Archive for August, 2010
Getting your vehicle repaired after it has been involved in an accident or it just isn’t operating correctly is important. In many instances the vehicle can’t be driven until the necessary repairs have been completed. Yet many people are wary about this type of service because you don’t really know the quality of the work that you are getting. If you need to get your vehicle repaired it is important to do some checking before you take your vehicle to anyone.
If the vehicle is drivable you should attempt to get at least three written estimates. Body shops and repair shops will do this for you free of charge. They will give you an itemized list of the necessary repairs and the cost of them. Make sure you ask about the length of time it will take for them to complete the work as well. Once you get home carefully review all of the estimates. You should see the same items on there in the category of materials and likely some price differences for the labor.
If you notice that one of the estimates for vehicle repairs is much more than the others you may want to ask them why. It could be that they offer better quality products and your car will look nicer or run better when they are done then if you let one of the other businesses do the work. However, it is also possible that they are attempting to scam you and the estimate contains pricing for work that really doesn’t have to be done.
Find out how long a particular shop has been in business. Longevity generally means they have a good reputation for doing quality work. Ask about the experience of their employees so you can get a good idea of what their level of expertise is. You can check online with the Better Business Bureau as well to find out if the repair service has any complaints filed against them.
Most quality vehicle repair service centers will stand behind the quality of their work. You want to choose a shop that has a policy in place that they will guarantee the work for a specific amount of time. This way if you aren’t happy with it or the repairs don’t hold up you won’t have to pay for them again. Even if the cost of the initial repairs were covered by an insurance company you don’t want to have to deal with poor quality work on your vehicle.
Ask your friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations as well. Chances are some of them have had to use a vehicle repair or collision service at some point. They can tell you who they went to and the quality of the work. Ask them if they would go back to that business in the future for such needs as well.
You really can’t avoid having to go to a vehicle repair or collision shop if the need arises. However, you can do your part to ensure you are getting quality service at an affordable price. Most of us rely on your vehicles too much to simply trust the work to just anyone.
Automotive Collision Center Inc.
8201 Washington Blvd. Jessup MD 20794
Teenagers have a profound impact on those auto insurance rates of yours. There are ways to help keep those rates lower when junior decides he wants to start driving though. Here are five tips to surviving the long haul of your teenager being on your auto insurance policy.
1. Younger kids get older cars
New cars are expensive on that auto insurance budget. This is usually due to the coverage that has to be carried on that sleek new ride. This might not be the best type of car for your new driver in the family.
The teenager might be asking for a fast sporty car, but in reality, they really need to be learning with an older sedan. Older cars often need less coverage than newer cars. Getting a sedan also helps with that monthly auto insurance bill as sedans often come with the “not going to play speed racer” stigma.
2. Scholarly rates are a win-win situation
Some auto insurance companies will give discounts for good grades. This is due to many scholars performing many studies. These studies have found that students with good grades are often involved in fewer accidents and acquire few traffic violations. Not only do you get the benefits of cheaper insurance, but you get a rocket scientist as a benefit.
3. How do you define that teenager?
How you define your teenager can have a drastic impact on your auto insurance. When you are adding little missy to your policy, you might be asked if they are an occasional driver or the primary driver. The answer to this question means the difference between steak or rammen noodles for dinner.
This also means that the teenager might need to drive the family car if they are defined as a hobby driver. Your teenager might be on the constant go, but they don’t need to be the only driving amongst their friends. Teach your kids the value of sharing the driving responsibilities.
4. Make them pay
Parents don’t have to take on the burden of everything their kids do. If your kid wants to drive, now might be the prime opportunity to start teaching them budgeting skills. Make that kid pay some sort of auto insurance to you.
This doesn’t have to be drastic. Remember, you want them doing important things like learning in school and developing good money habits. One of the most common practices is to make your kids pay the difference in auto insurance rates when you add them to your policies.
5. Take more than just driver’s education courses
Driver’s education just gave your teenager the basics they needed to get driving. It might be time for them to consider more education. Defensive driving and road rage classes are a plenty these days. Have your teenage successfully complete these types of courses and watch your auto insurance premiums return to your bank accounts.
Teenagers already cost you an arm and a leg in that weekly grocery bill. Don’t let them suck your bank account dry with the auto insurance premiums as well. Teach your kids good driving techniques on the road and enjoy that extra money in your pocket.
Automotive Collision Center Inc.
