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Do I Need a Florida FR-44 Or SR-22 If I Got a DUI?

Let me first start by defining what a Florida FR-44 and SR-22 are and then we can decide which one you really need. If you got a DUI in the state of Florida most likely you need to file either an FR-44 or SR-22.

An SR-22 is a form used by insurance companies to ensure the driver is meeting state liability limits. Florida auto insurance companies submit this form electronically to Florida’s Bureau of Financial Responsibility for those drivers that are mandated to submit this proof of insurance. The state requires you to carry minimum liability limits of $10k in bodily injury per person and $10k in property damage. Drivers who are required to carry an SR-22 generally pay more due to the nature of the traffic violation. In addition to the extra premium for the offense you will also pay a $15 filing fee to submit the SR-22.

The state of Florida may also require you to file an FR-44 which is similar to an SR-22 only it has higher minimum liability requirements. The minimum liability requirements are ten times that of the states minimum requirements at $100k per person and $50k property damage. The cost to file the FR-44 is $15 just like the SR-22 but your overall cost to get insured will increase due to the nature of the traffic violation and the increased liability limits. This form is referred to as Florida Uniform Financial Responsibility Certificate FR-44 or just FR-44 for short. You must maintain this filing for three years but there are no driving restrictions associated with the FR-44.

Now that we understand what each type of form is and the requirements each possess let’s look at which one you need if you are convicted of a DUI in Florida. Effective October 1, 2007 Florida Statutes increased the required liability insurance for bodily injury in those circumstances where a person has been convicted of driving under the influence. Basically if you have been convicted of a DUI after such stated date you will need to file an FR-44 Form instead of an SR-22. The only difference between the two forms is if you were convicted of a DUI in the state of Florida it now requires higher liability limits on your auto policy.

Junk Car Removal – The Easiest Car Disposal Solution

For many, contacting a junk car removal service is the best car disposal solution. You can contact a local towing company but you’ll have better results using a nationwide car removal service. Not only is it fast and hassle free this way, but they buy junk cars and pay top dollar for them. Even car scrap yards will not pay as much.

Most local car towing companies are picky and may not accept vehicles in any condition or every make and model. A national service is also more able to help you through the process. They have arrangements with towing companies throughout the United States and Canada. They will buy any vehicle, in absolutely any condition at any location no questions asked.

The main benefit of going with a national car removal company is their ability to pay top dollar for your junk vehicle. Not only do they buy cars and pay well, but you’ll receive a quote for your car over the phone before a car pick up is even scheduled. They’ll line up a buyer for your vehicle, line up vehicle towing to meet your schedule, then pay you.

Here are the main benefits of a national car removal service.

  • Fast and reliable service. You know they’re not too busy to pickup your vehicle.
  • Any condition, year, make and model are accepted and paid for.
  • A title is not required before 1995.
  • There’s no charge for pickup or disposal, you actually get paid well.

Here’s how it works. First you have a problem and need to arrange some form of car disposal to get rid of your junk or used car that won’t work, or won’t sell. Next you’re going to look for a junk car removal company that pays cash for junk cars such as the one at the bottom of this article. Once you contact them they’ll ask you a few questions about your car or truck and give you a quote right over the phone. If you accept the quote they’ll send over a car towing company to tow your car and you’ll get paid.

Now that you know how it works, don’t worry about how to get your car to the vehicle salvage yard. Contact the Junk Car Removal service below today and get paid for your car that doesn’t work or won’t sell in any condition.

