Ask Finney: Toys 'R' Us warranties, car accidents, recycling utility and financial statements

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:
William asked: I have a question in regards to Toys "R" Us closing down. I bought an extended warranty for a game console in February. Should or can I get my money back?

Answer 1:
It would not hurt to call the company. Ask if you have a manufacturer's warranty or an extended warranty bought through Toys "R" Us, either way, you are covered. The warranty from the game console company is good as long as it is still under warranty.

The extended warranties sold by Toys "R" Us were by and large offered by a third party, think in terms of Square Trade, the San Francisco based warranty company. Those will remain in effect, too. I do not think you should have any problem, but if you do, let me know.

Question 2:
A viewer asked: I had my car hit by a driver when it was parked. I would like to know when a car insurance company decides it is not worth fixing, do I have to listen to their opinion? Do I have options?

Answer 2:
No, you don't have to take the opinion of your car insurance company. And yes, you do have options. The insurance company will generally not pay more to repair the car than it is worth. So, if the company wants to junk it, you will need to prove its value is higher than the insurance company estimates. You do that by documenting your car's pre-crash condition, and what similar cars are selling for locally and online.

If you cannot prove it is worth more, you can sometimes get the car back along with the insurance settlement, minus the salvage value of the car.
Then, you can go get it repaired. Be careful on this one. You can also contact the California Department of Insurance.

Question 3:
Vera from San Francisco asked: I'm wondering if it's OK to recycle bill statements, like utility bills, but not bank or credit card statements.

Answer 3:
Your thinking is right on track and it's pretty safe, but not safe enough. Shredding your bank and credit card statements is a must do. There is way too much information to have floating around. The utility bills have less information, but those still have your name, address and payments and that is a lot to give an identity thief. I definitely recommend shredding any document with your information on it.
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