June 22, 2023


Car Insurance: Is a High Deductible Right for you?

In the maze of car insurance policies, deductibles are a crucial factor that can significantly impact your pocket and peace of mind. Let's explore car insurance deductibles and why choosing a high deductible can be wise for some people.

What is a Deductible?

An insurance deductible is what you pay before your insurance helps cover costs. It applies to different types of insurance like home, renters, auto, or health. You get to choose your deductible when picking a policy. If you choose a higher deductible, your monthly payments are lower. If you go for a lower one, you pay less when making a claim. If you have a $500 deductible and claim $2,000 in damages, you pay $500 first. Your insurance covers the remaining $1,500. Deductibles can reduce insurance premiums by sharing risks with the insurance company.

Is it better to have a $500 deductible or $1000?

If you're more likely to get into an accident, you won't want to pay a higher deductible. But, if you're generally a safer driver, your car insurance premiums will be lower with a $1,000 deductible.

Does a higher deductible mean a lower premium?

Deductibles and insurance rates share a seesaw relationship. A higher deductible means lower premiums, providing a potential avenue for saving money. It's important to note that when and how a deductible applies can vary based on the type of policy.

Think of it like this: if you choose a higher deductible, you pay less each month. But if you have an accident, you will incur more costs. Having a lower deductible means you pay more each month. But if you have an accident, it lessens the financial strain when making a claim.

Why Consider a High Deductible Car Insurance?

At OCHO, we want to serve you better by helping you understand your insurance options. This will empower you to make informed decisions. Here's why you might want to consider a high-deductible car insurance policy:

  1. To lower your premium costs, you can choose a higher deductible. This will reduce your monthly payments. Although you have to pay more if something happens, you can save a lot of money overall.
  2. Safe drivers have good records, live in low-risk areas, and maintain their vehicles well. They may have a low chance of needing to make a claim. Lower premiums can save you money, especially when you have an emergency fund.
  3. If your old car is losing value quickly, choosing a high deductible is a good idea. When the car's value decreases, it's not practical to have comprehensive collision coverage with a low deductible. A higher deductible aligns better with the depreciated value.
  4. A high deductible policy gives you more control over when to involve your insurance company. You can pay out of pocket for minor damages costing less than your deductible. By making this strategic decision, you can avoid claims that might affect your claims history and increase premiums.

Review Your Policy

Understanding the specifics of your insurance policy, especially about deductibles, is crucial. Some insurance providers don't need upfront payment for deductibles. These insurers opt to deduct the deductible directly from the claim amount.

If your claim is worth $10,000 and you have a $500 deductible, your auto insurance company will give you a check for $9,500. The check is for the claim amount minus the deductible.

In such scenarios, paying the deductible before initiating repairs is not required. If you need help understanding how to pay your deductible, ask your insurance agent for help. If you are with OCHO, you can chat with us, and we will be happy to help!

How To Avoid Paying a Car Insurance Deductible

You have options when it comes to handling your car insurance deductible for repairs. Although it may not always be possible to avoid it altogether, there are strategies to consider.

1. Negotiate with Your Mechanic:

Your mechanic may be able to waive your deductible, although it's uncommon. This means they agree to receive less than the total cost of repairs.

2. Explore Windshield Repair Coverage:

Some states prohibit insurance companies from imposing a deductible for windshield replacement claims. Some insurers must cover the cost of replacing your car's broken glass without you having to pay.

3. Assess the Claim's Worth:

If the repair cost is less than your deductible, it might not be worth filing a claim. Repairing minor damages yourself might be cheaper than filing a claim and raising premiums.

4. Consider a Vanishing Deductible Policy:

Certain insurance companies have a "vanishing deductible" option. This reduces your deductible gradually if you keep a clean record. This usually applies to collision and comprehensive insurance deductibles.

5. Drive Safely:

If the accident is not your fault, the other driver's insurance pays for your costs.

Dealing with Affordability:

If it's hard for you to pay the deductible, you can make a payment plan with the mechanic or save money until you can pay it. After an accident, you usually have 30 days to a few years to file a claim, depending on your state and insurer.

Choosing an Affordable Deductible:

Choosing a deductible amount within your budget is important, even though it can be difficult to avoid it in certain situations. Understanding your options ensures you make informed decisions about car insurance deductibles.

Analyzing Your Decision:

Before committing to a high deductible insurance policy, analyze your case. Think about your finances, how you drive, where you live, and your car's worth. Having enough savings to cover the deductible is crucial, even though a high deductible can save money in the long run.

Understanding deductibles in car insurance helps you customize your coverage to fit your needs. Remember that your choice should align with your financial goals and risk tolerance. At OCHO, we're here to guide you toward a choice that ensures both the safety of your family and the health of your wallet.