Brief History of Magnet Power Permanent Generators and Applications Today

The concept of electromagnetic power generating electricity has been around for over 100 years in the United States! In reality, a man by the name of Wesley Gary invented what is accepted to be the first self powered magnetic motor in 1874. In 1877 Mr. Gary obtained the first U.S. Patent for the magnetic motor. Mr. Gary identified an energy source, but quite frankly, couldn’t explain it , other than the fact that it existed. In 1925 Hans Coler, a German inventor produced a 10 watt magnetic motor and in 1937, operating for Hitler’s army Coler produced 6 kilowatts of electricity with a magnetic motor using a simple battery as the input power. Hitler’s generals were so intrigued by the motor that they provided funding for the project for the remainder of the war. After WWII Coler cooperated with British intelligence showing his blueprints of the magnetic motor. All this information was considered top secret until released by the British government. An inventor by the name of Howard Johnson prepared the stage for U. S. Patents in the 1970’s and 80’s of magnetic motors claimed to go 100,000 miles on 2 pounds of a mixture of deuterium and gallium, both substances in great quantity throughout the entire world. Greyhound Bus was rumored to install a magnet motor into one of their busses, but this never came about. Rumor has it that Mr. Johnson packed all his equipment and hastily left for California. Years afterward, Greyhound was notified that Mr. Johnson had prematurely died. Well, surprise, surprise!! An acquaintance of Mr. Johnson’s attempted to convince Greyhound to install one of the motors again, but this time they were stopped by red tape in Illinois, with the explanation that too much tax revenue would be lost should this knowledge ever get out!! And, oh, by the way, there was a gag order from guess who…. The United States government to end production of these devices!

Today, energy is so directly related to our lives that we can’t think of a world without it. This never before commercialized energy source is known as the Quantum Vacuum, sometimes referred to as the Zero Point Field, which exists everywhere in the universe. A zero point magnetic power generator is basically a boundless energy generator. It runs by itself, indefinitely devoid of stopping, hence creating completely free electrical energy, which can fully power your home, office or business for free. It produces free energy indefinitely, runs by itself, without having to need a third-party device or resource to power it. This will undoubtedly be the energy of tomorrow. Part of the reason it’s seriously being considered today is the current energy emergency, plus the generator is eco-friendly.

The generator powers itself and creates energy by itself, without requiring solar energy, heat, water, coal or any other kind of resource. Experts predict that the magnetic power generator will be the energy of the future and by 2020 energy companies will begin implementing this technology in order to generate cheaper and more environmental friendly energy. Most of the sources of energy today are non-renewable and are getting rapidly depleted from the depths of the earth. As an alternative, this form of energy is generated in an environmentally friendly manner that does utterly no harm at all. Zero Point magnetic energy is, simply stated, energy formed using the perpetual motion that is created by magnets. Zero Point magnetic energy is the achievement of harnessing the energy created by this perpetual motion. Because the perpetual motion CREATES more energy than it USES -that added energy can be funneled to other, outside devices or machines -(Like refrigerators, washing machines, and homes in general). Scientists and technologists have turned to renewable sources of energy to suit the needs of the world. This is where magnetic energy generators come to our rescue. The magnetic energy generator can be used to generate power anywhere and universally. A magnetic generator can fulfill the energy requirements of your complete home without any need of being fueled. It utilizes the magnetic properties of the magnets which are existing inside the generator to produce energy. The downside to this technology is there presently is no way to regulate it and charge for it, thus it has been suppressed by oil companies, utility companies, automobile companies and OPEC as well. All free energy devices have been suppressed by the corporate world because such devices would allow people to create their own energy for free, which would ultimately shut down the big energy corporations.

Calculate Pain And Suffering The Right Way And Settle Your Car Accident

How to calculate pain and suffering? This is a difficult and controversial issue. When you are in a car accident, the insurance company wants to get a written document that releases any and all claims against the person that caused your damages and injuries. To get that release, the insurance

adjuster must compensate you adequately.

You are entitled to special damages (medical bills, wage loss, medicine, etc.) and general damages (pain and suffering, loss of consortium, physiological injuries, etc.) Most of the time, calculating the Special Damages is not very difficult and there is not much debate over the value of the medical bills, wage loss, and other medical expenses. You can add them all up and submit your receipts. However, calculating general damages, which includes pain and suffering, can be very difficult.

