability.

Next comes customer service, our favorites. Everyone has horror stories about bad customer service in numerous places of business. However, if you are calling an auto body shop that means that lives were once in danger so they should immediately ask if anyone was injured. Their chance at making money should never overshadow your needs or concerns. Many body shops are only in the business because they know that everyone will need to have their car repaired at some point. Most of those businesses do not have a skilled and knowledgeable staff. That is why it is so vital to find the right body shop so you and your insurance company are getting what you have paid for.

When dealing with your insurance company, make sure that you fight for the right to pick your own repair shop. Most insurance companies and repair shops have a deal worked out to lower the shops cost in exchange for giving them business. The shop then cuts corners and leave out steps to keep the cost down. This in turn means you are paying the insurance company the inflated premiums and your deductible but are only receiving second rate repair. The insurance company may respond saying that they can not guarantee the work of other shops but in reality all good shops guarantee their work for as long as you own that car. If a shop says that they do not have that standard, it is a sign to keep looking.

Always ask the person who is estimating your damage questions. If you are working with a smaller shop the person you are speaking with will probably be the one working directly on your car. In larger chain shops they have sales people who do the estimates and have no direct connection or knowledge about your car. The techs working on your car may not want to rewrite you an estimate to make it the correct amount. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are confused. Larger shops may have fancy equipment and tools to make people believe that they are much more advanced then other shops but in reality, those fancy tools are rarely even used in fixing your car.

Always ask the body shop about their insurance programs or DRP (direct repair programs) because this may mean they can not create their own business and need the help of a deal. Not all shops that have these programs are bad shops but it can defiantly be a red flag.

The very best way to find a good body shop is by word of mouth, so ask around. Most people would never send you to a place where they were not satisfied with the work they were given.

Now when you are stuck in a bind after a collision you will have the right information and questions to ask before selection the body shop for you. The last and the most important thing to remember is, if you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured by a body shop, move on because they may be desperate for business because they are not known for their good service.

Different Types Of Car Repair Services

Whether we like it or not, chances are that we’ll have to take in our auto for car repair at one point or another. It may be for simple maintenance and service such as an oil change. In the case of a collision or accident, damages may be more extensive and require more care including dent removal and auto body work. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of car repair.

Auto Body Repair can restore a vehicle to its original condition after a serious collision. A certified technician performing auto body repair may perform simple tasks such as replace the bumper or fix minor dents. In case of a serious accident additional work may include straightening the frame.

Daily usage can give a worn appearance even on the most well-maintained cars. Detailing involves a very thorough cleaning inside out. The technician may use polish in order to smooth out tiny scratches and wax is applied to achieve a glassy showroom quality shine. Additional procedures may involve cleaning the engine, shampooing the carpets and even neutralizing unpleasant odors. It’s a good idea to detail a car before you decide to sell a vehicle because it boosts up the car’s value.

Many people also find themselves having to replace auto glass at one time or another. It is illegal to drive with a cracked or broken windshield due to the fact that it obstructs the view of the driver. It is actually very dangerous to drive with a cracked windshield; any force to the windshield can cause it to break. It’s important to have auto glass replaced as soon as possible if there is any damage in order to avoid bodily harm.

No one likes unsightly dings or dents on their car. “Paintless Dent Removal” is a process where tools are used to repair the dent. This technique can also be used to fix repair caused by hail damage. This process only works on minor dents.

Always ask for an estimate before you have any services performed on your automobile. In some cases you may opt to purchase your own parts online since that may be cheaper than purchasing it through the repair shop. It is a good idea to make sure that all the technicians are properly certified. Car repair and auto body services enable us to keep our cars running smoothly and looking great for many years to come. Taking good care of your auto also assures that you will be able to fetch a good price once you decide to sell it.

Choosing an Auto Glass Repair Shop

If you are like most people, the first time you ever need to think about windshield repair or replacement occurs when you happen to be driving across the road and hear the pop of something like a rock smash into your windshield; or maybe shortly after when you see that annoying crack that forms, distracting you from driving safely. It’s a frustrating feeling, one that most motorists don’t deal with fast enough or in the correct way. Do you know postponing having work done on a chipped or cracked windshield can wind up costing you a higher price since it is likely to become worse without any timely fix? The average car owner is usually not aware of how much a windshield does when it comes to their own safety. This information is here to present you with what you should know about the windshield repair vs replacement choice from beginning to end because like most hardworking people, you probably don’t have time to put together everything required to make the right choices for yourself as well as your car.

