Auto Body Repair 101

Most cars will need some type of auto body repair in their lifetimes. Whether its from a major collision or just a small dent from every day use, there’s a good chance your vehicle will need to visit the auto body repair shop at least once. If you do experience some damage to your car, it is crucial that you take it to a professional body shop for the repairs. Though most damage is easily visible, in some accidents, it is possible to have damage that is hidden. To get it done correctly and safely, it must be done by a professional.

The first step in the auto body repair process is to take your car in for a consultation. The repair specialist will assess the damage and prepare a detailed estimate. The estimate should be very detailed and list the cost for each part and the amount of labor charged. Original equipment (OEM), used, or after market parts may be used – it is important to know exactly which type of part they are planning to use in your repair. Auto body shops are also accustomed to working with insurance companies – they can handle your claim for you and contact the insurance company when needed.

Sometimes additional repairs are needed after they begin working on your vehicle. This shouldn’t happen often, but it is a possibility, even with a reputable and trusted repair shop. The shop manager should call you and explain in detail why the new repair is needed and why it wasn’t found during the original inspection and estimate. They should also offer to contact your insurance company with this new information and a revised estimate of the cost.

The final step in the auto body repair process is the paint job. A poor paint job will make even good repairs look bad. If you need only small areas painted, the auto body shop will carefully blend the new area with the old paint. Having only a small area painted saves big money, but you must have a professional do the job. Poorly matched paint will not blend with the rest of the car and affect the overall appearance of the vehicle.

Though we don’t usually think of auto body repair as important to the safety of the vehicle as we do when we think of engine repair. However, shoddy repair work can definitely affect the safety of the vehicle. Make sure to have your work done at a professional shop. Getting a referral is the best way to find a good auto body repair shop, but it also helps to look online for reviews and testimonials when selecting a auto body shop to do the repairs on your vehicle. Get the job done right and you’ll have many happy hours and safe hours of driving!

Insurance Claim – What Are They?

Your insurance company provides this application to you so you can apply for benefits on your insurance policy whether it is a life, auto, or health insurance. You must file a claim before any money can be paid to any contracted service like a hospital or repair shop for your car. When you file insurance claims the company, based on their evaluation of the situation, may pay the claim or they may not.

When you take out an insurance policy, you must continue making monthly payments to the insurance company. These are called premiums. Generally, these premiums are used to increase the available assets of the company or to settle another person’s claim. Occasionally an accident will happen that can cause financial damage like a tornado, automobile wreck, or work-related accident. When this happens, the injured policyholder can file an insurance claim to receive money from that company.

When filing an insurance claim you will file it with a local agent that works for the company and they have the responsibility to instigate the specific details of the claim. Then the agent negotiates the payment from the main insurance company. Many times a recognized authority such as a repair shop, building contractor, or medical professional can file the necessary forms with the insurance company directly. If another party has agreed to pay for their mistake out-of-pocket or the damage is minor, the policyholder may not want to file an insurance claim.

Once an insurance claim is filed the insurance company usually has an appraiser or adjustor without bias evaluate the damage and determine if the estimates for repair the policy holder got are realistic. This can help prevent fraud by companies who inflate their estimates so they can get additional compensation. Most insurance companies will accept the appraiser or adjustor’s valuation as the last word. There are some insurance claims may not be paid for many reasons. Some of these reasons can include:

• The claimant’s premiums have not been paid each month and they are behind

• Policy may be inactive

• Another insurance company may have agreed to pay for the damages that were listed in the insurance claim. This happens often in car accidents where one of the parties is held responsible for the accident.

• Failure to not be under the conditions that are covered because most insurance policies specify specific areas that qualify for benefits

• If the damage or accident claim was an unavoidable “Act of God” or caused by carelessness your insurance company has the right to withhold payment.

The only way to apply officially for benefits is to file a claim. Until your insurance company has assessed the claim, it will remain as that and not a payout.

The Importance of Vehicle Safety Inspections After a Collision

Navigating the auto collision repair process can be bewildering and frustrating, especially for car owners who don’t know much about automotive repair. Not only do insurance claims need to be filed and negotiated, but the vehicle’s repairs and overall safety need to be addressed. There are many issues which may influence a car’s safety after it’s been in a collision, and it’s important that these issues not be overlooked during the repair process. To ensure your car’s collision repairs are comprehensive and thorough, it’s a good idea to have a post-repair vehicle safety inspection performed by a professional vehicle safety specialist.