8201 Washington Blvd. Jessup MD 20794
The key phrase here is “out of town drivers.” If you are driving across the country, you will travel through states that see no taxes from you. This means that in the unfortunate event that you cause an accident, the cost to deal with this accident are harder to recoup. This is where the crash tax comes in.
A crash tax would be a fine that municipalities can charge to the auto insurance companies. It doesn’t matter where you live when you get in that accident. The municipality would bill your auto insurance company some fine for the rescue work that was provided.
As it stands right now, most counties pay for emergency response situations from local taxes. When an out of town driver causes an accident, the money comes out of local taxpayer pockets. You can see where this debate starts to take off.
Many organizations will point out that a crash tax does not fit nicely with existing liability or medical payment policies. If you are required to start carrying auto insurance to cover these crash taxes, just imagine what your auto insurance rates would look like.
Some states have already come out and banned this crash tax all together. Those that have not are still considering how to handle the costs of crashes caused by foreign drivers. As states and counties look to recover for budget downfalls, don’t be surprised if this issue keeps resurfacing.
Now you have a better understanding of how crash taxes might have ties to your auto insurance rates. Talk with your agent and find out how the local municipalities might be driving your rates up. You might be shocked at just how much a car accident really costs.
Automotive Collision Center Inc.
8201 Washington Blvd. Jessup MD 20794
Maryland has certain coverage levels for auto insurance that are required by law. For instance, the bodily injury liability coverage must be 20,000/40,000 minimum. Most people choose 100,000/300,000 so this is not a hard number to reach. The same requirement is in place for uninsured motorist bodily injury, but again, most people choose a much higher coverage amount.
Medical payments are not required under Maryland auto insurance, but the majority of individuals choose to have some coverage in place. Collision is also not required but many people choose to have that coverage in place with a deductible. In addition, comprehensive coverage is not a requirement either although most drivers like to have that coverage.
Before choosing Maryland auto insurance, here are a few tips and tricks to help you make a good decision:
• Visit the Maryland department of insurance website. Most state’s publish information about the various insurance carriers in their area. You can compare the ratio of complaints against a company to help you make the right choice.
• Check the J.D. Power ratings. This company compiles data from individual policyholders across the United States and then rates each company based on factors such as claims handling, coverage options, pricing and customer satisfaction.
• Compare prices: Of course you will have compared prices early on in your selection process. However, compare them again after you have all of the necessary information in place about each company. Remember that price is not the only factor that you should consider when it comes to buying Maryland auto insurance.
• Ask body shops: This is one way to find out who are the best auto insurance companies to do business with. Ask body shop workers who they recommend. This is because they work with insurance adjusters on a regular basis and know who has the smoothest claims processes. They also know which companies actually pay when they promise.
Finding Maryland auto insurance does not have to be difficult. In fact, the process can be seamless if you take the time to do all of the necessary research before making your choice. Do business with reputable, highly regarded companies and you will almost always be happy with your selection in the end.
Jessup, MD 20794
Staged traffic accidents are on the rise, endangering the lives and boosting the car insurance rates of innocent drivers who may unwittingly think they’re at fault.
Questionable claims from staged accidents increased 46.3 percent from 2007 through 2009, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, a nonprofit agency in Des Plaines, Ill., funded by 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies nationwide to fight car insurance fraud and vehicle theft.
According to the NICB, the top five staged accident states for the period were Florida, 3,006; New York, 1,680; California, 1,619; Texas, 792; and Illinois, 433. The five cities with the most staged accident questionable claims were New York, 1,304; Tampa, Fla., 562; Miami, 511; Orlando, Fla., 422; and Houston, 376. (See videos of three common staged accidents below.)
“Swoop and Squat”
Auto insurance fraud added $4.8 billion to $6.8 billion to auto injury claim payments in 2007, according to the Insurance Research Council’s November 2008 study “Fraud and Buildup in Auto Injury Insurance Claims: 2008 Edition.” NICB investigations in Florida, New York and California uncovered sophisticated, multistate rings that included the staged accident participants as well as doctors, chiropractors, lawyers and even body shop owners that profited from the car insurance scam.
“A lot of these are $1 million-plus claims cases,” says Roger Morris, NICB chief communications officer. “That’s what they’re in this for, the medical side of it. You can see $200,000 in claims before you know it.”
Multiple claims for one accident
One common element runs though most staged accidents. The “victim” vehicle will contain three or four passengers who will file medical claims against the victim’s car insurance company in addition to a car damage claim.
