Advertiser disclosure Let ’ s say you just got in a wreck and your car needs $ 4,000 in repairs, but your indemnity will lone cover $ 3,000. If you ‘re confused, understanding your car policy deductible might be the answer. In this article, we ’ ll explain what a car insurance deductible actually is, when you need to pay it, and whether you should choose a high or low one. Whenever you shop for car policy, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage, rates, and deductibles. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle form and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what ’ s best for your neighbor might not be best for you. Use our cock below to start comparing individualized car insurance quotes or call (844) 246-8209  for an easier process.

In this article:

What Is A Car Insurance Deductible?

A car insurance deductible is the amount of money that you pay out of pocket before your indemnity supplier covers damages after an accident or early consequence. You don ’ t actually pay a deductible to the insurance company – you pay it to the animate shop class when they fix your cable car. Depending on your state, you might have a deductible for other types of coverage, besides. Let ’ s say you file a claim that results in a $ 2,000 expense. If you have a $ 500 deductible, you must pay that amount before the policy company pays the remaining $ 1,500. however, if you have a $ 500 deductible but your cable car repair costs are only $ 400, that means you ’ ll have to pay the full amount of repairs without the car policy party ’ sulfur aid. Insurers will not be creditworthy for expenses that do not exceed your deductible.

Health Insurance Vs Car Insurance Deductible

Your car insurance deductible doesn ’ metric ton employment like your health insurance deductible. With health indemnity, you have a deductible that gets reset every class. As you use health services, the money you spend out of your own pocket will add up. Once it hits the deductible total, your health indemnity takes over. When the fresh year rolls around, it all starts over. With car indemnity, you pay your deductible every time you file a claim. Let ’ s say you got into an accident and filed a collision claim. On your way to the haunt workshop, a freak out hail storm adds more price to your cable car. You ’ ll file a offprint comprehensive claim for that damage, and you ’ ll pay your deductible on both claims. There is no limit to how many times you pay your deductible in a class. If you file five different collision claims in one year, you ’ ll pay your deductible five times.

How Do Car Insurance Deductibles Work?

When you start an car insurance policy, you get to choose the coverage amounts. Your insurance premium and car insurance deductible will teeter depending on the amounts you choose. Increasing your out-of-pocket deductible will lower your monthly policy premium.

Average Car Insurance Deductibles

policy companies give drivers different deductible amounts to choose from, and most options fall between $ 100 and $ 2,000. many people choose a $ 500 cable car policy deductible, and companies normally use $ 500 as the default choice. however, $ 250 and $ 1,000 are popular choices, excessively. Another thing to know is that you can select different deductible amounts for unlike types of coverage. For example, if you live in an area with frequent bad upwind, 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 car insurance bounty.

Types Of Insurance Coverages With Deductibles

here are the common types of car policy, with details on what they cover and whether they require a deductible or not.

Insurance Type Coverage Details Deductible
Collision Coverage Covers damage to your own car after an accident Yes
Comprehensive Coverage Covers damage to your vehicle after non-collision events like hail, theft,
or vandalism
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Protects you and your car after getting hit by an uninsured motorist Depends on state
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Protects you and your car after getting hit by an underinsured motorist Depends on state
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Covers your medical bills, lost wages, and more after an accident Depends on state
Medical Payments (MedPay) Covers your medical bills after an accident Depends on state
Bodily Injury Liability (BI) Covers the other party’s medical bills in accidents you cause No
Property Damage Liability (PD) Covers the other party’s repair costs in accidents you cause No

Keep in mind, even though collision and comprehensive examination policy require a deductible, you might be able to select a $ 0 cable car insurance deductible depending on the policy. In that case, your car indemnity premium would cost more to offset the $ 0 cable car policy deductible.