Hidden Collision Damages

When a car is in a collision, the worst damage is often the unseen damage which happens to the car’s frame and internal components. These components are often more difficult – and costly – to fix, and if the insurance company’s repair appraisal is too low, some of these problems may get overlooked. Internal car damage may not be visible, but it can compromise a vehicle’s safety significantly.

Vehicle frame damage is one of the most commonly overlooked collision repair issues, especially when the vehicle was in a moderate to severe accident. A crumpled, bent or fractured frame compromises the strength of the whole vehicle, diminishing the car’s ability to safely withstand a second accident. Similarly, internal components such as frame rails are often damaged during a collision, but may be overlooked during fast, low estimate repairs. To restore the vehicle to its pre-collision safety, these internal damages need to be fixed.

Not All Collision Repair Shops Are Equal

Most collision repair shops offer the same set of services, but the quality and thoroughness of these services can vary widely from shop to shop. Some auto body shops work to complete repairs as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. While this tends to make car owners and insurance companies happy initially, quick, shoddy repairs can lead to more severe problems down the road – compromised vehicle safety not the least.

Auto body shops which perform thorough, high quality collision repair are more likely to dig below the surface to address damages which might have gone unnoticed. These types of shops can often be distinguished from other, lower quality collision shops by their accreditations. NAPA AutoCare Collision Center, A.A.A. Approved Collision Center and Accredited Better Business Bureau certifications are good indicators that an auto body shop will keep your and your family’s personal safety as their highest priority.

Post-Collision Safety Inspection Checklist

Before taking your car home from the collision repair shop, it’s important to make sure all your vehicle’s key safety features are working properly. Ask your collision repair shop to perform a 15 point vehicle safety inspection which covers the following:

– Fluid levels – need to be topped off and checked for leaks.

– Tire pressure – needs to be equal and at appropriate levels.

– Tire wear condition – excessively or unevenly worn tires are unsafe during inclement weather.

– Suspension – needs to be structurally sound, without any bent, fractured or missing parts.

– Belts – check to make sure these are all still flexible, properly placed and working.

– Engine coolant hoses – need to be secure and leak-free.

– Car battery – check for dirty connection or old battery in need of replacement.

– Windshield wipers – make sure these are not cracked or worn, to ensure good visibility during nighttime and inclement weather.

Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

Your Situation

We have all been there. Miss-judged the size of a parking space and subsequently dented your car, come back from shopping center to find a dent. Or maybe somebody has pulled out on you and dented the side of the vehicle. Whatever the situation, the resulting dents and dings to the bodywork are a pain and they need sorting, quickly. Most importantly, you want them fixed cheaply and without affecting your insurance premium.

Well this is where Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) specialists come in with their handy Mobile dent repair services. But what exactly is (PDR)?

Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is essentially the removal of dents from a vehicle body where the paint is not damaged, whoever this type of repair is also a great way to save money even with damaged paintwork. There are several methods, but a popular choice involves the use of special rods and picks. The rods and picks are used to literally massage the dent from inside of the body panel. An alternative PDR method is the application of glue to the outside of the body panel. The glue then allows for the dents to be pulled out. Mobile Auto Body Paintless Dent Removal is always the best value when you consider your alternative.

Can I do it myself?

PDR for short takes many years to perfect and an amateur repair could cause more harm than good to your vehicle. With Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) it is important to ensure that the original paint finish is kept in tact and fillers and paint are not required. Therefore the dent technician needs to know exactly what they are doing!

Training can be found in all levels of paintless dent repair from the beginner to the more advanced PDR technician. Great careers can be made all over the nation and around the world and the earning can be great. To find out more about your local Mobile Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair service or PDR Training, just Google the correct keywords and you will be on your way to saving a lot of money by getting shot of those horrible car dents and dings that De-value you vehicle so much. Or better still why not think about training in this sort after car dent repair service and make a long term career for yourself.

