Top Rated Used Car Models to Consider for Your Next Purchase

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With new car prices soaring, many people have found that buying a used car can be a great financial alternative. Don’t think that just because a car has a few years on it that it’s not worth your consideration. There are many older-model cars and trucks that are high-quality, durable, and attractive vehicles that will work great for your situation.

If you’re considering purchasing a used car but aren’t sure which one fits your needs and budget, we’ve created a list of some compelling – if not immediately obvious – car choices on the market now. We’ll discuss why these models continue to rank well in performance and popularity so that you have a better idea which vehicle might be best for you. Regardless of which you choose, always give yourself that extra piece of security with a warranty from Cars Protection Plus.

Small Cars: 2018 Kia Rio

The 2018 Kia Rio is a sporty, subcompact car that’s a great choice for someone looking for a smaller vehicle.

Benefits

  • Scores high in safety tests
  • Comfortable for both driver and passengers
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Sporty design
  • Reliable; has high longevity

One of the best features of this car is the safety ratings, which is why this vehicle has been popular for multiple years in a row.

The 2018 Kia Rio was named among the Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This car is equipped with safety features like automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, and a forward collision warning.

The 2018 Rio also features a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and either a standard six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automotive.

Cost

Current listings for this car range anywhere from $13,000 to $16,000 depending on the condition and mileage.

The 2018 Kia Rio is comparable to the 2018 Honda Fit and the 2018 Ford Fiesta.

Trucks: 2016 Toyota Tacoma

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is loved now for what it was loved for back in 2016 — it’s reliable, safe, has great off-road capabilities, and lends some surprising muscle for a compact truck.

Benefits

  • Smooth, quiet drive
  • Off-road capability
  • Rear and four-wheel drive
  • Four and six-cylinder available

The 2016 Tacoma is one of the safest trucks in its category. It rates well in crash tests and scores four out of five with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2016 Tacoma features:

  • 152 horsepower four-cylinder engine or a V6 engine with 278 horsepower
  • Standard rear-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission or four-wheel drive with five or six-speed manual transmission also available

The 2016 Tacoma is a comfortable ride and thanks to its compact design, it’s easy to maneuver. It has great off-road capabilities, but acceleration might feel slow for some with the four-cylinder engine. Gas mileage is of course better with the four-cylinder version rather than the V6.

Cost

Depending on the condition and mileage of the vehicle, pricing for a 2016 Toyota Tacoma could start at about $23,000 and end at around $36,000. It’s amazing how these trucks are holding their value.

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is comparable to the 2016 Chevy Colorado, the 2016 GMC Canyon, and the 2016 Toyota Tundra.

Compact SUVs: 2010 Honda CR-V

Although older than most recommendations, this vehicle ranks as one of the best compact SUVs due to its reliability and smooth-riding capabilities.

Benefits

  • Comfortable interior
  • Great fuel economy
  • Scores high in safety tests
  • Easy to maneuver, especially for an SUV

Scoring a five out of five for safety from the National Highway Traffic Administration, the 2010 Honda CR-V is one of the safest vehicles in crash tests.

This vehicle is also quite spacious even though it is a smaller SUV. This means it’s ideal for someone looking for a family-size vehicle that’s still easy to park and won’t kill you at the gas pump.

The 2010 Honda CR-V features a 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a standard five-speed automatic transmission.

The four-cylinder engine of the CR-V might feel sluggish to some when accelerating but has no trouble getting up to speed on the highway. This vehicle does not come in a six-cylinder model, unfortunately, but what you lose in horsepower, you gain in gas mileage. With 21 to 28 mpg depending on the area, the 2010 Honda CR-V does a nice job with fuel economy for an SUV.

Cost

Listings for this vehicle usually begin at about $8,500 and can go up to about $15,000.

The 2010 Honda CR-V is comparable to the 2010 Toyota RAV4 and the 2010 Subaru Forester.

