What is a deductible?
Deductibles are one of the most misunderstood parts of a car insurance policy. Basically the deductible is the portion you agree to absorb financially in the event of an accident. For example if your deductible is $500 and the repairs to your car cost $8,500, you will be responsible for paying the first $500 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $8,000 to repair your vehicle.
So how do I choose a deductible amount?
There are many deductible options available. Which one is right for you will depend on your own unique situation. Typically the higher the deductible the lower your insurance premiums will be. Here are a few examples of when a higher deductible may benefit you:
- If you own a high value vehicle a higher deductible will help to keep premiums low.
- If you recently added a newly licensed driver to your policy.
- If you have traffic convictions. In some cases your policy may be surcharged depending on the number and type of traffic convictions. A higher deductible can help to offset some of the surcharge.
- If you have prior at fault claims. Your driving record may have been impacted by recent at fault losses on your policy. Moving up to a higher deductible can help offset some of the premium increase you may have experienced.
To help determine what deductible is right for you talk to one of our agents. We can walk you through the pros and cons of each deductible option and provide you with cost estimates on each to help you make the right choice for you and your family.
Why do I have to pay my deductible if the claim wasn’t my fault?
The important thing to remember here is that a deductible is always paid. Usually the deductible will be paid by the party responsible for causing the accident. (If you caused the accident you will pay your deductible. If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance will pay your deductible). However, there are instances where you may be told you have to pay your deductible, even though the claim wasn’t your fault:
- If the responsible driver fled the scene and we don’t know who to go after.
- If the responsible driver has no insurance.
- If the claim is a complex multi vehicle accident. Determining who is responsible for what can be a time consuming process. In these cases it may take the insurance claims adjusters months to properly determine fault.
- If the drivers involved offer different accounts of events leading up to the accident.
Generally speaking the deductible will be reimbursed to you at a later date once fault has been finalized by the claims adjusters.
One of the best things you can do to help protect yourself from having to pay your own deductible in a claim that wasn’t your fault is to sell your car and take the bus to install a dash camera in your vehicle. Dash cameras don’t lie. They can provide valuable information about the accident and help prove which driver’s statement is correct. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and can prove extremely valuable to both the insurance company and police in the event of a claim.