How much is your headache worth? Depends who you ask. If you ask the insurance adjuster, she will tell you about $5. If I ask you, then it is probably worth much more than that.

Personal injury attorneys use the medical bills or all “special damages” as a way to calculate general damages. Some multiply the medical bills by two, other by three or even four times (depends in your

jurisdiction). This is only a rule of thumb. The insurance adjuster will fight you and will tell you that that is not an accurate way to calculate pain and suffering. There are no laws that will give you a formula to calculate the value of the injury.

Simply multiplying your medical bills will not yield an accurate number. You could have an injury with medical bills of $2,000 but the pain and suffering be worth much more than three or even four times that value. For example, a fifteen year old girl that suffers a cut in her face, leaving a scar from her eye to her chin. Medical bills for stitches and cleaning the wound might not be very much, but the psychological injury of growing up with such injury could be worth much more.

Multiplying the medical bills is not very accurate when assessing the value of pain and suffering, however it can guide you. Remember that there are many more claim than just “pain and suffering” in a car accident. You can ask for loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, loss of quality of life, etc. For a detailed list and explanation of each type of claim, visit http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/bodily-injury-claim.html. All of these claims can add to a lot of money. Most people forget to ask for any of those types of damages. Insurance companies do not explain the process and they just want a release for any and all claims, including all those damages you forgot or did know to ask for. Insurance companies do this on purpose. Be aware.

Insurance adjusters are ready to tell you that the value of the injury is separated from the accident itself. They are trained to argue that they are settling for the neck pain, not the fact that the total loss settlement

was low. They try to narrow the scope of the settlement. For example, they will tell you that the fact that the driver that hit was drunk is not accounted for because they are looking at pain and suffering. Your pain will not be more or less because someone else was drunk. If you were hit at the same speed and the

same conditions by a sober person, your pain and suffering would be the same (same impact, same injury).

The insurance adjuster would be correct; the pain would be the same. But remember that what the insurance company is doing is “buying your lawsuit”. Would the fact that a driver hit you while intoxicated increase the value a jury would award you? I think the answer is probably yes.

To get the most out for your pain and suffering, use the value of your medical bills, the circumstances surrounding the accident, the type of injury, similar cases jury awards, and all the bodily injury claims you

can make. Double check every argument the insurance adjuster is making. Make sure you are getting a fair treatment.

The Heart Of Car Parts

When a mechanic delivers the terrible news that the ‘engine’s gone’ or ‘completely seized’ most people would imagine that they have seen the death of their car even though the rest of the car might be perfect. When you consider that driving for any distance without noticing that the oil light has been on – or simply ignoring it – can lead to that drastic diagnosis then car demise isn’t so far away.

Although the engine is the very heart of the car many ordinary drivers don’t realise that replacing an entire engine isn’t quite as tricky as human surgery.

By using used car parts finders perfectly good reconditioned engines can be found for most makes of car wherever you live. By using an internet search site that links to yards up and down the country you may have a reasonably priced cure on hand with breaker yards competing to give you the best prices on all their used car parts.

Many cars that make their way to breaker’s yards have been involved in heavy accidents – which may have damaged body work and alignment but may not have touched the engine at all.

Depending on the car make and model, with the right tools, equipment and know-how fitting an entire engine can be a far more straight forward task than many seemingly lesser car parts. Taking the engine apart to rebuild it will certainly be more time consuming even if that is an option.

Because of the robust nature and precision build of most modern engines they are often unaffected by the damage that goes on around them destroying other less robust car parts. The age and condition of the second-hand engine can be assessed before it is bought.

Once an engine has been replaced and run-in there is no reason why the car shouldn’t continue to give years of reliable service. In some cases if an older engine has been changed the reconditioned engine may be better than the previous one.

Car dismantlers see an array of engines all the time and by utilising a specialised internet search site for used car parts you can get access to a huge number of second hand and reconditioned engines.