So remember… The next time you see nasty looking car dents or dings in you pride and joy, think about calling a Mobile Auto Body Paintless Dent Removal service before claiming on your insurance! Most often, it’s cheaper than paying your insurance excess.

Does Auto Insurance Help If You Are a Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?

Unfortunately, the news about a hit and run is on the radar every so often. A pedestrian or a car driver is hit by a vehicle and the driver responsible for the accident speeds off without owning up to his actions by checking on the victims and providing his or her contact info to police.

What defines a hit and run accident?

A hit and run incident occurs when one driver crashes into a person or a car and intentionally drives on in order to avoid prosecution or accountability for resulting death, injury and/or damages.

Should you become victimized in a hit and run event, never pursue the fleeing car. You might find yourself in a road rage incident or the like. Leave the chasing to the cops who are trained in this type of thing. What you should do immediately following the crash is to alert the law enforcers.

For your best interest sake, gather as much information as you can about the event. This will help police catch the driver who collided into you. It will also add to the chances of your submitted insurance claim be processed to your advantage.

Here is what the insurance underwriters tell victims of hit and run accidents to do.

As said, the more information you gather about the case, the more chances of it ending to your benefit.

Tell authorities about facts by providing the following:

• The make and model of the other car or vehicle

• The license plate number of the other car

• How to get in touch with people who witnessed the accident

• The time and place when and where the accident occurred

• Images taken of your car immediately following the collision. (leftover paint of the other car on your vehicle will assist authorities in locating the other driver and pinning charges as it will help the insurance company determine a good outcome for your claim)

• Physician’s report about any injuries you or your passengers incurred as a result of the accident

If the driver who slammed into you and drove off without accepting liability is caught, you can submit an auto claim directly to his or her insurance company. But, should the other driver happen to be with insufficient insurance coverage or no coverage at all, you might want to resort to an attorney’s services.

Another avenue to pursue is your own insurance coverage. If the hit and run driver does not have proper insurance to cover your losses, you can file a claim with your insurance company. States differ in policy as far as the claims process goes, so you’ll have to do the research. Generally speaking, if you have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you will be covered for medical bills and if you have uninsured motorist property damage insurance, you will be covered for related auto repair work.

Though there are various US states that do not cover you with these forms of insurance, they should cover you if you have personal injury protection coverage as well as medical payments insurance and collision coverage.

Of course, it’s best to speak with a knowledgeable independent insurance agent that has experience in this type of claim, so make sure you hook up with a reliable source!

Should You Repair or Replace Your Car Windshield?

The windshield is an extremely significant safety feature of a car. It adds strength and durability to its structure and prevents passengers from being removed out of the moving vehicle, in the event of an accident. However, just as any other part of a car, a windshield also goes through its share of intense wear and tear, requiring regular checks, and even a repair or replacement.

Given below are some factors that will help you determine whether to opt for a windshield repair or replacement service.

  • Size: Most chipped front glass can be repaired. However, if it is not repaired in time, chances are, that the small chips will turn into bigger ones. For example, if you are driving on a corrugated gravel road, and end up taking an aggressive turn or hit a big pothole, the damage to the glass may end up being amplified. But, chips larger than 3/8 inches and cracks longer than 3 inches indicate an immediate need for a glass replacement. A large crack can also impact the vision by reflecting the sunlight glare, making it difficult to see clearly what lies ahead on the road.
  • Location: If cracks occur on the edge of the front glass, then the glass must be replaced immediately. Prompt action will decrease the tendency of the cracks to spread quickly. It is also recommended to replace the glass if the chip lies directly in the line of vision of the car’s driver.
  • Timespan: Chips and cracks, both can damage the front glass of a car. Hence, these must be addressed immediately. The longer you ignore the problem, the less likely it becomes to perform a successful repair, ultimately requiring a replacement.

Windshield repair

A timely repair can prove to be extremely useful, and below mentioned are some reasons to help you understand why you should opt for it:

  • Convenience: A small chip or a crack can be repaired within an hour.
  • Cost-effective: Repairs are much more cost-effective as compared to replacements.
  • The insurance advantage: As repairs are far more economical, most insurance companies will waive the deductible and pay for the repair.

