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How Does Car Insurance Deductible Work

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Average Car Insurance Deductibles

Whats a Car Insurance Deductible and How Does it Work?

Insurance companies give drivers different deductible amounts to choose from, and most options fall between $100 and $2,000. Many people choose a $500 car insurance deductible, and companies usually use $500 as the default choice. However, $250 and $1,000 are popular choices, too.

Another thing to know is that you can select different deductible amounts for different types of coverage. For example, if you live in an area with frequent bad weather, you might want to choose a lower comprehensive deductible to limit what you pay out of pocket. At the same time, you can keep your collision deductible higher to balance out your auto insurance premium.

Can The Deductible Be Waived

Some states or insurance policies offer deductible waivers in certain circumstances, such as:

  • Total loss: Some insurers offer an optional total loss deductible waiveryou pay nothing if your car is totaled due to a covered loss. If you purchased a dealerships gap protection coverage for your leased or financed car, it could pay your deductible in the event of a total loss.
  • Windshield repair or replacement: Some insurers may waive the comprehensive deductible if you repair a cracked windshield rather than replacing it, while some states require insurers to replace your windshield without a deductible.

Some auto shops advertise deductible rebates or say they will pay your deductible for any repairs. However, accepting these offers may violate your insurance contract, so always check with your insurer.

Do I Pay My Deductible If Im Not At Fault

The short answer? Maybe. You can choose to wait until the at-fault drivers insurance company connects with you and pays for your damages, but that method is rarely swift. Your other option, if you want to get the process rolling so youre back on the road quicker, is to file a claim with your insurance company, pay your deductible and have them cover the remaining costs for damages.

But it doesnt seem fair to have to pay for an accident that wasnt your fault, right? Thats where deductible recovery and subrogation comes into play.

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Whats The Right Deductible For Me

The answer to this question depends largely on how many people youre insuring, how active you are, and how many doctor visits you anticipate in a year.

A high-deductible plan is great for people who rarely visit the doctor and would like to limit their monthly expenses. If you choose a high-deductible plan, you should begin saving money so that youre prepared to pay any medical expenses up front.

A low-deductible plan may be best for a larger family who knows theyll be frequently visiting doctors offices. These plans are also a good option for a person with a chronic medical condition.

Planned visits, such as wellness visits, checkups on chronic conditions, or anticipated emergency needs, can quickly add up if youre on a high-deductible plan. A low-deductible plan lets you better manage your out-of-pocket expenses.

What Is Your Insurance Deductible

What is a Deductible?

Your insurance deductible is the amount youll pay out of pocket when you make a claim before your insurer picks up the rest of the bill. Choosing your deductible allows you to decide how much financial responsibility you want for claims and repairs. A deductible is typically only required for certain types of auto insurance coverage, such as:

  • Collision coverage: Pays to repair your car after its damaged in an accident with another vehicle or in a collision with a structure, like a fence or a guardrail.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays to repair your car after a non-collision situation such as hail damage or theft.

In some states, you may also have a deductible for:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Pays to repair your car after damage caused by a driver without insurance or without sufficient coverage.
  • Personal injury protection : Pays your medical bills when youve been hurt in an accident.
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance : Covers the costs of some mechanical repairs, much like a warranty.
  • Auto glass coverage: Pays to repair damage to your cars windshield.

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How Will Your Car Insurance Deductible Impact Your Rate

Based on paying $420 for collision coverage on a six-month policy, the chart below shows how adjusting a deductible can change the coverage cost. Increasing your deductible from $100 to $250 provides the greatest jump in savings, while going from $1,000 to $2,000 offers the lowest amount of savings.

Deductible
Six-month cost$135Cost difference-17% lower

Premium amounts are hypothetical. The change in premium based on changes in deductible amounts reflect Progressive’s direct auto Ohio rate filing as of August 2019. View this table as an image.

What Is A Deductible

If something happens to your car, your auto insurance deductible is the amount youve agreed to pay your insurance has its part, you have your part. For example, lets say you have a $500 deductible. Youre in an accident where the damages total $2,000. You would have to pay the $500 deductible, and your car insurance would pay the rest of the money to fix your car so long as its a covered claim.