If you like the sound of the CR-V but perhaps want a newer model with the same advantages, the 2014 Honda CR-V is a great choice. With a sportier, refined look, the 2014 CR-V offers great fuel economy, comfort, and safety features for a listing price roughly between $14,000 and $22,000.

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Buying a Used Car

When buying a used car, it’s important to do your homework. If you know what type of vehicle you want, whether that be a car for just you, one for a growing family, or one to assist you on the job, read reviews and ask your dealership questions.

We hope that this overview of some top-rated vehicle models has helped you narrow down your search!

EV Car News

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In recent years, EVs have become synonymous with the future of automobiles. Due to the worldwide environmental movement towards clean energy and the desire to increase fuel efficiency in the United States, people are turning to electric vehicles (EV) as a solution to gas-powered transportation.

Along with the desire to lower emissions and air pollution, EV cars have attracted customers who want to save money in the long run. These customers hope to avoid the nation’s high gas prices, but how are these cars performing, and what models are car manufacturers releasing to entice customers?

Here is the latest EV car news, including industry trends and which models to look out for this year.

More Affordability for EV Cars

Affordability is a major factor for potential and returning buyers, and it’s impacting the EV car industry. While there’s widespread interest in switching to electric cars, most consumers have reservations because they are wary of spending a lot of money.

Of course, a warranty from Cars Protection Plus helps protect consumers from high costs of damage and repairs, but the initial price tag is still considered expensive and is affecting the number of purchases in 2021. In 2019, the sales of these types of electric vehicles tipped over the two-million mark. However, nationwide EV sales still only makes up less than 2% of vehicle purchases in the United States, which is concerning to manufacturers and investors.

However, Europe and China are showing different numbers, mostly because of a greater concern for environmental damage and government involvement. For example, European car manufacturers recently debuted several new models with eco-friendly features that cut costs thanks to government incentives. As a result, we’re seeing more buyers worldwide than ever before.

Breakthroughs From EV Manufacturers

Regardless of the low purchase figures in America, almost every major car company is releasing its own new electric vehicle models to appeal to customers. They know customers are interested, and they’re working hard to offer them a great deal by decking each model out with the latest eco-friendly perks.

Tesla

Known as the leading company of electric cars, Tesla continuously draws attention as it releases new models. The 2021 Tesla Model 3 is the latest in the company’s line of mass-market EV cars. With software updates, Tesla’s new model improves upon past models’ features as well as the battery. Additionally, it costs less than the company’s Model S.

Mustang

In its own spin on the EV car, Mustang has released the 2021 Mustang Mach-E Premium. With its sports car styling and technology (Apple CarPlay, Android auto, and touchscreen on dashboard), this model offers a mixture of style and performance. Though it is only a Mustang in name, it still provides useful features and a great price for its features. Being nearly $25,000 less than a Tesla X, a Mustang Mach-E may not have as much range, but it does include a lot for a vehicle at its price.

Nissan

The 2022 Nissan Leaf is the cheapest electric car in the United States. It is considered the ideal car for those who are new to EVs and do not want to splurge on their automobiles. The model features ProPilot driver assistance software and ePedal one-pedal driving mode. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those with a tight budget and a curiosity to switch to electric vehicles may find the Leaf to be favorable for one of their first electric cars.

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Other Companies

Many other companies offer their own takes on the EV car. The GMC Hummer Edition1 is a pickup truck with off-road prowess, great horsepower, and range. However, its drawback is how expensive it is compared to other companies’ models at $112,595.

At an even higher price, the 2021 Lucid Air Dream is known for its all-wheel drive and status as the world’s most aerodynamic luxury car. Due to how sleek and swift it is, it earns its namesake of the Air. High prices for these EVs are not surprising due to their designations as luxury vehicles with special features.

Increase in EV Car Capabilities

The number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) is increasing along with stronger, more appealing technology for each new model. Manufacturers are attempting to lower CO2 emissions with emerging engine technologies. Along with this, the average horsepower of new EV vehicles continues to increase. Electric vehicles can advance in weight and power without emitting higher emissions, unlike those with internal combustion engines.

