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These are a few of the recent queries asked of our experts and the answers we gave. Please call or e-mail your questions any time.
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Q: Will I be paying higher premiums for my new SUV?
A: You may have heard in the news about insurance companies raising insurance rates for the sport utility vehicles (SUVs). According to recent reports, SUVs prevent injury and death to their occupants compared with other autos. However, these same reports claim that SUVs may cause greater damage to other vehicles involved in a collision because of their size and weight. Greater damage means higher liability costs. Several well-known insurance companies have decided to charge their policyholders who have SUVs with higher rates to offset these costs.
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Q: How do I find an honest car repair shop?
A: Car repairs are one of life's big aggravations. First there's the inconvenience and expense. Then the worry about whether you're dealing with an honest and fair shop. But the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an organization dedicated to improving the quality of vehicle repair through testing and certifying auto repair technicians, offers the following guidelines to find a shop you can trust:
  • Ask family, friends and coworkers for recommendations.
  • Check reputation at your local consumer agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau.
  • Look for a neat and organized shop with a professional staff.
  • Ask questions. Does the shop regularly repair your make of car? Do they typically perform your type of repair?
  • Look for posted guarantees, warranties, memberships in professional associations and community awards or recognition.
  • Be concerned about the skill of the technicians. Look for education certificates, diplomas and ASE Blue Seal of Excellence logo. ASE-certified technicians usually wear the blue and white insignia on their shirt shoulder.
  • Don't just consider cost. Remember, you pay for professionalism and technical expertise.
  • If the repair isn't to your satisfaction, don't head straight to a second shop. Give them a chance to make it right.
  • Reward good service by repeat business and referring the shop to others.
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