Your car insurance policy with collision and comprehensive coverage includes a deductible which is the amount of money you are responsible to pay when you file an insurance claim. Your deductible can range from $100 to $1000 or more. Your deductible applies per accident rather than once a year. Generally speaking, buying lower deductibles increases your premium while buying higher deductibles decreases your premium.
After an Accident Caused by Another Driver
Generally, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company will process any claim you make for auto damage, if you contact them directly, they may accept liability and pay in full for your damages if their driver is considered fully at-fault. However, that company must first conduct their investigation into the claim. You may wait weeks or months to receive the money you need to repair your car.
In this case, you may file a claim against your policy and get your vehicle fixed faster. If you choose this option you will pay the deductible. Your insurance company will then participate in a process known as subrogation and negotiate with the other insurance company for reimbursement of the money they paid you. If the subrogation process is a success, you will receive a refund of all or part of your deductible depending on the circumstances of the accident.
We suggest that you always contact your insurance company if you are involved in an accident. They have experts hired to help manage the claim on your behalf.
After a Hit and Run
If an unidentified third party hits your vehicle and causes damage but does not share his or her insurance information, you will be completely responsible for any repairs to your car. You may file a claim with your insurance company if you have collision coverage and pay the applicable deductible and receive money to pay to repair your vehicle.
When You File a Comprehensive Claim
Comprehensive car insurance covers your vehicle if you’re involved in an incident that does not include another driver. Examples of comprehensive claims you may make include theft, break-ins, fires or damage from falling trees. If you have coverage from a comprehensive insurance company and need to file a claim, you will pay your comprehensive coverage deductible.
When Your Car’s Windshield Breaks
Falling debris or other airborne objects could collide with your windshield and break the glass. You will pay the comprehensive coverage deductible, and then your car insurance will cover the remainder of the glass repair or replacement. Several insurance companies offer an option to buy a lower glass deductible. This option will cost a little more money in your premium but it can lower the deductible on your policy for glass claims – something to consider when you are shopping for insurance!
How to Choose a Deductible
Choose your deductible wisely because you must be able to afford it after an accident. Factor in your driving risks, including when, where and how you drive, and your driving record as you calculate the likelihood that you will file a car insurance claim. Evaluate the type of vehicle you drive and your emergency savings fund, too, as you select an affordable deductible.
Your car insurance deductible refers to the money you must pay when you file an insurance claim. Carefully choose your deductible and contact your insurance provider if you have questions about when you will pay your car insurance deductible.
Find out more information about if your insurance covers other drivers and what to do if you cannot find your title. If you are a college student looking for auto insurance you can read more details about insurance for young drivers.