Your Member Services
Insurance & Financial Services—AAA Colorado's independent insurance agency offers auto, home, life, umbrella and long-term care products from several highly rated national insurers, as well as our exclusive brand, “AAA Insurance.” For a competitive quote, call 866-399-9836, or click on “Insurance” at www.aaa.com. AAA Colorado also offers financial services like the AAA Visa card, certificates of deposit and money market deposits. Call 303-753-8800 or click on “Financial” at www.aaa.com for Visa card information. For deposit products, call 800-526-7120.
Weathering the Storm
When asked if they live in a flood zone, most Coloradans who do not live near a major river would probably say no. But, in fact, everyone lives in a flood zone—it's just a matter of whether the risk for your home is low, moderate or high. Heavy rain, blocked drains and other unpredictable factors can cause costly damage to a home with as little as one inch of water.
Unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it's too late that standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
Flood insurance can give you some additional peace of mind. Available in most communities, it can be purchased in amounts up to $250,000 on residential buildings and $100,000 on contents. Premiums depend on the location of your home and the amount of coverage purchased.
For more information, or to discuss whether flood insurance would be beneficial to you, contact your local AAA office, call 303-300-7777 or 866-831-1367, or click on “Insurance” at www.aaa.com.
Show Your Card & Save Program — This is the member savings program of AAA. Simply show your AAA membership card to save money at hundreds of retail and service shops, travel-related companies, lodging and automotive facilities. Various restrictions apply; for details visit your local AAA office, click on “Member Savings” at www.aaa.com, call 866-AAA-SAVE, or see the inside front cover of this magazine.
Savings on PC Protection
Anyone who owns a computer should take steps to protect their privacy. From an unprotected computer, personal information may be gathered without your knowledge, to carry out identity theft or gain access to private accounts. In addition, there's the risk that your important data may be corrupted or destroyed by a malicious attack.
Today's broad range of Internet threats makes it necessary for every PC owner to consider more than just virus protection. A secure PC is one that is protected from spyware, Trojan horses, spam, keyloggers and more, at every potential entry point. PC users need to approach every online activity with a certain level of caution, even suspicion. Look for a complete security suite from a reputable company, and combine it with a good dose of common sense.
At Gateway Computers, AAA members save 10% on most computers, software and accessories, 25% on learning products, and 5% on select televisions. For computer security, the Gateway Complete Security Bundle includes Norton Internet Security 2005, Spy Sweeper, Ghost Surf, Window Washer, and Pre-Empt, and provides a substantial savings over the price of these software applications purchased separately.
To purchase using your AAA discount, visit www.aaa.com/gateway or call 877-594-2400 and mention that you are a AAA member. Use program code CAFV21928. n
Save on driver education
Each year nearly 6,000 teens are killed in car accidents, and more than 326,000
are injured. Drivers aged 15-20 are involved in fatal crashes at more than twice the rate of all other drivers combined.
Alive At 25 is a course for drivers age 15–24, developed by the National Safety Council to prevent traffic fatalities, collisions and violations. It is the only such course in the nation taught exclusively by State Highway Patrol officers, municipal police officers and deputy sheriffs. The goal is to get attendees to adopt safe driving practices and take responsibility for their behavior, instructing them in sound decision-making, resistance to peer pressure, and the consequences of reckless and/or inattentive driving.
The course also complies with last year's new state law that all drivers under the age of 16 must complete a state-approved driver education program before they can apply for a driver's license.
The non-profit Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation offers Alive at 25 at a student tuition of just $30, the lowest in the state.
Now AAA members can receive a $5 rebate, because Alive at 25 has partnered with AAA Colorado in the Show Your Card & Save program. Voluntary students who have successfully completed Alive at 25 since June 15, 2005 may submit photocopies of their personal or household AAA membership card and their certificate of completion of the program to redeem a $5 tuition refund. Students taking the course because of a court order may not apply for the refund.
Refund requests should be mailed to Alive at 25, P.O. Box 150307, Lakewood, CO 80215-0307. For more information about the Alive at 25 course, visit www.alive-at-25.org, contact the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation at 866-605-3900, or see page 1.
Repair bills and your rights
ADVOCACY—You take your car into a repair facility for a routine check. When you pick it up, you're presented with a bill for hundreds of dollars worth of work.
An extreme scenario, perhaps, but the situation of an automotive repair bill not reflecting what you thought was being done is one of the most frequently heard member complaints at AAA Colorado. Unfortunately, few Coloradans know that they do have legal rights when it comes to such situations.