Step one is always to quickly examine the damage that’s been done to your window or windshield as well as educate yourself about the general process for repair. It’s useful to be informed enough to make the basic diagnosis by determining whether or not the cars window is cracked, chipped, or just scratched so you have a pretty accurate idea of what sort of service you need. As a general suggestion, chips can be repaired if they’re not much larger than the size of a quarter. Cracks are often repaired if they are not more than six inches long, which is about the length of a dollar bill. When the damage is any worse you probably will require a full windshield replacement job. It’s equally important to be aware of why you should give consideration to a little crack or chip at all. In case you are in a wreck while you have a damaged window, there exists a higher chance it would break and even shatter, often creating severe injury as a result of the shards of glass or allowing you to be ejected from your vehicle. Driving safety professionals are quick to point out how important uncompromised auto glass is to the structure of a car.

Your next and even the most vital step you need to take to fix your car’s windshield or auto glass will be to know who to contact. Most people because of a lack of knowledge seek out auto body shops only to find out they do not replace or repair auto glass. Some other people call standard glass or window shops and so are averted again. Auto glass replacement and repair is really a separate industry that’s focused on knowing how to correctly fix or replace your auto glass to help you to continue driving safely and without worrying about the distraction of window damage. Even though you now understand what types of business you should contact, never assume all windshield replacement and repair companies are exactly the same. When choosing a company, one thing to consider is if they normally use. OEM is short for original equipment manufacturer and basically signifies that the items they choose such as adhesives utilized in the repair process as well as the replacement windows are a similar quality that had been originally used in your windshield when your car was manufactured. Aftermarket materials used by many businesses are typically not as high of quality will not have the same quality or safety standards of the OEM materials. Something else you probably should check on is the company you select has NGA and AGRSS certifications. NGA means the National Glass Association and leads the industry in preparing quality technicians for auto glass repair and replacement certification. AGRSS is short for Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council. This is a non-profit organization that concentrates on safety and high standards in the industry.

Another major concern car owners have when looking into auto glass repair or replacement involves the price. Fixing vehicle glass is an expense which will come from nowhere and almost never at a good time. While costs are probably going to be different dependent upon the area your home is, getting your auto glass repaired is definitely going to be cheaper compared to a full windshield replacement for your automobile. To provide you with an over-all estimate, repairs often are less costly than one hundred dollars and replacing the windshield can cost you upwards of $ 500. Whichever kind of fix you have to have done, jumping for the least expensive option is generally not the best decision especially in the long run. The good news is a good number of auto insurance companies handle part or all the expenses of auto glass repair or replacement jobs. It is in their best interest for you to be secure on the streets plus they understand how important having a quality undamaged windshield is when it comes to your safety one the road. And also they encourage you to quickly replace or repair your auto glass as opposed to waiting until it needs replacement. By doing this, you both save your time or cash and you will drive with a bit of safety yet again. You will see auto glass repair underneath the comprehensive part of your insurance coverage. It’s additionally a great situation since there is usually no fault in window repairs so auto insurance won’t rise simply because of your simple auto glass repair or replacement.

Paintless Dent Removal – Is It A Good Choice?

So you just got this fabulous new car. It is everything you could want and more. You are so excited that you drive your car around to show everyone that you know. It drives smooth as can be and the exterior looks like only a new car can look, perfect! The paint has a high gloss and is blemish free.

You head on home and go to hop out of your car when all of a sudden your door swings into the fire hydrant that resides next to your driveway. You slowly get out of the car cringing and hoping you did not just put a dent in your new car. With one eye closed you asses the damage. Sure enough there is a ding in your newly acquired car. You feel like crying and walk into your house with your head down low.

The excitement you felt about getting a new car has completely diminished. Sure the dent is small and chances are no one will notice it but you notice it.

So now what do you do?

That is where paintless dent removal comes into play. A paintless dent repair is just that. A dent technician will pop the dent out of the body of your car without having to fill the ding and paint it.

That is good news to you for two reasons. The first is that it is fairly inexpensive to have the dent removed (and quick) so you can have your car looking like it just rolled off of the lot in no time. The second is that you do not have to have actual body work done on your new car so you can still boast that you have all factory paint.