Windshield replacement

A windshield makes approximately 60% of the structural integrity of a vehicle. Therefore, opting for a timely repair and replacement service is not just an essential aspect, but can also prove to be cost-effective. Most chips and cracks are easily repaired unless you ignore the issue, which will eventually require you to replace the front glass of the car.

Here are some points to keep in mind while opting for a replacement.

  • Certified technicians: Always ensure to take the car to a certified service center. A service center which employs expert windshield technicians can guarantee a proper replacement.
  • OEM glass: Make sure to opt for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) glass for installation. Anything which is an OEM equivalent or an aftermarket glass should be avoided, as the latter is a short-term solution, and sometimes, even a dangerous option as far as safety is concerned.
  • Proper fit: There may be instances when the new car glass cannot be installed as accurately as done at the time of the production of the vehicle. Therefore, to avoid such an instance occurring up, make sure that the new one is selected according to the car’s make and model for a proper fit.
  • Adhesive: Urethane adhesives are certified to meet crash test criteria, and they also offer faster drive-away times. The best urethane adhesive is quite expensive as compared to the other adhesives available in the market. But, it is recommended that one chooses quality over cost.

Post installation of the front glass, there are some imperative must-dos that one should keep in mind, and make a note to practice the same. Below mentioned are such precautions:

  • It is not advisable to drive the car until the adhesive is finally dried as it may ruin the results of the replacement work. It is recommended that you follow safe drive-away time as mentioned by the technicians.
  • Do not wash your car before 24 hours as it may damage the seal between the adhesive and the glass.
  • Keep at least one window open to avoid building pressure inside the vehicle, or else it may blow a hole in the front glass, resulting in air and water leaks.

A successful automotive front glass installation complies with 100% manufacturer standards. These standards, when followed precisely, lead to safe installation and prevent the lives of the passengers from being in danger, in the event of a collision. One of the consequences of an improper installation might be excessive noise while driving at a high speed.

To conclude, let’s just say that a car glass repair should be your first option, and unless necessary, should you opt for a replacement service. Although there are scenarios when it becomes mandatory to replace the front glass, it is still suggested to opt for the repair first policy. And of course, no matter the size of the chip or crack, it is highly advisable to get it checked immediately. Always choose certified technicians for the repair and replacement of the front windshield glass.

The Benefits of Mobile Windshield Repair Services

Many of us are constantly pressed for time and money. Every inconvenience or delay seems to cause us more problems than the mounting pressures we already experience, and nothing causes us as much stress as those issues related to our cars. We rely on our cars for our livelihood, recreation, and emergencies, so even the smallest repair can be stressful and disrupt everything.

Mobile windshield repair services have major benefits primarily because our time is just as important as our car and there are very few services that can be performed by professionals that also provide us with convenience.

Convenience

With our time being a major concern in many of the decisions we make any service that works with us without infringing on our time is appreciated. Mobile windshield repair services provide us with that. They come to your car. Repairs can be made quickly without requiring a service appointment at a garage. Parked at your home, the parking lot at work or even in the parking lot while you are shopping in the mall, your windshield can be serviced by a mobile team equipped with the necessary tools for the job.

Safety

Many cracks or chips in a car windshield if left untreated can grow impairing a clear view and ultimately resulting in a necessary complete windshield replacement. A mobile repair service can address cracks and chips while they are fresh and relatively small delaying the need for a new windshield and sometimes preventing the cracks and chips from worsening. In more extreme cases where the driver’s vision is obscured by cracks, chips, and breaks there are mobile units that can replace an entire windshield. This is ideal as a safe alternative to recklessly attempting to drive to a garage with a broken windshield. It also saves you the unnecessary expense of having it towed.

Professional Care

Mobile windshield repair units are staffed by the same qualified professionals that would service your vehicle if brought to the garage. This means that even though your car may be receiving windshield repairs or replacements while parked in your driveway or parking lot the work is being performed by those most qualified to provide the service.

Auto Insurance

With windshield repairs being performed by professionals, the work is covered by most auto insurance. Most auto insurances only require that repairs be performed by qualified professionals in order for them to be covered, and though many insurance companies will recommend a particular mechanic or repair station many states, such as North Carolina guarantee that the customer can choose their own service provider. If the provider you choose to service your car for a windshield repair has a mobile repair unit then you can take advantage of that service assuming there is no stipulation that the service be performed in a garage.