“Left Turn Drive Down”
Staged accidents are most common in “no-fault” states such as Florida and New York, where the insured stager can collect for bodily injury from their own car insurance company through their personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage.
Morris says the stagers often target young women and older adult drivers as they enter or exit a shopping mall or parking garage. If you are talking on a cell phone or appear otherwise distracted while driving, you’re a perfect mark.
“There will be somebody sitting there at the curb and you pull up and they will wave you on by. The next thing you know, you’re getting blocked and then getting clobbered,” he says. “Don’t always assume that it was an accident; it may well have been deliberate.”
“Right Turn Drive Down”
The NICB trains law enforcement and special investigations units of car insurance companies to recognize the patterns of staged accidents. “When they see multiple people going to the same clinic and multiple claims from one accident, that’s what they need to look for,” Morris says.
We also handle many commercial accounts, as well as our local government’s vehicles. We repair for some of the community’s leading companies and businesses Automotive and Collision Inc. Cares Our staff is experienced in all aspects of repair. Our management and customer service representatives work hard to determine how to meet our customers’ needs to the fullest, and our collision technicians are certified to provide the best quality repairs. We seek to exceed expectations, performing exceptional repairs and refinishes to restore vehicles to pre-accident condition. We work with all insurance companies and are a direct repairs facility for some of the leading insurance companies in the nation. Customers have the right to choose who they want to repair their vehicle—it’s the law. When a major accident occurs and an insurance company deems their vehicle a total loss, they will have no worries. Automotive and Collision Inc. Guarantee THIS CERTIFICATE assures the repairs to which you and “Automotive and Collision Center, Inc. ” have agreed on Repair Order No. __________ have been completed. We guarantee the work performed at “Automotive and Collision Center, Inc.” so long as said vehicle shall remain under the present ownership. Items on the repair order, such as Sublet Work or Sublet Labor, are subject to the guarantee of those suppliers. This warranty shall only apply if the defects occurred under normal driving conditions and not where any vehicle has been subjected to accidents, negligence, abuse or misuse. Specifically excluded from this written warranty are rust coming through the metal, scratches and gravel marks acquired from driving conditions. This is a fragmented, four part Written Warranty, and specific additional stipulations pertaining to each fragmented part are stated hereafter:Metal Work:
“Automotive and Collision Center, Inc.” provides a Lifetime Written Warranty against defective workmanship to include welding and the application of materials utilized in making collision repairs against cracking, flaking, pitting or deterioration. The Shop will, at its sole option, repair and re-paint any metalwork warranted hereby.Painting, Stripes and Decals:
“Automotive and Collision Center, Inc.” provides a Lifetime Written Warranty on painting-related priming and painting work against solvent blistering, peeling, hazing and excessive loss of pigmentation; and, a One (1) Year Written Warranty on the application and adhesion of decorative stripes and decals, excluding defects which are caused by extreme environmental conditions to which the vehicle may be exposed. The Shop will, at its sole option, re-prime, re-paint, re-stripe or re-decal the specific section or sections of the vehicle warranted hereby. Paint Warranty is valid only when paint is applied over original factory finishes that are free of defect.Mechanical Repairs:
“Automotive and Collision Center, Inc.” provides a One (1) Year Written Warranty on all mechanical repairs pertaining directly to original collision damage, excluding suspension, air conditioning or other electrical assemblies or components. The Shop will, at its sole option, re-repair any mechanical assembly or component warranted hereby.
“Automotive and Collision Center, Inc.” guarantees that parts or materials used are of the first quality. Those parts or materials are subject to the guarantee of that supplier. We will assist you in handling any claim under the supplier’s guarantee. We guarantee that used parts or other than original equipment manufactured parts were not used without authorization from you as noted on the Repair Order.
SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED are incidental costs, such as towing fees, car rental charges, travel expenses or assemblies and components which are not specifically covered by this WRITTEN WARRANTY, nor are consequential damages such as damage to other assemblies and components resulting from a defective part or installation of such part installed or repaired during the repair included in this WRITTEN WARRANTY.
This WRITTEN WARRANTY shall not be varied, supplemented, qualified or interpreted by any prior course of dealings.
This WRITTEN WARRANTY shall be null and void if the repair is altered, adjusted or tampered with by any person not authorized by the above named shop. This warranty is not transferable
8201 Washington Blvd.
Jessup, MD 20794