Using paintless dent removal is a wonderful way to keep your car looking new regardless of whether you just have one or two small dents or your car has hail damage.

Car Repair – Drive To The Best Mechanic To Receive Topnotch Maintenance

When we are in an accident or if our vehicles start making funny sounds, it can be a worrisome time. Not everyone knows of a reliable auto shop to go to and we all would rather not have to pay mechanic bills. Every now and then, some kind of car repair is necessary, so it is best to know beforehand who to go to. Keep reading to find out how to locate the best auto garage near you.

In the event that you are in need of muffler, brake, tire work, or just an oil change, make sure to take your car to the best workers in the business. There is nothing quite like knowing exactly who to take your car to, being fully confident that you will receive quality service and great estimates. Start looking today, so as to be sure this is what you can rely on in a time of need.

Few personal belongings are as important in our lives as our automobiles. This is why knowing of a great and affordable car repair mechanic is such a big deal. Plenty of us may be paranoid of being overcharged or of receiving less than desirable repairs when we take our cars to a servicing garage, but this is not how it has to be. All you have to do is find out about the shops nearby by asking some routine questions.

It is great to ask about standards in regards to mechanic training and qualifications. If you need to know, inquire about how well experienced the workers at a particular location are. In addition, you may want to ask who specifically will be attending to your vehicle. This is important in case your car has certain problems that need explaining. With any type of repair job, it helps to assist the person who will be working for you. Help them to help you best.

Furthermore, find out about the shop you are looking into seeking help form. How long have they been in business and what is their reputation? These questions can be answered by people you trust, so ask friends and family members if they have sought help from a certain business you have in mind. Knowing a little bit about a particular place can end up saving you a lot when the time comes for assistance.

It is impossible to know when a major accident will occur or when/if your automobile might break down, so know who to go to before you are in a bind. This can cut down on the stress of having to look for certified, quality repairs later on. We need our cars up and running as soon as possible, so take care of business ahead of time.

Great mechanics are waiting to help you offer discounts for routine services, so look around. Plenty of auto shops are happy to take care of regular tune up jobs or even tough engine work. No matter what services you need, it saves to know where to get them.

5-Point Checklist for Test Driving a Vehicle

Don’t worry, because a five point turn is not on the checklist of things to do when test-driving a vehicle. Buying a new or used vehicle can be stressful for people because everyone wants the best possible car of their choice, in the best possible condition, and all within their seemingly-unrealistic budget. This, unfortunately, narrows the list a bit, however, there are smart ways to test out a vehicle in order to ensure you are at least buying a quality asset that is safe and suits your driving needs.

Continue reading to learn five things to look for when you are test driving a car or truck, so that you may better negotiate a deal and make better purchasing decisions.

1. Exterior Appearance

The first place you want to inspect is the exterior of the car or truck. How’s the condition of the paint? Is it shipped, scraped, or faded? What about the condition of the body? Are there dents and scratches on the bumper, fender, or doors? Are there cracks in the windshield? All of these aspects can be used against a seller in the negotiations to get a fairer price.

2. Interior Appearance and Amenities

Next, open the doors and take a look inside. Are the doors squeaky or difficult to open? Do they feel heavy or loose? What about the interior fabric? Is it in good condition? Are there stains, burn holes, ripped carpet, or other similar damages? Is the roof fabric loose and droopy? Are the dashboards in good condition? Is there a spare tire and jack?

3. Under the Hood

Always look is under the hood of the vehicle. Check to see that the engine bay is clean and damage-free. Next, look at the condition of the battery, see that all the proper caps are in place, and inquire whether or not it takes premium or unleaded fuel. Overall, use your common sense to inspect everything under the hood with a glance, and decide if it looks legitimate. If you have concerns about what you see, then you might want to have the vehicle inspected by a licensed mechanic before making any negotiations with the seller.

4. Drivability

Now it’s time to actually see how the car drives. See how the steering wheel turns. Does it pull to the left or right? Take note of how the car feels in drive mode. Is it a smooth ride? Does it feel bumpy? Are the brakes squeaky? Does it take a long time to come to a complete stop? Does the car feel heavy or out of line? All of this can be identifiers of common vehicular maintenance and repair issues. Again, these faults can be used as a negotiations tactic when deciding on a final price.