Updates on the Movement Towards Clean Energy

In an effort to research and promote the benefits of electric transportation, several organizations formed a coalition called the Southeast Electric Transportation Region Initiate (SETRI). This group aims to address issues such as EV charging, accessibility, policy guidance, job growth, and consumer awareness.

As this industry develops well into the future, this coalition will focus on the improved coordination of companies that distribute electric vehicles. The widespread use of clean energy in transportation is a major part of their mission. Their continued work is supported by a great number of groups and the list is growing.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that there is major appeal for EV cars in the United States and abroad, but manufacturers are realizing that consumers need more reasons to invest in these vehicles. That’s why we’re seeing new engines with stronger horsepower, brand-new models with technological innovations, and government incentives to purchase electric cars.

It may take the American public a long time to realize why these vehicles are worth purchasing, but we expect the popularity of EVs to slowly continue and lead to more purchases in 2022 despite the affordability concerns.

The Best Advice to Give to New Car Drivers

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CARS Protection Plus has spent the last two decades building customer trust through claims processing, a variety of protection plans, and a guarantee of providing the coverage a customer purchased. With their history in car coverage, they provide the absolute best advice to new car drivers.

Make sure you know your vehicle. Familiarize yourself with all the controls, lights, sounds, etc.., in your car. Always keep a map in your vehicle. In case your phone goes out or you get lost and your electronic device is not working, always have a paper map at hand. Keep a first aid kit in your car, you just never know when you might need something out of it. Finally pay attention to all the road signs, it is important to know what they mean, especially the ones that are rarely seen. Be smart and educate yourself of all possible road signs.

Top 4 driving safety tips:

Focus on driving.

  • Always keep 100% of your attention on driving.
  • Do not use your phone or any other electronic device while driving.
  • Slow down.

Drive “defensively”

  • Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing and expect the unexpected.
  • Assume other drivers will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it.
  • Keep a 2-second wall between you and the car in front of you.

Make a safe driving plan.

  • Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business.
  • Adjust your seat, mirrors, and climate controls before putting the car in gear.
  • Pull over to eat or drink.

Practice safety

  • Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Do not attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor.
  • Have items needed within easy reach.
  • Always wear your seat belt. No Drinking and Driving, No drugs.

Do not allow for distractions in the car while driving, kids horsing around, loud music, etc.  Do not drive if you are tired. Make sure that you are aware of medications and how their side effects. Use caution when changing lanes.

What to do after an accident.

  • Stay at the scene.
  • Call 911
  • Stay in the car and remain calm.
  • Contact your insurance provider.

If you ever get pulled over, make sure you are fully prepared. Turn on your interior lights so the officer can see you easily. Keep your hands visible, do not reach for anything or grab anything under a seat. Be polite and provide all the necessary documents the officer asks for, insurance, driver’s license, etc. These are some of the absolute best tips given to new car drivers.

CARS Protection Plus Covers Spring Car Care Tips

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Spring is a great time of the year for a relaxing drive. While many of us cannot wait to hit the road after a long winter, it is always a good idea to check on maintenance we may have avoided during the colder months. Here, CARS Protection Plus discusses a few car care tips that drivers should follow to stay safe on the road all spring.

Give Your Car A Thorough Clean- Inside and Out

With the cold weather moving behind us, car owners should be sure to give their cars a thorough wash and wax. This is because debris, grime from roads, and salt build-up can be damaging to your car’s exterior paint. Giving the outside of your car a thorough cleaning, paying attention to often missed spots such as the engine bay and beneath the car, are excellent ways to get rid of dirt accumulation.  For car owners whose vehicles have gotten a bit dirty on the inside during the winter, spring can be a great time to clean up the cabin as well. Taking a day to throw out trash and give the inside of your car a detailing can be incredibly freeing.

Test Your A/C

Ahead of the hot weather that late spring and summer can bring, it is always helpful to ensure that your car’s air conditioning is operating as it should. To do so, CARS Protection Plus recommends testing by running the fan on all speeds. Does the air coming out of the A/C feel as cold as it did in the summer? Is the fan blowing strong on higher speeds? If it turns out that anything is wrong with the unit, checking in the early spring gives you time to rectify it before it becomes miserable.