Will My Auto Insurance Cover Me If I’m in an Accident Out of State?

One of the best parts of living in the United States is the fact that we can, any time we want to, hop behind the wheel of our car and drive to destinations unknown to see any of the 50 states. Nobody’s going to ask for a passport, nobody’s going to ask what you’re doing. They’re just going to smile, wave and drive on. But is your auto insurance going to make sure you’re protected when you slip across state lines?

The good news is, nine times out of ten the answer to that is going to be yes. In the eyes of most auto repair shops American auto insurance is American auto insurance, and as long as your insurance carrier decides to ante up when it’s time to pay the bill they don’t care which state you happen to be from. You’re pretty much free to come and go as you please.

There are, however, a couple of things you need to know about driving out of state. First and foremost, every state has a different minimum driving age. While you can get a permit when you’re fifteen (and a half) in Virginia you have ot wait until you’re sixteen in New York, which means driving around with a VA Learner’s Permit up north is asking for trouble. Other states enforce strict curfews for drivers under 18. If you have a new driver in the house, make sure you check out the rules of the road before you go traveling.

How much liability insurance are you carrying? Technically you’re not required to meet the minimum liability coverage requirements of another state just because you happen to be driving through it, but you are still going to be responsible for any damages above and beyond your maximum coverage levels-and most judges really, really hate dealing with out of state drivers. Not your fault, there are just some people that like to roll through town and cause trouble and leave everybody else to deal with the consequences.

Regardless, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of your life paying damages to an out of state court. That means you want to make sure your liability coverage is geared up and and ready to handle whatever life (or the California by-ways) happen to toss your way. Most experts suggest that you carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident in liability auto insurance to cover any auto insurance claims that happen to pop up, regardless of what part of the country you happen to call home.

Your auto insurance company is one of the most important resources you’re going to have when you start traveling, so make sure it’s ready. Then kick back and enjoy your vacation. You’ve earned it.

Tire Insurance: Myths and Facts About Road Hazard Policies

Insurance–it’s everywhere. One can insure just about anything. Are tires an investment one needs to insure? Tire insurance, also called a road hazard policy, road hazard warranty, or tire reimbursement plan, is a rapidly growing industry in the automotive world.

Tire warranty plans pay in full or in part for the replacement or repair of damaged tires and/or rims from “road hazards.” Road hazards are defined as pot holes, debris, nails, wood, and other hazards found in the road. Curbs, sidewalks, and stone walls are not road hazards. This is an important distinction to consider when deciding if tire insurance is right for you (discussed further ahead).

Tire plans last for a specific period of time and tire wear tread-depth. Some plans last 2-3 years. Others can last 5 years or 60,000 miles. Several plans come with fixed amounts of coverage: $500 per year up to 4 years. Many contracts require three years of law school to comprehend. In terms of tread depth, a tire is usually considered worn out (and thus the plan null and void) at 2/32 to 3/32 of an inch.

Another important distinction is in the type of plan.

Tire reimbursement plans are just what they say. You, the plan holder, will be reimbursed after the claims process is finalized–usually 2-8 weeks. There is an out-of-pocket expense. These plans are often sold by new car dealerships. The prices can range from $300 to $600 dollars.

Road hazard policies operate similarly to reimbursement plans. However, some tire insurance providers, in partnership with the repair facility, may have a direct-pay relationship. Thus, there would be no out-of-pocket expense, except for applicable deductibles, and items not covered in part or in full. These plans are primarily sold by tire dealers and repair shops. The prices range from $10 to $30 per tire. They also can be based on a percentage of the cost of the tire: usually 12% to 15%.

Both types of plans have a number of variables, requiring a magnifying glass to read the fine print. Also, many are pro-rated warranties, covering only a percentage of the cost of the tire based on its wear.

Claims and Coverage

Depending on the plan, claims are initiated by the repair shop. The process is fairly smooth, although there can be a significant delay from the provider for authorization. This delay may be an hour or an entire weekend. This means that you’ll have to “ok” the tire replacement, and then hope it’s authorized for the full amount, or drive on your spare.