5. Interior Features

Before getting out of the vehicle and ending your test drive, be sure to check all the amenities and features inside and see that they all work properly. Check the automatic windows, radio, navigation, air vents, sun roof, mirrors, lights, and more. Also take note of the number of cup holders, storage, seating, and more to match these features with the ones on your wish-list.

Rental Car Insurance – Should You Buy Rental Car Insurance?

Your flight landed an hour late. Now, you’ll be late for that important meeting. You can already imagine your customers sitting around a conference table waiting impatiently. You step to the front of the line at the car rental counter, with six other exasperated businessmen behind you who are late for their meetings, too. The rental agent plunks the contract down in front of you, and circles all the places on the contract that you’re supposed to sign or initial. Then she stares at you, as if to say, “Hurry up!” The print is small. The sentences are written in Legalese. You’d like to stop and read the fine print, but you can feel the people behind you getting more upset. You thought you were renting a car for $35.00 per day. With all the add-ons, the cost is now $70.00 per day.

Oh…the pressure…the panic! You cave in, signing and leaving your initials in all the right places. You take your contract and keys and head for your car, inwardly feeling like a failure and mad because you didn’t stand up for yourself.

If the preceding story is too familiar, there’s hope just ahead!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular car renter or just an occasional traveler who needs to rent a car, you’ll likely face these kinds of choices at the car rental counter. Some folks just decline everything. Some folks purchase all of the coverage offered.

But…are you wasting bunches of money on unneeded coverage or leaving yourself dangerously under insured? Before leaving on your trip, I recommend that you make two phone calls – one to your auto insurance company and another to the credit card company you’ll be using to pay for the rental car. You’ll need to find out if you have automatic coverage for your car rental from each company, and the various terms and conditions for that automatic coverage.

FIRST…CALL YOUR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY

In your personal or business auto insurance policy, there is coverage for damage to your auto. The Insuring Agreement in most policies says: ” We will pay for direct and accidental loss to ‘your covered auto’ or any ‘non-owned auto,’ including their equipment, minus any applicable deductible shown in the Declarations.”

Another phrase is VERY IMPORTANT!

“If there is a loss to a ‘non-owned auto’, we will provide the broadest coverage applicable to any ‘covered auto’ in the Declarations.” Here’s an example of how this would work for you:

You have two vehicles. One is a 2006 Toyota Camry with full coverage. It’s worth $24,000. The other is a 1980 Chevy S-10 pickup worth $1,500 that you only use for trips back and forth to the local home improvement store, and you only have liability coverage on the pickup. If you rented a car and it got damaged, your insurance company would provide the full coverage for the rental car, which is the broadest coverage in your policy.

If you normally drive an older car with only liability insurance on it, there will not be any property damage insurance extended to the rental car. In this instance, you should either use the credit card’s Collision Damage Waiver or buy the CDW from the car rental company.

Ask your insurance company representative how much coverage you have on your car. Ask if there is a limit of value on your Collision coverage. If there is a limit, and you drive a 7 year old Ford Taurus that’s worth $5,500…and you rent a new Cadillac Escalade that’s worth $55,000…will your personal auto insurance cover the damage to the higher valued vehicle? REALLY important to know this…you could owe the rental car company tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace a high value rental vehicle if you’re not properly covered.

Find out the limits of liability. Make sure that your limits are higher than the minimum limits required by your state. Limits above $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident for Bodily Injury, and $100,000 for Property Damage are very inexpensive. Make sure that you limits are no less than that amount…higher would be better.

Find out what collision and comprehensive deductibles you have on your car, because those deductibles will apply when you rent a car and use your own insurance for rental coverage.

Make sure that you have Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your personal or business policy. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and the accident is his fault, recovery will be practically impossible. Likewise with a motorist who is underinsured. Best to have your own coverage protection.

Q: What if I don’t own a car, and don’t have car insurance?

A: If you do not own a car, you won’t have an automobile policy. You should buy the rental car coverage, both the CDW and liability coverage. Or, you should use your credit card’s CDW and buy the optional liability coverage from the rental car company. If you’re a frequent car renter, however, you can still buy a “non-owner” liability policy. This solution might save you money over the coverage available through the car rental company.