The loss of an engine does not have to mean the death of the car and may even mark the start of a new and more efficient chapter for it if the old engine was the cause of the problems. The replacement engine from a car dismantler may have be the new heart that the car needed.

Are Seat Covers Necessary For Suitable Car Protection?

After they get it out on the road, individuals who buy cars of any kind are oftentimes worried about exactly how to maintain their look. There are certainly a lot of risks associated with driving and parking your car outdoors. Most people’s concerns are about keeping the outside of their car looking shiny and fresh, and that makes sense as a consequence. You have to look at this issue from another side, though.

The outside might be what a lot of owners and car admirers focus on, but you must also think about exactly how you plan to keep your car’s interior clean too. Car owners are the primary watchers of what goes on inside a car’s interior and exactly how it ultimately looks. And if you commute to work like a lot of individuals do, there’s a lot that can go wrong, in terms of keeping your car’s insides clean.

If you like coffee, for example, what is the probability that you’ll be able to go through every single morning without managing to spill it on a car seat, even though it’s only a drop or two? Probably not much, especially if you’re hurrying. Simultaneously, if you ever go out to get fast food on the rush, you’ll likely end up having to dump the remains of your on-the-go lunch onto the backseat in lieu of actually throwing it out immediately. Oil can saturate into paper bags like they’re tissue paper. Guess where it’ll end up if you’ve just thrown it onto the backseat of your car?

To combat such problems, car seat covers are consequently a good option. They might be just the thing to ensure your actual seat covers remain clean, since they’re made of a selection of different fabrics and are able to endure much damage. Since it’s a lot easier merely to remove a dirty seat cover than to have your car reupholstered, this is vital for resale purposes in the future. If you’re ever considering reselling your car in the future, car seat covers are a certain lifesaver, as your probability of having to reupholster your car seats after using them is much lower. And for those with more eclectic tastes, seat covers will fit right into your life very easily. You could get them dotted or even zebra stripes. The decision is entirely yours.

Just keep in mind that with seat covers already set up, any clutter you make the next time you order fast food on the go shouldn’t be a problem at all. You can’t really fail with car seat covers for somebody with an on-the-go way of life.

Don’t Let Driver Exclusions Leave Your Insured Bare

Words can be a very powerful tool of communication, but it is important that the correct word is chosen to convey the correct information. One word can change the whole context of a sentence or a contract. It can also be the difference between whether your client has insurance coverage in a certain situation or not. When entering into an insurance policy contained in a “driver exclusion”, understanding the difference between the words contained in a “driver exclusion” is vital to ensure you fully understand the policy’s coverage, and can explain it to your prospect.

Since car dealerships can have many drivers, some with undesirable driving records, insurance companies many require that a “driver exclusion” endorsement be added to the policy or a “driver restriction” becomes part of business practice. Basically, a driver exclusion is an endorsement added to an insurance policy which is signed by the policyholder and the individual named on the exclusion acknowledging that the insurance will not apply under certain circumstances described in the endorsement. It is important to note that the absence of coverage does not take away responsibility from the policyholder or the excluded driver if the excluded individual is involved in an accident. These forms can vary greatly among insurance companies. Each can have a different effect on an insurance policy and should be reviewed with by the policyholder with their agent and their attorney. Some states have determined that a driver exclusion endorsement continues to be effective into a renewal policy without executing a new endorsement. It is important to make sure that if an excluded employee’s driving record has improved that this is reviewed with the insurance agent any time during the policy period, and especially at time of policy renewal.

Because driver exclusions are effective in most states in changing insurance coverage, they are added to a policy by special endorsement and become part of the insurance policy. Although the titling of these endorsements is very similar, the wording contained in the endorsement can vary greatly and have a carrying effect on the coverage.

Some endorsements show titles such as “Driver Excluded”, “Driver Exclusion” and “Named Driver Exclusion.” Titles such as these would make you think they all would change your coverage the same exclude coverage for a specific employee. For the endorsement to be effective in its intent, it will also include wording eliminating coverage for the dealership and all named insureds. Let’s take a closer look at some of the endorsement wording to see how they may impact your client’s business. Remember, each claim situation and specific state laws and regulations many change our general explanations.