Some plans offer national coverage either among their service facilities or from other repair centers. Claims procedures will vary. Others only provide local coverage, or coverage at the selling facility.

Limitations

Tire insurance does not mean that everything is covered. Pro-rated warranties are based on the wear and tear of the tire. You may get 75%, 50%, or only 10% coverage depending on the tread-depth. You’ll pay the remainder. While there are plans that offer full coverage, even these have limitations, or they may conflict with a repair shop’s policies.

For example, many plans allow for a maximum of $30 to mount and balance one tire, and a maximum of $15 to repair a tire. However, sport tires often have significantly higher mounting and balancing fees–upwards of $50 per tire–and tire repair prices can exceed $90. There are also discrepancies on the tire and rim prices themselves, which in the end, may have to be supplemented by the service customer.

Although there usually is not an issue with the latter given the competitive market, the service center’s price mark up may be unacceptable to the plan provider. In this case, the service center needs to lower the price or you, the service customer, need to pay the difference–or go somewhere else. This does happen!

Rim Replacement and Repair

Rim replacement is becoming less frequent. With the high cost of aluminum wheels and sport wheel packages, tire insurers have opted to have them repaired. Repair will only be done if the rim does not hold air. What this means is that even if the rim is warped–enough to cause a vibration and even premature tire wear–they won’t replace it. Rather, they will send it out to be straightened and repaired.

Rims are replaced only if the damage is so extensive that the new tire, when mounted on the rim, won’t hold air. However, even in this case, especially if it’s an expensive sport wheel, they may still attempt to repair it.

Repairing rims is a bad option. While some rim repair is acceptable, badly warped or damaged rims will in no way ever be the same.

Alignments

If a car hits a road hazard hard enough, such as a pot hole, it’s wise to have the alignment checked. Road hazard policies and tire reimbursement plans do not cover alignments. The service customer will have to pay for this procedure.

Road Hazard Protection Positives

Some plans include tire rotations, wheel balancing, and nationwide coverage.

Myths

Can I pop all 4 tires and get a new set of tires?

You can try. But this type of claim will trigger a number of red flags with the insurer. The policy holder will likely send out adjusters and/or require photographs. You will also have a difficult time explaining how a “road hazard” caused all 4 tire pop.

New tires come with a warranty.

New tires do come with a warranty by the tire manufacturer (Michelin, Yokohama, Goodyear…etc), but not a road hazard warranty. The warranty by the tire manufacturer only covers defects in workmanship. New tire warranties do not cover punctures or damages from external sources. This is why “road hazard” protection is being pushed.

New tires are rarely defective. If there is a problem, it’s usually noticed when balancing the tire. Or, there is a drivability concern such as vibration or noise. If there’s a defect it’s generally caught right away, and the tire swapped out.

It’s so cheap; it’s a no-brainer, right?

Actually, the experts don’t agree with this statement.

The Economics of Tire Warranties

An article from the Washington Post by Terence O’Hara explains the economics of extended warranties and purchase protection plans in general. It is quite fitting for road hazard warranties. He writes:

The decision to buy an extended warranty…defies the recommendations of economists, consumer advocates and product quality experts, who all warn that the plans rarely benefit consumers and are nearly always a waste of money.

‘[Extended warranties or purchase protection plans] make no rational sense,’ Harvard economist David Cutler said. ‘The implied probability [of having an issue with the product] has to be substantially greater than the risk that you can’t afford to fix it or replace it. If you’re buying a $400 item, for the overwhelming number of consumers that level of spending is not a risk you need to insure under any circumstances.’

In short, road hazard warranties are a waste of money. Don’t insure that which you can afford to replace.

Numbers Game and Slim Chances

Like all insurance, tire insurance plans are a numbers game. However, this is a game you have a 98% chance of losing. Insider statistics show that the percentage of claims paid out by providers is as low a 2%.

Curbs

Another interesting note is that a lot of tire damage is caused by curbs. Curb damage is not covered under most road hazard policies. High granite curbs with sharp edges slice through tens of thousands of tires per year.

