Car Insurance Deductible

10 Factors that Can Impact Your Car Insurance Deductible

Insurance companies require the policyholder to pay for the first portion of a claim prior to receiving payment from the claims adjuster. This is called the deductible on the car insurance policy. Some insurance companies have a separate deductible for glass claims that can be set much lower than the overall per-incident deductible. Very low deductibles on a car insurance policy will raise the annual premium paid for coverage. Some agents encourage policyholders to carry a deductible below $100 to raise the monthly premium by an affordable amount. This practice will cost the policyholder hundreds of dollars over the life of the policy. There are 10 factors that must be considered when selecting the best car insurance deductible.

  1. Type of policy: Comprehensive auto policies that include collision, comprehensive, and liability components can have a higher deductible since the repair or replacement costs of the vehicle are covered. If the policyholder chooses to carry liability coverage alone, the deductible should be lower because of the out-of-pocket expenses to repair or purchase a vehicle after loss.
  2. Number of vehicles: Multiple cars on the same auto insurance policy will raise the risk of a claim against the policy. If both cars have an accident in the year, the policyholder must be able to pay the deductible twice. The amount of the deductible must be saved to prevent financial loss following an incident. When one car is being repaired, the impact on the family must be considered. Inability to afford to repair a vehicle can impact one driver’s ability to work or transport the family.
  3. Household budget: A deductible over $1,000 can save hundreds of dollars, but if that money cannot be set aside in a savings account, the loss of the car could be devastating to the family budget. Honest evaluation of an affordable deductible amount must be conducted to avoid hardship.
  4. Risk of multiple losses: Multiple losses by the same family can occur in devastating natural disasters. If a home, two cars, and medical bills are incurred for the same incident, the family will have to pay the deductibles on each policy. While these incidents are rare, the amount of money required for deductibles must be set aside prior to any unforeseen event.
  5. Risk tolerance: Every individual has a different concept of risk for various parts of life. Some people will be able to sleep while shouldering thousands of dollars of risk because they have a positive outlook on life or a great deal of money in the bank. Others will worry about their ability to cover the deductible amounts on the various insurance policies. Risk tolerance is an important consideration in setting all insurance deductibles.
  6. Driver profile: Teenage drivers are very expensive to insure, so raising the deductible might offset the increase in premiums that are incurred when the teen is added to the family car insurance coverage. Some families choose to lower the auto insurance deductible to ease the strain on the family budget in anticipation of multiple claims in the first two years of a teenager’s driving years. High risk drivers can lower their car insurance rates at any age by raising the car insurance deductible.
  7. Discounts: Premium adjustments that are brought about by lowering a policy deductible can be offset by various discounts that might be offered by the insurance company. Most insurance discounts are offered to encourage safe driving habits. Discounts for a clean driving record might be equal to the amount charged for carrying a lower deductible. The best way to find every possible discount is to ask a lot of questions.
  8. Miles driven: If a vehicle is not driven very often, a higher deductible might be offset by the infrequent use of the car. There are discounts for driving fewer miles than the set limit. A vehicle that leaves the garage once or twice a week might be covered by a policy with a $1,000 deductible to reduce the annual premium.
  9. Location: Certain parts of large cities are considered high-risk loss areas by the insurance companies. If the policyholder’s address falls within these expensive areas, the driver can choose to carry a higher deductible to offset some of the annual premium cost. Every policyholder must determine their ability to save the deductible prior to an event. Insurance is designed to offset risk without causing hardship.
  10. Impact on premium: Each insurance company prices auto insurance coverage with certain deductibles at a different annual rate. A $100 deductible will incur a certain annual premium. If that deductible amount is raised to $500, the premium will drop by a certain dollar amount. To save even more money, the policyholder might choose a $1,000 deductible. At each stage, a decision must be made to determine if the risk is worth the savings.