Q: What happens if my personal property inside the car gets damaged or stolen?

A: Most Collision Damage Waivers provide coverage for theft of the vehicle, but not any personal property stolen or damaged inside the vehicle. Check your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy because you may have coverage through them for your stolen or damaged personal property. A deductible will likely apply.

Here’s a super important tip! Some people think that, if they purchased the Collision Damage Waiver or used the CDW from their credit card, and the rental car got damaged, they don’t have to report it to their own insurance company. They are hoping that because the CDW covers the damage, it won’t affect their own insurance policy….and they won’t get a rate increase. WRONG!!! Don’t be misled into thinking that you can get away without reporting your accident to your own insurance company. In most accidents, more things get damaged than just the rental car. Even if your accident is just you running into a guardrail, whoever owns that guardrail is going to look to you to pay for the damages. Also, other people might have been injured. You could have a large liability exposure, and you might need your personal or business auto policy to cover your loss. Your insurance policy includes legal representation if someone files a lawsuit against you for damages.

If you’re going to use your own personal or business auto coverage, decline the Collision Damage Waiver on the car rental contract.

NEXT…CALL THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY

Ask your credit card company about the benefits they offer. Each company is different, and each level of credit is different. For example, a regular card might have different insurance benefits than a gold or platinum card. Ask the card company to send you your benefits IN WRITING. If you’re in a hurry, ask them to fax or email it to you.

Some cards may only cover collision and comprehensive, and leave you uninsured for liability. Some cards only offer coverage when you rent from a certain rental company. Some restrict the number of days of coverage. Some cards don’t automatically cover you and require you to sign up for a particular program. Still others limit the kinds of vehicles you can rent. (see below for some exclusions)

If you have more than one credit card, call each one and find out the card with the best benefits. Then, use that credit card to pay for your rental car, and use their benefits.

If you’re planning on using the credit card company’s coverage, you must decline the Collision Damage Waiver shown in the rental car contract. Otherwise, the credit card company’s coverage will become excess to the coverage in the rental car company’s Collision Damage Waiver. “Excess” means that any other available coverage would pay first, and the credit card coverage would pay any remaining portion of the loss.

Credit card Collision Damage Waivers cover:

o vehicle damage

o theft

o loss of use

o towing

See your credit card company’s written CDW for all the details.

Collision Damage Waivers exclude:

o Injury to anyone or damage to anything inside or outside the rental vehicle.

o Loss or theft of personal belongings.

o Liability

o Loss due to intentional acts, like DUI, drug use or other illegal activities.

o Off-road operations. If you rent an SUV and take it off-road, no coverage.

o Rental periods of more than 15 days within your country of residence, or more than 31 days in a foreign country.

o Vehicles that do not meet the definition of “covered vehicles,” such as:

– expensive, exotic and antique vehicles

– certain vans

– pickup trucks

– other trucks

– motorcycles and ATVs

See your credit card company’s written CDW for all the details.

CAR RENTAL INSURANCE

Most major rental car companies offer these four coverages.

o Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This covers a rental vehicle damaged by an accident, vandalism, theft or loss of use. Costs range between $9 and $20 per day.

The most misunderstood part of car rental coverage is the Collision Damage Waiver, or sometimes called the “Auto Rental CDW.”

Remember…the car rental CDW provided by the car rental company is not insurance. Insurance is regulated by each state. Collision Damage coverage is a waiver. The car rental companies agree to not hold the renter responsible if the rental car is damaged or stolen, and they guarantee that they will pay for certain damages listed in their coverage agreement.

In many cases, the waiver also provides “loss of use” coverage, which pays the rental company if the damaged or stolen car cannot be rented. In most states, car insurance policies don’t cover loss of use. So, if you choose not to buy the Collision Damage Waiver, you might have a loss of use exposure if the rental car gets damaged. But if you’re using your credit card’s automatic coverage, it will pay for that loss of use.

Some car rental companies will require you to pay for repairs or replacement costs out of your own pocket up front, and then you have to get reimbursed by your own insurance company. Being forced to come up with thousands of dollars in immediate cash could ruin a vacation. You’re protected from these up-front costs by the CDW. Read your rental contract CAREFULLY!

o Personal Effects Coverage. This provides coverage for theft or damage to personal items inside the rental car. Costs range between $2 and $5 per day.

o Supplemental Liability Insurance. This provides liability coverage up to $1 million. Costs range between $7 and $9 per day.

o Personal Accident Insurance. This covers you and passengers in your vehicle for medical expenses. If you already have personal health policies or travel policies, it won’t be necessary to buy this optional coverage. It usually costs between $3 and $5 per day.

