Understanding Car Insurance Deductibles

What is a car insurance deductible?

A car insurance coverage deductible is the money you pay toward an accident or a claim. You will pay the deductible out-of-pocket when you file a claim under certain coverages. You may see deductibles for coverages such as comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist property damage, and personal injury protection.

How does an auto insurance deductible work?

Let's say you have collision coverage, with a $250 deductible, and are involved in a car accident that causes $2,000 of damage to your vehicle. If you file a claim with your insurance company, then you will pay the $250 collision deductible and your insurance carrier will pay the remaining $1,750 towards your car repairs.

With some exceptions, you will pay a deductible for each loss you file under your auto insurance policy.

How do I choose the deductible amount?

In most situations, you may choose the deductible amount for each coverage. You should consider several factors when making this decision.

First, consider the dollar amount you want to be responsible for paying. In most situations, when you file a claim, you will pay the deductible – so choose an amount you're comfortable paying out-of-pocket. Do not choose a deductible that's higher than what you're able to pay.

Second, the deductible amount will impact your car insurance premium. If you choose a low deductible amount, then you'll likely be paying a higher insurance premium for the coverage. On the other hand, if you choose a high deductible amount, then you'll likely pay a lower insurance premium. You should compare and calculate how your deductible impacts your overall policy premium. Check out our coverage calculator to see what options look good to you.

Can a car insurance deductible be waived?

In most situations, a deductible will apply – but there are some circumstances in which the deductible may be waived. If you have comprehensive coverage and make a claim to repair windshield glass damage, then your deductible may be waived. Check with your insurance representative to verify what deductibles apply. In some states, you may purchase additional auto insurance coverage that will waive your deductible in some scenarios. Check your state reference page for more information.

Now that you know more about how deductibles work, get a free car insurance quote from GEICO today.