Check Tire Pressure

Many car owners are aware that cold weather can reduce tire pressure on our vehicles. Still, tire pressure is a facet of car care that tends to be neglected until there is a glaring issue. Tire pressure can decrease about 1 psi for every 10 degree drop in air temperature. For this reason, once spring comes around, it is always a good idea to make sure that all tires (including spares) are properly inflated. To be fully certain that the tire pressure is correct, check the recommended pressure level from your owner’s manual, by checking the inside of your car door, or researching your make and model online. Also, don’t ignore the tire-pressure monitoring system light if it comes on- even if you have just filled your tires. You never know if you may have a small hole somewhere that you did not initially detect.

Don’t Forget Fluid Checks

Maintenance is easy for many people to skip in the winter but neglecting fluids can cause devastating damage to your vehicle. When time allows, perform maintenance on your car by making sure that your break fluid, coolant, oil, and transmission fluid are all to the specifications of your make and model. While under the hood, it could be a good time to top off the washer fluid for your car as well if it is low.

CARS Protection Plus Explains Common Car Insurance Mistakes

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Many people share the opinion that shopping for car insurance can be a daunting and tedious process, but there is no discounting the importance of a quality car insurance policy and what it can do for both your pockets and peace of mind. With millions of vehicle crashes in the United States each year, car insurance is critical, however, there are unfortunately a long list of mistakes that drivers can make on their quest to achieving car insurance. In this article, CARS Protection Plus includes a few of the most common and costly mistakes that drivers make when seeking out car insurance policies.

Not Shopping Around Enough

Shopping around for insurance is much like many other big purchases that you make in your life, meaning it is important to compare optionsbefore committing. CARS Protection Plus recommends searching for car insurance significantly before you need it so that you do not end up settling for a policy simply due to not having the time to research alternatives. Remember that many car insurance companies and websites offer free comparisons, but it is also a great idea to supplement this information with research of your own.

Buying the Minimum Coverage

When shopping for car insurance, CARS Protection Plus acknowledges that people tend to want to be as cost effective with their choices as possible. The unfortunate side of this is that drivers sometimes will opt for the minimum coverage required by state law, not considering that it may not be adequate in the event that an accident occurs. Liability coverage in particular is one aspect of coverage that it is difficult to scrimp on, as an individual could find themselves paying thousands from their own pockets if they are responsible for an accident that causes injury or property damage.

Buying More Coverage Than You Need

Just as it is possible to be under-insured, it is also possible to have too much coverage relative to your needs as a driver. For example, if you have a car that is not worth much money, you may not need a policy that includes high insurance rates for comprehensive coverage. Certain add-ons such as roadside assistance may not be needed if you have a new car that comes with that coverage or already have assistance in the form of an automotive club.

Not Reevaluating Insurance Policy

Much like with any industry, car insurance can change over the years and it is always wise to reevaluate your policy when it comes time for renewal. CARS Protection Plus recognizes drivers that already have a policy that is working for them can use this knowledge of their needs to see notes for coverage from other companies and their prices relative to what they are paying. Sometimes you may find that you are getting a great deal from your current insurance provider, but some drivers discover that they can get a better rate for the same coverage elsewhere.

Tips for Driving in autumn

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With the ending of daylight savings time just behind us, many of us are preparing for driving in the inclement weather that is quickly approaching in the winter. What some of us may not consider is that driving during the fall can present a host of issues for even the most seasoned of drivers as well. In interest of road safety, CARS Protection Plus offers 3 tips to keep you safe while driving during this fall season.