In an effort to remedy this lack of knowledge, AAA Colorado has received permission from the Automotive Service Association of Colorado to post online the ASA-Colorado's “Plain English Guide to the Colorado Motor Vehicle Repair Act.” Members can access this valuable document by clicking on “Automotive” at www.aaa.com.
Topics within the guide include: written consent and estimates, additional repairs, diagnostic work, parts, warranty work, invoices, the customer's right to sue, the Consumer Protection Act and frequently called phone numbers.
Members should know that AAA will investigate and resolve any dispute involving the member and a AAA-approved repair facility (see pages 30 and 31 for a list of these facilities).
AAA Travel—Much more than free TourBooks, maps and TripTiks. AAA Auto Travel Counselors can help plan your road trip. AAA Travel Professionals understand national and international travel, from guided tours to independent adventure. AAA Colorado's travel store (in most offices and online) contains books, atlases, luggage and other travel items. Call 866-235-7070, visit a AAA office or www.aaa.com, or see pages 33–37. n
Why a travel agent might not be such a bad idea
It's no secret that travel agencies have taken a beating in recent years because of two major industry changes: First, most airlines have stopped paying agent commissions, and second, many travelers now book their own vacations through the internet.
A closer look, however, reveals that there will always be the need for good travel agents—the kind who do that extra bit of research to find a hidden gem, the kind who reconfirm all details one last time, the kind who periodically check in with their clients before and after each trip, the kind who are there if something goes wrong during the trip.
This was definitely the case during the recent tragedy of the London bombings in July. AAA Colorado travel agents—known as travel professionals—were on the phones the minute news of the bombings came in. One called her clients at their London hotel to see if they were okay and if there was anything she could do. Another, who had booked two young men on a Contiki tour, helped them move to another hotel and then got their mothers' phone numbers and called them with the new contact information. A third called the tour operators and various agencies to confirm that her clients, who were in Chicago waiting to fly to London, should proceed with their trip. N
Your AAA card and airport kiosks
Most airlines now offer self-service check-in kiosks that request you swipe a credit card as a way of identification. Some people don't like this unnecessary use of their credit card. Next time, try your AAA card, it works just as well as a credit card. N
A Colorado GEM Curecanti National Recreation Area
AAA TourBooks include a listing of special points of interest around the state that we feel offer a Great Experience for Members. GEMs are chosen solely on merit—an attraction or destination can't apply for GEM status. Instead, they simply represent the best of Colorado: exceptional places for your list of “things to do.”
Colorado has 28 GEMs and we'll look at a different one in each issue.
For this issue we've chosen Curecanti National Recreation Area, between Gunnison and Montrose. It contains three reservoirs—Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal—with numerous opportunities for land and water activities.
Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water. It has two marinas and more than 10 campgrounds. Shore fishing for rainbow trout is at its best in late fall.
Seven high-country hiking trails provide a closeup look at the natural history and geological features of these man-made lakes.
For motorists, there are numerous scenic overlooks and picnic areas. Drive past beaver dams and ponds along Red Creek Road, see the Curecanti Needle formation from the Pioneer Point overlook, or take a stroll on the flat, wheelchair-accessible Neversink trail at the Gunnison end of Blue Mesa to see beautiful streamside scenery and bird life.
For more information click on “TourBook” at www.aaa.com or visit http://curecanti.areaparks.com.
Rent your own Italian villa—through AAA
For many it's a dream of a lifetime: Under a warm Tuscany sun, friends and family gather happily for a meal around an outdoor kitchen table at your private Italian villa.
In an effort to help make that happen, AAA Colorado has recently joined forces with Italian Villas to provide members with a wide variety of rental villas that fit nearly every budget.
More than 600 properties are available, with 99% of them located in the Italian countryside. Locations include Tuscany, Umbria, Cinque Terre, the lakes of the north and Amalfi to the south. Villas range in size from two to 30 beds, with the majority sleeping four to eight people comfortably.
While some of the rentals are old stone houses that date back to the 15th century, they all have completely modern kitchens, and bathroom facilities similar to those found in the United States. Quality is assured because Italian Villas monitors the properties throughout the year.
Rentals range from modest to upscale and are priced accordingly, with weekly costs starting at $600 and going up to $55,000 (sleeps 31 people).
If you've thought about renting a villa but are unsure if it's the right vacation for you, a good place to start is your AAA Travel professional (page 11 for locations), who can help identify what's best for you, your family and your budget.
