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By Chuck Wells

So you are at the car rental car office in Orlando wearing your Mickey Ears and they ask you if you want to buy the Collision Damage Waiver as part of your rental agreement. What do
you say?

As a general rule, if you have your own New York personal auto policy, you do not have to buy the extra coverage through the rental outfit. But you should check with your insurance agent before you leave to make sure because this is now getting complicated (isnít everything?).

The Collision Damage Waiver means that if you pay an extra per-day fee to the rental car company, they will not hold you responsible for any damages you cause to their car. If you are renting a U-Haul truck or any vehicle out of the United States, you should buy the Collision Damage Waiver. If you are renting a car for not more than 30 days, your own car insurance company will pay the claim if you damage the rental car.

After February 24, 2003, your car insurance company is responsible for paying the full amount of damage you do to a rental car. Before that time, your company was only responsible for the first $100. This means that our car insurance rates will go up again to pay for this extra expense rather than it being passed on to only those who rent cars.

Some extra tidbits about rental car insurance:

  • You do not have to carry collision on your car to have your insurance pay for damages to the rental car.
  • You will not have a deductible to pay if you damage the rental car.
  • Rental agreements over 30 days are not covered.
  • There is no coverage if you are DWI, committing a felony, racing, or
    driving recklessly.
  • You cannot have more than 4 cars on your personal auto policy.

Make sure you check over the car you are renting before driving it away. If there is any damage, go back in and tell the rental people about it and have them note it on your rental agreement.


Residents in Philai, India are claiming that they can cure dental problems with a mantra that was passed down through Baba Budha Ji who lived there 100 years ago. Patients recite the mantra in front of a Sikh temple and must say how many years they want to be dental disease free. Residents then throw seven pebbles over the heads of the patients while reciting the mantra themselves. Patients then have to leave the village on foot without looking back and without speaking or taking food from any of the villagers. No word from Tom Stevens, dentist in Walworth, as to whether or not he has pebbles and a mantra but I have heard him mumble some things while looking at my teeth.


Chris Shields, a stay-at-home dad from Eliot, Maine saw a $200 off coupon on a new car from a local Toyota dealership. On January 4, he bought over 200 newspapers carrying the $200 coupons, cut them out, stuck them in his briefcase, and headed for the dealership. Upon arrival at the dealership, Shields presented over $40,000 in coupons and asked for his new car. The dealership told him to get lost. Shields is reporting the dealership to the state attorney generalís consumer protection bureau as he thinks it was deceptive advertising not to give him a
free car.

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