When Do You Pay A Car Insurance Deductible?

here are the chief situations in which you ’ vitamin d be responsible for paying a deductible :

  • At-fault collision: If you cause an auto accident and your car needs repairs, you’ll pay your deductible on your collision coverage.
  • Not-at-fault collision: Theoretically, you shouldn’t have to pay your deductible if you weren’t at fault in a car accident. However, it can take a long time to get a settlement from an insurance claim. During that time, you can fix your car by filing a claim with your own insurance company. In that case, you’ll pay your deductible upfront. If your insurance company recovers funds from the at-fault party (through a process called subrogation), it will reimburse your deductible. If not, you can take the other party to small claims court and try to get your money back.
  • Comprehensive claim: When your car needs repairs after other events like a lightning strike or flood, you’ll need to pay a deductible. Comprehensive also covers glass damage, though some companies may waive your deductible if they can repair the glass instead of replacing it.
  • PIP claim: No-fault states require PIP coverage. It pays your medical bills no matter who was at fault in an accident. However, many states require you to pay an auto insurance deductible before PIP kicks in. The amount can vary, and it can be different than your collision or comprehensive deductible.
  • Uninsured motorist claim: UM comes in bodily injury and property damage coverage varieties. Bodily injury UM doesn’t usually require a deductible. However, property damage UM coverage can require a deductible. That means you might have to pay a deductible to repair your car if you get hit by a driver without insurance. The same goes for underinsured motorist coverage.

How To Choose A Car Insurance Deductible

now that you know what a cable car insurance deductible is, it is important to choose the right deductible for your situation.

When To Choose A High Insurance Deductible

You should choose a high car indemnity deductible if you want to lower your monthly poster and if you have the ability to pay it. That survive function is authoritative. If you don ’ t have any savings, it ’ s not a chic mind to have a high deductible. You might be the best driver in the global, but you even plowshare the road with bad drivers and uninsured motorists. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 6 percentage of drivers who had collision coverage filed a claim in 2018. As we mentioned above, you might have to pay a deductible to fix your cable car even if you weren ’ metric ton at mistake. You can constantly choose a lower deductible while you save up an hand brake fund and then raise the deductible former on.

When To Choose A Low Insurance Deductible

You should choose a low car policy deductible if you don ’ t have the ability to pay a high one, or if you want to protect your out-of-pocket costs. A low deductible could be a good idea if you live in a clog area where you have a higher casual of experiencing an accident. A $ 1,000 deductible is normally the gratifying topographic point for savings. Bumping a $ 500 deductible up to $ 1,000 will give you a better discount rate than increasing a $ 1,000 deductible far to $ 2,000. Choosing a $ 250 deductible over a $ 100 one will besides save you a significant collocate of money.

Vanishing Car Insurance Deductibles

A vanishing deductible platform is an extra coverage choice that a few providers like Nationwide car policy and The Hartford car indemnity extend. Each company ’ sulfur platform can be a little different, but they follow the lapp basic convention. You normally 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 cable car indemnity ’ s Deductible Savings Bank – let your car insurance deductible psychiatrist to $ 0 if adequate meter goes by. AAA car policy ’ sulfur Ultimate car policy plan has a like program. besides, some programs will reset your deductible to the entire amount after you make a claim, and others will reset it to a smaller total. last, these programs aren ’ thyroxine rid. 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. early than peace of thinker, you merely get something out of a vanishing deductible plan if you get into a cable car accident and file a claim. We ’ ve reviewed a number of the top car indemnity companies in the industry and ranked them on things like coverage, claims servicing, discounts, and fiscal strength. If you ’ re wondering which companies to get quotes for, our review of the best car insurance companies is a good plaza to start. Our tool below can help match you with personalized quotes. You can besides call our team at (844) 246-8209.

What Happens If You Can’t Pay Your Deductible?

When paying out an insurance claim, your insurance company will often write you a determine for the amount it ’ s responsible for covering. If you are ineffective to pay the remainder of your costs for the deductible, you may have some options. Below are some steps you can take if you ca n’t afford to pay your deductible :

  1. Discuss a payment plan with your repair shop: It could be worthwhile to talk to your mechanic about payment options after an accident. You might be able to negotiate with the mechanic to waive your deductible or for a payment plan.
  2. Take your car to a different repair shop: If you decide to take your auto insurance check to another repair shop, it could mean cheaper repairs. 
  3. Continue to use your car until you can afford your deductible: Many drivers choose use their car (if it’s still operable) until they can come up with the deductible amount. Waiting to file a claim is not uncommon, but it is advised to submit a claim as quickly as possible. 
  4. Take out a personal loan: When a car insurance repair is urgent, taking out a loan might be the best option. It will likely get you, your vehicle, and other parties involved back on the road sooner. 
  5. Consider supplemental options: You can choose to use a credit card or ask family or friends for assistance to pay your car insurance deductible, but we recommend seeking advice from an expert before making any upfront financial decisions.