The following are excerpts from one driver exclusion endorsement. “The person indicated below is excluded from coverage.. when driving any motor vehicle… and this exclusion applies to all insureds.” This endorsement appears to remove coverage only when the person named in the endorsement is driving. But it refers to any motor vehicle and does not address ownership of the vehicle. This would lead the impression that the exclusion applies to the dealership’s vehicles, customer vehicles, vehicles owned by the named person and any other vehicle they may be driving and potentially involves the business.

Another driver exclusion contains the following: “The person designated… is excluded from any coverage… when operating any motor vehicle… applicable to all insureds of this policy… whether or not the operation as with expressed or implied permission…” This is similar to the previous example, but not exact. In this endorsement, they use the term “operating” instead of “driving” and add a condition about permissive use. Is “driving” different than “operating?” If one of the mechanics named in a driver exclusion is showing a customer why they are having a certain complaint with their car by starting their car, opening a door, hood or deck lid, will this be considered “operating?” If any of the mechanic’s actions cause damage to the customer and the insurance company considers his actions as “operating,” then will insurance coverage will not be provided for that incident. This endorsement sample has added wording addressing permissive use clarifying that giving an excluded driver permission to use a vehicle, or the excluded driver driving without permission, will not void the endorsement.

Although this next endorsement example does not specifically state that it will not cover the policyholder, it does state that this insurance does not apply and the assumption can be made that it will not apply to any insured when an excluded driver is involved in an accident. The following wording is quite different from the previous two examples and seems to broaden, beyond “driving” or “operating”, the types of situations that will not be covered. The wording is: “This insurance does not apply… arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use… This exclusion will also serve as a rejection of the Uninsured Motorist, Underinsured Motorist…and Personal Injury Protection…” In this situation, your client has a good employee with an unacceptable driving record and their insurance company is requiring this exclusion. Your client wants to keep the employee, realizing they are now excluded per the endorsement and reassigns them to detailing or washing vehicles. While performing their duties, they injure a customer. They may not have coverage if your client’s insurance company considers this “maintenance.”

The example endorsement wording contained in the above paragraphs is actual extractions from endorsements currently used by insurance companies that are writing insurance for auto dealerships and various garage businesses. These endorsements usually state that they modify insurance provided under the Garage Coverage Form and Business Auto Coverage Form. Both of these coverage forms contain coverages other than liability coverage, such as Garagekeepers Legal Liability, Physical Damage to inventory and other endorsements for Auto Med Pay, Uninsured Motorist, No Fault and many other optional coverages that can be effected by a driver exclusion endorsement. Advise your client to make sure their insurance agent tells them what coverage and endorsements will be effected by a driver exclusion endorsement.

Since a major part of your client’s business involves the use and driving of automobiles, a driver exclusion naming any of their key employees can have a significant effect on their daily business activities and financial stability if an excluded driver is involved in a not covered claim. What can you do to help your client avoid having driver exclusions added to their policy??

If your client asks their insurance agent to specifically find out why their insurance company wants to exclude an individual, your client along with the individual can determine if there is anything that can be done to remove the insurance company’s concern and avoid having the exclusion on their policy. Upon request, the insurance agent can research other insurance companies to determine if they will demand the same restrictions excluding certain drivers and verify any significant change in pricing. If the policyholder prefers to stay with their current insurance company, advise them to suggest a driver restriction form rather than a driver exclusion endorsement. Typically, a driver restriction form is not part of an insurance policy and does not affect coverage. It is used as a management and vehicle control tool in restricting the driving activities of selected employees that have undesirable driving records. The form requires the signature of the concerned employee and the policyholder, both agreeing to its terms. Depending on the individual’s position with the company and the types of driving violations, the form can restrict all driving or specifically list various situations describing when the individual is permitted to drive. This type of in-house agreement has been acceptable by some insurance companies in lieu of enforcing a driver exclusion endorsement.