Corporate Travelers. If you’re a frequent traveler for business, do one other thing. Check with your company to find out if they have a corporate travel policy. If they do, find out what that policy covers, and then simply don’t buy duplicate coverage on the rental car contract.

Car rental outside your country of residence. Some insurers exclude coverage if you’re driving in a foreign country. Some will cover you, but only a limited time. Some credit card companies cover car rentals outside your country of residence. Check with your insurance company and credit card company for specific details, and GET IT IN WRITING!

Q: Can I allow others to drive my rental car?

A: If you’re using your personal or business auto coverage to cover your rental car, the chances are all “authorized drivers” are covered. An “authorized driver” is anyone listed on the policy. However, here’s a BIG GOTCHA! If your teenaged son drives your rental car and he allows his girlfriend to drive the car, you’re covered. If the girlfriend allows another person to drive, NO COVERAGE!

Some car rental companies have exclusions for young drivers. Some charge extra for young drivers. Find out this information BEFORE you arrive at the car rental counter.

Q: How do I file a claim if I’ve had an accident?

A: When you experience the damage or theft, immediately get a camera and take lots of photos of the damage, including any other autos or property that was damaged. Keep those photos! Notify the rental company IMMEDIATELY of the damage.

Report the damage to your own auto insurance company if you have personal or business coverage.

When you return the vehicle to the rental company immediately ask for:

o A copy of the accident report and any claim documents, which should show the amount you’re responsible to pay, as well as any amounts that have been paid toward the claim.

o A copy of the initial and final auto rental agreements.

o A copy of the repair estimate or the paid repair invoice.

o A police report, if one exists.

So the bottom line is this:

If you have personal auto insurance, commercial auto insurance or corporate travel coverage, it is usually not necessary to pay for the Collision Damage Waiver or extra coverages offered to you by the rental car contract. Your situation may vary.

Get everything in writing, and make an informed decision. Then enjoy your car rental experience!

Learn How To Find A Good Windshield Repair Expert

It’s all about getting to know the mindset of your glass installation service provider. You could do this by having a discussion about his perception of the current projects. There’s always the chance a local window repair service contractor may lie to you about being capable. The perfect car window repairman will be able to apply their method of working to your expectations for the project. We’ve put together some strategies to help you find the perfect contractor for your individual renovation needs.

Ensure that the glass installation provider is working properly – by visiting the work site regularly. When you call references, make sure to get in contact with everyone on the list, getting a clear understanding of their opinion of the glass replacement service provider and whether they are interested in repeat service is of vital importance. Hire them when you ensure all references are positive. Online reviews are also a good source of dependable information. Your glass installation repair provider has to know if the work area will include a pet. The local window repair service contractor may, as a matter of fact, ask that the pet be kept away from the work place so that he could work freely.

Prior to hiring a window replacement service contractor, ask his past clients if they would rehire him. In addition, request that the glass installation service provider provides financial references, including suppliers. You will probably be in a position to tell by the quality of the products a professional car window repairman uses whether or not they do quality work that can last. Make sure you get all of the information about the materials to be used.

Highly regarded window repair installation service contractors take pride in presenting a written estimate to a prospective client prior to they begin a job. A phone estimate should not be a problem for a professional car window repairman. Prior to working with a contractor, ensure they have the right experience and enough time to dedicate to the project. Take care of all issues prior to picking a professional car window repairman. Windshield repair experts are in high demand during the summer months. Carefully consider who you employ, most specifically around this time period. There are many window repair installation contractors who will take on extra work during the summer, only to run out of time and deliver some projects late. Hire a local car window repairman that you know will see your project through to the end.

There are lots of window repair installation service contractors out there, but you should be cautious in your search. Check with friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations. It is also a perfect idea to participate in remodeling conventions. You may perhaps find a local car window repairman that would offer their services to you. Using these methods, you’ll have the opportunity to check out a variety of contractors and choose the best one to work with.