Tip of the Week

Most extended warranties have a handy clause when the car is sold or destroyed before it is used up.

If your car, crossover, or truck was destroyed by hurricane damage or flooding, it may be worth reviewing those extended warranties you bought. Almost every one of them has a rebate clause tucked away down in the fine print. Usually, if you don’t use them up, the policies will pay you back a pro-rated amount left on the policy.

There are multiple types of extended warranty plans one can buy from a dealer when purchasing a new vehicle. Some cover general repairs and others may be specific to just wheels and tires or glass. Regardless of what type of extended warranty you purchased, there is a good chance it is refundable if you have not used it.

Another type of related plan one can purchase is a pre-paid maintenance plan. Like extended warranty plans, these are also refundable if you cannot use them due to a totaled vehicle. Even if you have started to use the maintenance plan, it may well have more years to go. Be sure you cash it in if your car is totaled.

Fees for canceling or transferring plans are typical. Don’t be surprised if the plan has a $100 or similar fee for the transaction. When you call to cancel, be sure to ask for this fee to be waived. Many automakers have extensive aid packages for those customers whose vehicles are damaged in “big-name” storms. These unfortunate owners are a huge pool of available immediate customers. They may be more than willing to waive a small fee to gain goodwill. It’s certainly worth pleading your case as the worst they can say is, “no.”

— John Goreham/BestRide.com

Auto news

The auto industry rebounded in September as several automakers — General Motors, Ford and Toyota posted significant sales gains, after several months of year-over-year monthly declines.

According to Autodata, Overall U.S. auto sales rose 6.1 percent, compared with a year earlier, to 1.52 million vehicles.

Did you know

In-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features are visually and mentally distracting to drivers. The average driver is distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message, according to new research released by the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety. One in three U.S. adults use infotainment systems while driving, so AAA cautions that using these technologies can have dangerous consequences. Previous research shows removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a vehicle crash.