You Won’t Notice

Many people don’t even notice tire damage. Other than to see if the tires are holding air, who “really” looks at tires? Tires are subject to a whole host of external influences which cause bubbles, slices and gouges. Despite the potential dangers of damaged tires, the damage very often does not translate into any noticeable drivability issue. The point is that if you don’t notice any tire damage you can’t benefit from the coverage.

Research Shows

Those raving about the benefits of a road hazard policy are the actual folks in the industry who stand to benefit from the sale. They’ll argue that it’s so cheap–only $10 to $20 per tire. Even so, for four tires, that’s $80 based on the “possibility,” the “chance,” of damaging a tire that meets the repair/replacement requirement protocols.

Auto Insurance

If a rim and tire has incurred significant damage, it’s quite likely that other problems have resulted as well. The first is that the vehicle may have been jarred out of alignment. Secondly, hub bearings, front end components: tie rods, spindles, ball joints, and a variety of other components may have sustained damage. In this case, auto insurance, which you are already paying for, will pay for everything–brand new.

Free Road Hazard Warranties

Many tires come with road hazard warranties FREE. In other words, in an effort to secure retailers, many tire distributors provide service centers FREE road hazard insurance. Some shops pass this on to their tire customers, others sell them. Ask if the tire “comes” with a road hazard protection policy. If not, request that one be provided at no additional charge. It’s worth a shot.

Also, some car manufacturers provide road hazard warranties FREE of charge for 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you’re buying a new car or even used, ask that the dealer provide a complimentary road hazard policy (after all the wheeling and dealing is done, of course), and just before you commit.

What’s the best road hazard policy?

Money in your bank account.

It’s Spring, There Is a Hail Storm – Hail Damage Repair Information

Luckily for car owners without garages, most hail storms do not cause body damage to cars until the hail is larger than ½ inch in diameter. Even then, it takes bigger hail than that to cause significant damage. The first thing that happens after a hail storm is car dealers offer Hail Sales and hail repair outfits pop up like mushrooms after a rain.

  1. Hail Sales offer damaged cars at prices well below book value. However, the real result is that car dealers simply make bigger commissions and sell more cars. Any car sold with unrepaired damage means that the damage was either too severe or too expensive to be worth fixing. Every car that a dealer can fix before sale with Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) will have been fixed already.
  2. Repainting a car after PDR or other hail damage removal adds extra costs. PDR works well for small dents where the dent has no cracked paint within the dent.
  3. Dents to large for PDR to repair must be handled at a conventional auto shop and the repairs will need to be painted and finished.
  4. Large or deep dents or those where the metal is very stretched or even cracked require a body shop repair job. Deep dents that break the paint will result in rust to the metal body of the car if left unrepaired.
  5. Some insurance companies pay car owners the amount on its estimate, regardless of whether the owner gets the repairs done or not. Keeping the insurance money without fixing it is legal but choosing to leave damage unrepaired can impact your ability to get full-coverage insurance on the car. It can also affect the amount you get for future repairs or similar damage since future occurrences will be excluded from the coverage.
  6. Having a car’s hail damage repaired using insurance money does result in the repair being listed on the CarFax vehicle report from that point onward. This helps insurance companies avoid bogus damage claims and also is used by car buyers to know the damage and repair history of their potential vehicle.
  7. Owners who choose to leave it unrepaired may find the cost of the hail damage deducted from damage claims later in the life of the car. Document any repairs to hail damage to ensure future claims are paid in full.
  8. If you own your car outright, you need to decide how long you plan to own the car and how important the repair is to you. If you have a car that has little value and plan to drive it until it dies, there is not much point in repairing hail damage.
  9. If you have an active loan on your car, your lien holder will probably require verification that the damage was fixed. In some cases, they might allow you to apply the hail damage repair check to the balance of your car loan.
  10. Get damage estimates and compare that with the claim payout offer minus your deductible before making a decision about filing an insurance claim.
  11. The insurance company may “total out” an older car with only relatively minor hail damage simply because the vehicle has less useful life remaining. Motorcycles can handle very little hail damage before insurance companies consider them a total loss.

When checking for hail damage or getting an insurance estimate, make sure to check windshields for cracks and chips. If glass is involved, get that repaired and make sure the permanent seals along windshield and rear window edges are properly repaired and set, too.