We say your car because a car insurance deductible typically applies to collision and comprehensive coverage. If you only have bodily injury and property liability coverage, your insurance company will probably just pay the other drivers fees. However, the claim could make your rates go up for next year.

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Compare The Costs Vs The Savings

Selecting the highest possible deductible is not always the best choice.

If you are a preferred risk, increasing a deductible from $250 to $1000 will not always save you for the added risk that you are taking on.

Price the cost of premiums for each deductible so that you can do your own cost-benefit analysis.

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Consider Your Driving Record

For example, if your time on the road involves spending a lot of time on busier roads or your driving record is no stranger to accidents, we suggest a lower deductible.

Lower deductibles will provide more coverage from your insurer, as in more money to cover any damages.

If youre a safer driver or you have extra money put away and you want to pay less on your insurance rate, a higher deductible may be a better option.

A higher deductible may also be desirable if you drive a new car, since theyre more expensive to insure.

The higher deductible will lower the rate on your premium. If you’re leasing your vehicle, you’ll want to have a lower deductible in the event of even a minor accident.

Leasing companies will require that the car be returned in the same condition as it was when you first acquired it, and charge for any significant damage.

Having a higher deductible should not be used as a money-saving trick. If youre not the most experienced driver or you’re considered to be a higher-risk driver, having the extra security of a lower deductible could be your best option.

Do I Pay My Car Insurance Deductible Per Claim Or Per Year

Deductibles are paid on a per-claim basis. For example, lets say an uninsured driver hits you. After the accident, you file a collision claim with your insurer to get your car repaired. You pay the deductible, get your reimbursement check from the insurance company, and take your car to the body shop. By the time theyre finished with it, you can barely tell you had an accident.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later, a hurricane ravages your town, uprooting a tree that lands on your car. You file a comprehensive claim with the insurance company to fix the damage. Even though you just paid a deductible for the accident you were in, you need to pay a deductible again for the new claim.

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Vanishing Car Insurance Deductibles

A vanishing deductible program is an extra coverage option that a few providers like Nationwide car insurance and The Hartford auto insurance offer. Each companys program can be a little different, but they follow the same basic formula. You usually get $100 toward your deductible for each year you go without making a claim.

Some programs limit your savings to $500 no matter the size of your deductible, while others like Progressive car insurances Deductible Savings Bank let your car insurance deductible shrink to $0 if enough time goes by. AAA car insurances Ultimate car insurance plan has a similar program. Also, some programs will reset your deductible to the full amount after you make a claim, and others will reset it to a smaller amount.

Lastly, these programs arent free. They can cost around $20 or more per year. After five years, you would have paid an extra $100 or more to your insurance company. Other than peace of mind, you only get something out of a vanishing deductible program if you get into a car accident and file a claim.

Weve reviewed a number of the top car insurance companies in the industry and ranked them on things like coverage, claims servicing, discounts, and financial strength. If youre wondering which companies to get quotes for, our review of the best car insurance companies is a good place to start.

Our tool below can help match you with personalized quotes. You can also call our team at;.

What If Im Not At Fault In An Accident

Car Insurance Deductible: What Is It and How Does it Work ...

If youre not at fault in an accident, you may be able to get your car repaired by filing the claim under your collision coverage. In that case, you may be able to get reimbursed for your deductible if your insurance company subrogates against the other drivers insurance company. Anyways if that ever happens, your insurance company can help walk you through the process.

So, thats a deductible in a nutshell. Its basically the amount youve agreed to pay if you have a claim. You pay your deductible, your insurance company helps out with the rest. While a higher deductible can mean lower premiums, you have to think about how much you could comfortably pay if you ever had to file a claim requiring you to pay your car insurance deductible. Its important to check and see what your deductible is for the coverages you have for your car.

Looking for car insurance quotes? We can help. Our team of insurance experts can help you get quotes for your car insurance. Give us a call, message us on LiveChat, or fill out our online quote form to get started with your quotes.