Implementing a formal loss prevention program that includes a driver training program, encouraging defensive driving for employees and monitoring employee motor vehicle records may also help convince an insurance company to remove driver exclusion endorsements from a policy. In some situations, your client may also want to install GPS tracking devices allowing them to track their employees’ driving habits and destinations.

If any of these suggestions are successful in removing driver exclusion endorsements from your client’s insurance policy, they are worth yours, as well as your client’s efforts and cost in keeping their insurance company from eliminating coverage from them and named drivers. Their insurance company may still require driver exclusion endorsements for some individuals with very poor driving history. If this happens, advise the client to make sure the endorsement is limited in its restrictions and specifies the coverages effected.

Benefits of Magnaflow Mufflers

Muffler, which is commonly called silencer, is mainly a device which reduces the amount of noise made by a machine. It is mainly a part of the internal combustion engines. In fact the engine exhaust blows out through the muffler, thereby reducing the noise made by the combustion engine.

This particular device is installed along the exhaust pipe, as a part of the exhaust system of an internal combustion engine of a machine; and helps in reducing the exhaust noise. A muffler includes a resonating chamber which is specifically created to cause destructive interference, which helps the opposite sound waves to cancel out each other. The effects are mainly generated due to restriction, rather than due to cancellation.

There are many types of mufflers available in the auto industry. One of the most popular mufflers is certainly magnaflow muffler. Magnaflow muffler is usually a straight wide open muffler, with very much smooth and deep tones. This particular muffler is typically developed, to be one of the best products in the line of performance mufflers. Magnaflow muffler readily outdoes the OEM chamber style mufflers to an extent of 16%. The main benefits of this particular muffler are that it reduces engine heat and backpressure, and also improves the exhaust system of the combustion engine, at the same time. Magnaflow muffler also minimizes the effects of power robbing, and also restores torque and the horsepower of the engine, to a great extent.

It is not very difficult to install magnaflow muffler in your vehicle. All you need to do is connect the muffler to the connecting pipe. It would be easier to do, if you slip the exhaust hangers on the muffler, and into the hanging rubber, brushing first, then gently swing the rear section up, and just fix it to the connecting pipe. Then, simply tighten down the clamp provided with the muffler. After all is done, and then just check if all the fittings are tight enough, and if the tip of the muffler exits the bumper, straight ahead. All that is left to do now is to re-install the skid plate or the heat shield to your vehicle.

A Magnaflow muffler is available in a variety of styles and sizes, which provides it with the flexibility, to be applied with endless options. These mufflers are made out of stainless steel, and they provide high performance; and can be a style statement for your vehicle. The prices generally range from $119.94 to $125.94. With comparisons to other mufflers available in the market, magnaflow muffler can certainly be termed as one of the best performance mufflers.

The Pros and Cons of Driving a 50cc Moped

One of the most convenient, cheap and fun ways to get to work or school is by riding a small motorcycle such as a 50cc moped. These are just some of the reasons I think that they are so great for all sorts of people, whether you are getting to work or school.

The main pros of riding a moped:

  • Mopeds are cheap to buy. These little bikes are really cheap to buy. Often times you can get a used one for just a couple of hundred bucks if you look around. If you prefer to get a new one because you want reliability and the certainty of a warranty then you can still get a new one for pretty close to $1000, depending on the make and model you choose. Be careful however when you buy not to get one that is too cheap because some of the imported ones from places such as China have not yet earned reputations for reliability. Spare parts for these may also be hard to find. So it is often best to go with a solid European or Japanese brand such as Piaggio or Honda.
  • Mopeds are cheap to run: Mopeds generally seem to run on just the sniff of an oil rag. Their Little engines buzz along and burn very little fuel. I have found doing commuting every day to work that I spend just a few dollars filling up the tank once a week. That is party because the tank is so small. Mine holds just a few liters of gasoline (petrol for people from the UK) and goes all week between refills. They are also cheap to maintain. This is because their engines are really simple so it does not take a lot of work to open them up for maintenance or repairs. There is also not very much that can go wrong. And because they are so small you spend less on parts compared with a car or a big bike. They have only two wheels, so replacing tires does not cost too much. They have only one spark plug so that is also cheap an quick to change.
  • Mopeds are easy to ride: The other great thing about them is that they are usually really light and easy to ride. Most are “twist-and-go” bikes, which means you just turn the throttle to go and you do not have to worry about changing gears. This makes them perfectly suited to beginners. In many places such as Europe you do not have to take a special test to ride one. If you are allowed to drive a car, then you are generally entitled to ride a moped too. In some places the only formality is that you have to do a one day course of compulsory basic training that is aimed at keeping you safe on the road.

The cons of riding a moped

  • Safety: Motorcycles are not all fun and games. Mopeds are generally safe and fun to ride but you are still more exposed to danger on a bike than you would be in a car. In an automobile you have a seat belt, crash protection and airbags that all come into play if you have a collision. On a bike you generally will only have a helmet and some protective gear such as gloves and a jacket and pants.
  • Weather: Driving in a car means you can turn the heat up when it gets cold or you can put the air conditioner on when it gets too warm. On a motorcycle you are exposed to the elements. That means in winter you will be cold, even if you have warm gloves and clothing. It is also hard to stay dry in heavy rain. And on a hot sunny day you will soon get quite warm, even with the cooling breeze that is generated as you zoom along.

My Car Has Hail Damage, Now What?

So your car got hit by hail now what do you do? If you’ve ever had your vehicle damaged by a hail you know it can be a very frustrating and expensive experience. Well if you have full coverage insurance on your car it doesn’t have to be frustrating or expensive. Often people don’t understand how to properly utilize there insurance coverage and are even afraid to claim the damage for fear that their rates will go up. This is a common fear but let me assure you a comprehensive claim such as hail damage doesn’t not raise your rates. In fact, if you don’t claim the damage and have it repaired you risk having any future claims being denied because of unrelated pre-existing damage.

The first thing you should do is call your insurance company and file a claim. Make sure you write your claim number down and it is always a good idea to ask the name of everyone you talk to and adjuster being assigned to your claim. The next step is the initial inspection or the “estimate.” Some insurance companies will ask you to go out get three estimates and hen fax them in. If your insurance company asks you to jump through these hoops just politely say NO. Ask where you need to go to have “them,” write “their,” estimate. Thats it, do not waste your time driving around getting multiple estimates because in the end your insurance company is just going to use those estimates as a starting point and write their own anyway.

An estimate means just that. It is an estimate of how much money and what the insurance company thinks it will take to repair your car. It is very important that you clean your car before having it inspected because you wont get paid for dents the appraiser can’t see. Secondly it is extremely important that you are as nice and as accommodating to the appraiser as you can be. It will do you no good to argue with or be rude to the person deciding how much money your going to get to have your car repaired.

Often times when there’s a large storm event the insurance companies are overloaded with claims and the have to outsource to independent appraisal services to help write all the claims that are pouring in. This is commonly referred to as a catastrophe team or “cat team.” Now I don’t think I have to tell you that these very busy appraiser’s are going to fly through your estimate as fast as they can and will probably miss a bunch of things. You may think your estimate looks a little low. In my line of work 90% of the estimates are written low. I’ve seen estimates for $1500 on a car that had over $6000 in damage. Don’t worry that estimate is not the final word it is merely a starting point. Unfortunately many people choose to keep they’re insurance money and never get their car fix. Some people even wait around til it hails again nearby and try to claim the un-repaired damage again. The insurance companies lose millions of dollars every year to fraudulent claims. It is impossible for them to keep track of every claim and they can’t force you to get your car fixed. The only way the insurance companies can combat this is by writing their initial estimates a little on the lighter side. I’ve had many appraisers tell me that their company actually trains them to feel the customer out and if they think they probably wont have their car repaired to write the estimate for as little as possible. Obviously if you have a brand new BMW your going to get it fixed but if you a 1984 Toyota Corolla with 350,000 miles on it you are probably going to keep the money, right?