Leaves Can Be Dangerous: When we imagine slipperiness on the road, the main perpetrators are often water, snow, or ice. Leaves, however, can present just as many problems on the road for drivers as they accumulate on the roadway. Leaves may become wet and slippery, disrupting your tires’ traction as you drive through particularly wooded areas.  In addition to the issues with traction, leaves can present a visual distraction as well. Not only can falling leaves quickly accumulate on your windshield, but their presence on the road can also make it difficult to tell lanes apart while driving. CARS Protection Plus acknowledges the importance of safety and offers the warning to drive cautiously and keep safe distances between your car and others when on roads covered with leaves.

Protect Yourself from Sun Glare: Sun glare can also be a distraction when driving during the autumn, especially as the earlier sunrise times begin to coincide with drivers’ commute times. Sun glare can be guarded against in a variety of ways including; cleaning your windshield regularly and keeping your car’s sun visor free of clutter for ease of use.

Be Cautious of Wildlife in the Road: A variety of forest wildlife have mating and migration patterns that peak around the fall, which increases the need for being mindful of their presence on the road. Deer, for example, breed in the fall and can often be seen crossing the road in much larger numbers during this time of the year. CARS Protection Plus acknowledges the dangers that wildlife crossings can have for drivers and urges commuters to be particularly cautious during peak migration periods for forest animals.

How to Transfer a CARS Protection Plus Vehicle Service Contract

Are you thinking about selling your vehicle? If you are one of the many motorists in the United States who have purchased a vehicle service contract from CARS Protection Plus for your vehicle, you might be wondering whether or not the vehicle will remain covered after you have sold it. Like most automotive warranties issued by a car maker, CARS Protection Plus vehicle service contracts are often transferrable in a private sale as well.

Of course, there is a process that must be completed before the actual sale takes place to ensure the transfer is valid. Luckily, the dedicated team at CARS Protection Plus makes the process very easy and straightforward. The first thing you will need to do is confirm eligibility as not every vehicle service contract is eligible for transfer. Most will be though. In order to verify, you can call 888-335-6838 and ask to speak with a member of the CARS Protection Plus transfer team.

Once a representative of the transfer team is able to confirm that the coverage can be transferred, they will send you the required documents to complete the transfer. This will include the new service contract that will need to be completed and signed by the purchaser. Also, one of the following should be submitted as well:

  • A copy of the front & back of the original title with original owner and new owner signatures;
  • A copy of new owner’s temporary or permanent registration; or
  • A copy of the bill of sale agreement

In addition to the completed packet and documentation, a transfer fee of $99 must be paid to CARS Protection Plus prior to, or at the time of the sale. After the CARS Protection Plus transfer team receives and approves the completed packet, it will send an identification card to the new owner of the vehicle. That’s all it takes to transfer a CARS vehicle service contract.

For over 20 years, CARS Protection Plus has worked hard to provide honest and transparent products to motorists across the United States.  If you are thinking about selling your car and own a vehicle service contract, you can rest assured that your contract should be transferrable when you find a buyer.

Safe Driving Tips for the Winter Season

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As the chill of winter sets in over the Northern and Mid-Western United States it is important to ready your vehicle for safe winter travel. Blustery cold winds, ice and snow all present challenges when traveling by personal vehicle. But with proper preparation you can take back control over winter weather driving.

Preheating your vehicle isn’t necessary for the health of your vehicle, but it does make it easier to remove ice from your windows. Avoid long preheating times, but ensure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow that could obstruct your view of the road. Check your local ordinances for regulations on allowing a vehicle to idle unoccupied.

Allow extra time to reach your destination. If you need to travel 30 miles, driving 10 mph slower will only delay your arrival by about 7 minutes. Leaving the house 15 minutes early will allow more time to navigate uncertain road conditions.  Increasing you following distance gives you time to adjust to incoming road condition changes and other driver’s behavior. Be aware that not everyone is alert to changing road conditions; you may have to quickly adjust speed or course to avoid trouble ahead. Try to make these changes such as turns and braking gradually, sudden changes in momentum can lead to skidding.

Being prepared is half the battle when dealing with snow or icy road hazards. Remember your sunglasses help to block solar glare and bright snowy reflections. Adjust your tire pressure as needed. Tire pressure is variable depending on the outside temperature. Consider picking up a tire gauge with a release valve in case you need to let off a little air during temperature changes.

