How do auto insurance deductibles work?
Updated: Aug 4
If you get into a car accident and cause damage, you may wonder how much you are responsible for paying and how much your insurance company is going to cover. Assuming you have comprehensive and collision insurance your insurance company will pay the remaining cost after your deductible is paid. A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay towards repairs before your insurance company covers the rest. Another factor that comes into play is whether or not it was a comprehensive or collision accident.
What is the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?
Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle when it is damaged by events that are out of your control. (Theft, vandalism, glass and windshield damage, fire, accidents with animals, weather, etc.) Collision insurance covers your vehicle when it is damaged in an accident. Typically comprehensive coverage is cheaper so many people go with a lower deductible. Collision coverage is often more expensive so it makes more sense to go with a higher deductible.
How deductibles work
If you have a $500 deductible on collision coverage and you get into a car accident that causes $2500 worth of damage, you are responsible for paying $500 and your insurance company covers the remaining $2000 of the cost.
When are you not responsible for paying your deductible?
A deductible will not apply to you if:
An insured driver hits you (they're at fault)
Another person files a claim against your liability coverage
You elected for no deductible
If you have glass coverage
If you file a claim when you are not at fault
If you get into a car accident and the insurance company concludes that you were not at fault for the accident, but you already filed a claim through your insurance and paid your deductible. The other drivers insurance company will reimburse you for that paid deductible.
If you are hit by someone who does not have insurance
Even though having auto insurance is the law in most states, there are many people who still drive their vehicles uninsured. What happens if you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance? Unfortunately, if the person at fault does not offer to pay for the damages out of pocket, you will need to file a claim through your insurance company. You have ability to sue an uninsured driver at fault for a car accident. However, if someone is not responsible enough to have insurance most likely they will not have anything to be sued for. Having a local independent insurance agent like those at AZ Insurance Team can help you through the claims process.
AZ Insurance Team 480-535-5709
*All policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your policy covers.*