The next step is to find a company to repair your dents. If you have large dents with paint damage and broken windows you will probably need to find a full service body shop. If you have mostly quarter sized dents and the damage is just superficial then PDR is the best option. PDR, or paintless dent repair is a repair method in which the dents can be gently massaged out and the original factory finish is left undisturbed. A good PDR shop can make your car look exactly like it did before the hail damage. Most dent’s half dollar sized or smaller can be removed fairly easily and quickly. In a perfect scenario your car could be repaired in as little as a few hours. Well, the world is not perfect and depending on your insurance company’s original estimate it may take several days to get an appraiser to come back out and re-write their estimate. This process is known as a Supplement. Usually on the back page of your estimate there are instruction for filling a supplement. The insurance company knows that if a professional repair facility is doing the repair then they are going to catch all the dents that were missed and ask to be paid for every last little bolt or clip that has to be removed. This is standard procedure and most insurers actually have a supplement hot line that body shops can call to have an appraiser sent out to the shop.

Some insurance companies send an appraiser out right away while other companies can take 7-10 days. I won’t get into which companies are the worst but I will say that Progressive and Farmers are top notch! This is not a paid endorsement it’s just the painfully obvious truth. If I call farmers they are at my shop the next morning every time even though their policy is within 48 hours. Progressive is almost as fast within 48 hours usually. Some of the other companies won’t tell you when there coming and your at their mercy. This is usually the longest delay in the repair process but it is the most important. Often times we get twice as much money as the original estimate. This is very important because without this additional money you may get a shop to do a complete repair or worse you may have to pay money out of pocket.

The next issue is “deductibles.” You have a contract with your insurance company that you will pay the first $500, $1000, or whatever your deductible is, towards the repair of your vehicle. This money is always deducted out of the check your insurance company gives you and they leave it up to you to pay it or find a company that will fix it for less. Essentially any company that repairs your vehicle without requiring you to pay a deductible is giving you a “discount.” This is completely legal and in fact most PDR companies will not require you to pay your deductible. Make sure you get any promises made to you in writing. I also suggest you get an estimated length of repair time. At my shop we always provide a customer with a written quote of the exact amount due for the repair or we give the customer a guarantee in writing that we will complete the repair for the negotiated amount the insurance company issues payment for. If we file a supplement it is expressed that we earned that money in addition to the original estimate. It is very important that you have written proof that you as the customer will not have to pay more than “x” amount of dollars when your car repair is completed. If a shop is unwilling to put their promises in writing then you need to find a new shop.

Once you find your repair shop or PDR company it is important that you know where the shop is and meet the owner or manager. I know this sound’s weird but a large majority of our customers never come to my shop and meet me. Often they are approached by one of my sales personnel and they let them pick the car up and then deliver back to them when it is finished without ever coming to my shop. This is great for me but it is extremely scary to think how easily people just hand over their keys and insurance checks. I always recommend to my salesmen that they suggest to their customer that they at least come out to our shop so they know where their car will be. It is also a good idea to ask for references. Often times we have repaired other cars in the neighborhood and have satisfied customers just down the street. Also you should check out a companies website if they don’t have one or it is poorly put together that may be an indicator that the company doesn’t pay much attention to detail. For a company to not have a website today is almost inexcusable! You may also call the local better business bureau. Even if a company is not a member the BBB will still field complaints and keep files on companies that receive complaints. Also check with your insurer. The will have files on companies that have had complaints or are suspected of fraudulent activities.

In conclusion PDR is definitely a great alternative to traditional body repair, and with a little research and due diligence the average person can navigate the claims process and find a great shop to repair their car for little or no money out of pocket!