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Deductible Vs Premium: Whats The Difference

When you purchase auto insurance, the price the company quotes you is for the premium. Thats the amount you pay to have coverage during the policy term usually six or 12 months.

If you need to file a claim after an accident or mishap, you may have to pay a deductible. Thats the amount you pay before your insurance coverage kicks in, and its separate from your premium. After you pay the deductible, the insurance company covers the rest up to the policy limit.

For example, lets say youre in an accident that causes $3,000 worth of damage to your car. If you have a $500 deductible, youll pay $500 for repairs, and the insurance company will pay the remaining $2,500.

How Does A Deductible Affect Your Insurance Premium

As weve noted, there is a direct relationship between your deductible and your premium. As your deductible goes up, your premium comes down. But does that mean you always want to go for the highest premium possible? Not necessarily. Compare the chart below from Progressive to get an idea of how the deductible influences the premium.

Deductible
$135-17 percent lower

As the shows, your six-month cost decreases significantly as you increase your deductible. So, for example, switching from a $100 to a $250 deductible saves you $120, or $20 a month. If you were to put that savings aside, youd have $240 in a year, which would almost cover the increased deductible if you had an accident.;

But if you did an even more dramatic shift, from $100 to $2,000 for your deductible, youd be saving $285 every six months, or $570 a year. That would not make up for the increased $2,000 deductible if you were involved in an accident.;

In the end, if you choose a high auto insurance deductible, you are saving money each month, but youre taking a chance that you wont have an accident during that time that would require you to pay your deductible. If you were to have an accident, youd need to have the deductible amount saved from another source, rather than from premium savings.;

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When Are You Not Required To Pay Your Car Insurance Deductible

In most cases, you do not have to pay your deductible if another insured driver hits you. The other drivers liability insurance should pay for your repairs. If you have collision coverage, you can choose to go through your insurance to repair your car, but you still wont have to pay the deductible. Your insurance company will seek full reimbursement from the at-fault drivers insurer.

However, if your damages exceed the other drivers policy limits and you decide to use your insurance as secondary coverage, your deductible may apply. It will also apply to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, if you have it. In both cases, it might be possible recover your expenses in civil court.

If another person files a claim against you, your liability coverage will cover the costs of repairs. You will not pay a deductible to cover damages to the other party. But you will have to pay a deductible to get your own car fixed when you are at-fault. You can also expect to pay all or part of your deductible in situations where fault is shared between you and the other driver. You may be on the hook for any damage you cause that exceeds your policy limits, too.

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When Do You Pay A Deductible For Car Insurance

You pay your car insurance deductible if you file a claim with your insurance company under a coverage that includes a deductible. This most often applies to damages to your own car, but it can sometimes apply to personal injury protection or underinsured motorist coverage.

After filing a claim, your insurance provider will write you a check for how much the repairs would cost, minus your deductible. For example, if your car has $2,000 in damages and you have a $500 deductible, your insurer will pay you $1,500.

Coverage
Personal injury protectionSometimes

How An Insurance Deductible Works

You may have wondered before, how do;insurance deductibles work? What are the different types of deductibles, and;does the amount affect the monthly payments?

In simple terms, a deductible is the amount of money you commit to pay out of pocket before your insurance company begins to pay you any benefits. You will pay this amount for your expenses after an accident, and then your insurance company will start to pay the rest.

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Choosing The Right Car Insurance Deductible Amount

Your first consideration when choosing your insurance deductible is how much you would be able to pay in the event of an incident. Car insurance companies sell you coverage for a profit, the more risk protection you buy the more they profit and the lower your deductible the more risk protection you are buying. Your deductible should be set at a level where if you had to pay the out of pocket expenses, you could do so reasonably without impacting your financial situation or lifestyle.

If you have little savings and limited wiggle room in your monthly income and expenses, choosing a policy with a lower deductible and higher premiums can help you reduce your exposure to financial risks in case of an event. One approach you can take is to look at your driving and vehicle history.

If your history indicates that you may need to make more frequent claims, you may want to consider selecting a policy with lower out of pocket expenses. On the other hand, if you haven’t had a history of accidents you may not need a low deductible plan.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author√Ęs opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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