You're used to using your smart phone to save you money in your everyday life, right? Well, I have a suggestion about how it can help keep more money in your pocket when it comes to rental car insurance.

For the longest time, whenever I've picked up a rental car, I've meticulously noted any damage to the vehicle that I could see. But it can still be your word versus that of the rental company in the event of a dispute about damage, as I recently discovered.

A brilliant way to protect yourself

Then I read Ed Perkins of and his latest column on the subject. He has a new wrinkle that I've never thought of: Use your cell phone camera to document any damage before you leave the car rental lot.

Duh, why didn't I think of that?

Simply use your built-in camera on your phone to make a visual document of the car as you do a walk around the vehicle looking for damage. This should be done in addition to -- not in lieu of -- having the damage noted by hand before you take off. It's just another way to protect yourself.