Finally keeping your vehicle clean and well stocked with supplies is essential in the winter months. Remember to wash your vehicle frequently, and keep the window washer reservoir topped off. Packing small duffel with a blanket, flares and a few long lasting food items could come in handy if conditions get the best of you. Preparedness is essential not only during the winter months but at all times. It’s why a vehicle service contract from CARS Protection Plus is such a wise investment.

Do I Need a Vehicle Protection Plan for My Used Car?

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It’s tempting when making a large purchase to strip down the options and pay the lowest price possible. Making a a bare bones deal on a used car may save you a few bucks on your monthly car payment, but what will that cost you in the long run? While you may be smart to avoid cosmetic upcharges like paint and fabric protection, skipping the Vehicle Protection Plan is a costly mistake.

Always consider adding a service contract to your used vehicle purchase. Commonly referred to as an “aftermarket warranties,” a vehicle service contract will safeguard against the cost of unexpected vehicle repairs. Attractive options are available that will add less than $50 to your monthly payment. An extended service contract is a sound financial investment. Contracts specifically designed for high mileage vehicles are a great tool to make you feel more comfortable when purchasing an older car or truck.

Coverages can be tailored to you budget and the unique needs of your vehicle, often including extra perks like roadside assistance. Providers like CARS Protection Plus strive to list all of the components offered for coverage on the contract so there is no guess work when it comes time for a vehicle repair. When reviewing your options keep in mind that is a part isn’t listed for coverage it won’t be covered. It’s important to have a repair plan in place if your vehicle no longer has a manufacturer’s warranty. Keep your copy of the contract in a safe place and refer to it prior to taking your vehicle to the shop for repairs. The claims procedures will be part of the contract and following them from the very beginning will help you get the best results for your money.

The choice to include a service contract is yours to make. However use caution when choosing a company. Look for a company that has stood the test of time and carries a positive rating with the BBB. Only vehicle protection plans from insured companies should be considered. Take a look at CARS Protection Plus who has built a positive reputation through outstanding service in their contracts.

5 Red Flags to Avoid Scammers When Choosing a Vehicle Service Contract

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Not every provider has built a reputation like Cars Protection Plus. Watch out for the following red flags when deciding whether or not to agree to purchase your next vehicle service contract.

  1. Urgent Notices by Mail

Be skeptical of mailings that read more like a threat than an invitation to do business. Some aftermarket warranties or service contracts are marketed using scare tactics, sending warnings that you will soon lose your warranty and be faced with huge repair bills. Steer clear of this negative practice. A genuine service contract offering should focus on the benefits of the coverage instead of frightening consumers into a bad decision.

  1. Pushy Sales Techniques

When a representative won’t take no for an answer it is a sign that something isn’t right. Reputable companies want to earn your trust and your business, not bully you into submission.  Don’t hesitate to hang up the phone if a sales caller becomes aggressive. It is normal for a company to have limited enrollment periods, but you shouldn’t feel pressured if you aren’t sure or choose to decline an offer.

  1. Vague or Rushed Explanation During Sign Up

Legitimate vehicle service contracts are detailed and specific. A company trying to sell you a contract that will assist financially when your vehicle breaks down should provide you with an explanation of the coverage. Ask for it in writing!

  1. Too Good to be True

The saying, “You get what you pay for” is generally true. Be wary of anyone pitching you bumper to bumper warranty coverage at an extremely low price. Vehicle service contracts are a good investment for peace of mind, but generally there are limitations on the types of repairs that are offered for assistance. Gather more information before deciding to purchase something that seems too good to be true.

  1. Little Track Record or Uninsured

Fly by night warranty companies come and go, sometimes leaving their customers without coverage when they go out of business. Select a company with a long track record of service that is fully insured. For example Cars Protection Plus has been helping customers for nearly 20 years and is proudly insured. Choose a company that has taken precautions to protect your investment.