If you're an experienced traveler who wants to do it on your own, you can view photos, conduct research and book any of the rentals online by clicking on “Travel” at www.aaa.com.
AAA Wine Train to the Western Slope
For decades, AAA Travel has offered a wide assortment of national and international travel trips for nearly every traveler, from backpackers and the budget-minded to spa seekers and cruise connoisseurs. Now, AAA Travel has teamed up with Grand Junction and Amtrak to offer a unique Colorado experience for all travelers—a weekend wine train from Denver to Grand Junction.
Departing Denver's Union Station on two different weekends (Oct. 14–16 and Oct. 28–30), participants ride
in an Amtrak private train car while being entertained by a jazz band. Outside, the train cuts through some of the nation's finest mountain scenery—much of it unseen by highway drivers. The best is saved for last as the train winds its way through spectacular Glenwood Canyon before pulling into Grand Junction.
While the Western Slope community of Grand Junction has an abundance of natural attractions—Grand Mesa, the Colorado River and Colorado National Monument—it also has more than a dozen wineries that are gaining national recognition. A number of those wineries will be visited as part of the wine train tour, which also includes a two-night stay in one of four select hotels. The tour ends with a motor coach ride back to Denver. Cost is $339 per person, double occupancy.
For more information, visit your local AAA Travel professional, call 866-235-7070, or click on “Travel” at www.aaa.com.
Automotive—AAA Colorado offers a wealth of automotive services, beginning with AAA's famous roadside assistance program that follows the member, not the vehicle. Other services include Approved Auto Repair facilities (pages 30–31), automotive products at AAA Colorado offices, and auto sales and leasing through AutoSource (page 9). All can be accessed through www.aaa.com, including AutoManager, which manages the maintenance of your vehicle.
October is AAA Car Care Month
It's been a long, hot summer of driving. Is your car up to date with its maintenance? You can help protect your automotive investment and your personal safety with a maintenance and safety inspection during AAA Car Care Month.
During October, many AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities will be offering free or discounted vehicle inspections to members and the motoring public. Stop by and let AAA check your tires, fluid levels, windshield wipers, batteries, brakes, lights, belts and hoses.
Proper maintenance and regular inspections can extend the life of your car and avoid the need for expensive repairs later.
For information about AAA Car Care Month, visit www.aaa.com or see pages 30–31 to find an Approved Auto Repair facility in your area.
Free child safety seat checks
AAA Colorado's traffic safety coordinator, who is a certified child safety seat inspector, will be conducting five complimentary seat-check events during September. They will be held between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at five AAA offices: Ft. Collins, Sept. 8; Southwest Plaza, Sept. 14; Wheat Ridge, Sept. 15; Colorado Springs/Carefree, Sept. 16; Boulder, Sept. 22 (page 11 for addresses).
Each inspection will include installation instruction, confirmation that the child is correctly fitted in the seat and review of current laws. Inspections take approximately 20 minutes and are by appointment only. Times and dates are subject to change.
For further information or to make an appointment, call Jaime Weisbrod, 800-222-4357 or 303-753-8000, ext. 8105.
AAA partners with NASCAR host
AAA, which helped pioneer and officiate motor sports in the United States, is returning as a major participant in auto racing after a 50-year absence. AAA will be the official auto club at tracks owned or operated by International Speedway Corporation (ISC), host of NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Indy Racing League events.
“AAA's reentry to the world of motorsports is an exciting and historic event for our members and for race fans everywhere,” said AAA National President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “We look forward to working with ISC to further extend the enthusiasm and fan base for professional auto racing in the 21st century.”
The AAA logo will appear on track safety and recovery vehicles, as well as on track signs, in racing programs, and in other promotional venues. Tracks will provide space for local AAA clubs to display information and present membership services to race fans, and AAA will also offer roadside assistance services to fans during event weekends at ISC tracks.
Many advances in passenger vehicle safety and comfort can be traced to professional racing. Rearview mirrors, all-wheel drives, disc brakes, shock absorbers, fuel injection systems, and many other features were first developed or popularized on the race track.
As the motorsports industry continues to work toward the safest possible environment for race participants and spectators, AAA believes the average driver will continue to benefit from these advancements in vehicle and driver safety systems.
EnCompass and www.aaa.com—Your membership brings you six issues of EnCompass magazine a year, and AAA Colorado's website. Online you'll find a 24/7 virtual office for member-only information, travel specials, TripTik maps, insurance and auto information, car sales and leasing, and our Show Your Card & Save member savings program.