Do n’t fret if you ca n’t pay your car indemnity deductible after an accident right away. Knowing when to adjust your deductible and when to shop around for a modern car indemnity company with low-cost rates is the safe way to avoid high expenses in the future.

Our Recommendations For Car Insurance

Searching for car policy doesn ’ t have to be unmanageable. Just make indisputable to get quotes from multiple providers, so you can compare rates. record your slide fastener code below or call (844) 246-8209 to get car insurance quotes from providers in your area :

#1 Geico Insurance: Best Overall

Geico is one of the largest insurers in the nation with a firm fiscal back and the goal to save drivers the most amount of money. It offers competitive car policy rates for its six standard indemnity coverage options. You can besides add more coverage like rideshare indemnity, accident forgiveness, and wayside aid. Ask one of Geico ’ s agents about its many discounts like safe driving, base hit features installed in your car and bundling multiple policies. In our review, Geico earned a 4.5-star rate overall. Read more in our full review of Geico policy.

#2 Progressive Insurance: Best For High-Risk Drivers

progressive car insurance is besides available nationally and is a big option for bad drivers. The insurance company has full coverage options, plus add-ons like wayside aid, col insurance, and rideshare coverage. There are many available discounts, including those for guard features on your car, going paperless, and paying your bounty in wax. Progressive has an easy quotation process, which allows you to compare other car policy companies right on its web site. Progressive received 4.5 stars in our in-depth review. Read more in our wide review of Progressive insurance.

#3 USAA Insurance: Best For Military

USAA car policy is known for its exclusive coverage for military members and their families. The caller provides standard coverage, plus supernumerary coverage like rental reimbursement and accident forgiveness. USAA has capital rates that are already highly discounted, but drivers can besides unlock discounts like a commodity student discount, defensive drive rebate, and new fomite discount. USAA came out on clear in our industry review as the alone provider to earn a 5.0-star rat. Read more in our wax review of USAA insurance. See how these providers compare in our car indemnity comparison articles : Geico vs Progressive, Geico vanadium USAA, and Progressive v USAA.

FAQ About Car Insurance Deductibles

What does it mean when you have a $ 1,000 deductible ? To have a $ 1,000 deductible means you will pay the first $ 1,000 of any collision or comprehensive claim that you file. If you need $ 2,500 in repairs, your policy company will send you or your haunt shop a check for $ 1,500 and you will pay the remaining $ 1,000. other coverages like personal wound protection and uninsured motorist can have deductibles, ampere well. Do you pay your deductible to the car policy company ? No, you don ’ triiodothyronine pay your car indemnity deductible to your indemnity company. alternatively, the company subtracts your deductible from the cover measure when your claim is approved. For example, if your car needs $ 2,000 in repairs but you have a $ 500 deductible, your policy ship’s company will pay $ 1,500 to you or the repair shop. You will pay the remaining $ 500 to the repair denounce. On the other hand, if your $ 10,000 car is totaled and you have a $ 500 deductible, you will get $ 9,500 from your policy ship’s company after paying your deductible. Do I pay a deductible if I hit person ? If your own cable car is damaged in the accident, you ’ ll pay a deductible to fix it ( collision insurance ). Your indebtedness insurance covers injury and property wrong for the other party mechanically without requiring a deductible – but your car insurance rates will go up. If you use personal injury protective covering to cover your aesculapian costs, you might have another deductible depending on your state. Is a higher deductible better for car insurance ? A higher car indemnity deductible will decrease your monthly premiums, but you ’ ll have to pay a higher amount of money if you need to file a claim. Auto indemnity coverage will work the same whether you have a $ 100 or $ 1,000 deductible, the only differences being your monthly bill and your out-of-pocket monetary value after an accident. A high deductible lowers your premium, while a humble deductible raises your agio.


In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car policy providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the postdate categories, adenine well as an overall weighted seduce out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
  • Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.

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