Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Car insurance comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top car insurance companies. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • It is most common for clients to be offered deductibles between $50 and $1000 for comprehensive coverage
  • Not all auto insurance policies have deductibles
  • Collision insurance pays when you collide with one or more objects while you are operating your vehicle

Car insurance is designed to be a financial product that provides you with financial protection when you get into a car crash or suffer another type of covered loss.

When you buy third party liability coverage, uninsured motorist, or medical payments protection, the insurer has agreed to pay up to a stated limit to pay for medical bills and property damage.

This amount is called a deductible and may be recouped if you are found to be not at fault in an accident after a complete investigation.

Start comparing car insurance rates now! Enter your zip code above to get started!

Table of Contents

Understanding How Physical Damage Coverage Works

AdobeStock_85187385-1600x1600

Not all auto insurance policies have deductibles, but those that include physical damage coverage generally do.

One of the main reasons why there is a deductible for physical damage coverage but not for other types of cover is because of the way that it works.

Comprehensive and collision are meant to help you get your vehicle repaired or replaced when something happens and it is damaged or even not accessible.

If you were to read through your documentation, you will see that the policy is meant to help you return to normal after experiencing financial loss.

If it is determined that the loss is covered, the carrier will then locate the value of a fair market value of your car and pay up to this amount to either repair or replace the car when it is considered totaled.

You must either pay this amount or it will be taken out of the check that is disbursed when the claim is settled.

Here is a breakdown of what both comprehensive and collision cover:

Comprehensive

Comprehensive, which also goes by comp or other than collision, is a form of physical damage coverage that pays for repairs to your car when it is parked or in storage.

This form of protection most often pays for losses as a result of fire and theft, but will also kick in to pay for losses because of vandalism, collision with animals,  and other losses where no collision occurs.

Comprehensive can be purchased as a stand-alone coverage to protect your car when it is in storage and not being driven. It can also be purchased in combination with collision to provide you with what the industry calls full coverage.

Before comprehensive coverage will pay for any covered losses, you will have to pay your deductible.

This deductible is typically lower than a collision deductible, and many will elect to take a lower option because the cost is not exorbitant. There are companies that do offer their applicants the choice to take a $0 comprehensive deductible, but this convenience comes at a higher price.

There are companies that do offer their applicants the choice to take a $0 comprehensive deductible, but this convenience comes at a higher price.

Collision

A collision is the second piece of the puzzle that makes physical damage coverage complete.

Collision insurance pays when you collide with one or more objects while you are operating your vehicle.

If you are not found to be the party at fault, your insurer will pay and then collect from the insurance company.

Those who are found negligent for at least 51 percent of the accident may see their rates rise on the renewal following their claim, which makes filing a claim a costly choice.

This is why many people will choose to carry higher deductibles when they do not have a perfect driving record or when they are seen to be high-risks with high rates.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What deductibles can you choose and which deductibles are best?

One of the best things about being able to build your insurance is that you have choices.

You can choose what types of coverage you want to carry, what limits you would like and deductibles to help you stay within budget.

You are required by law to carry certain limits, but you can raise these limits when you want more protection.

When you select these higher limits, your premiums will get higher and one way to lower your rates would be to put higher deductibles to use.

Deductible Options

adobestock_56116135-1600x1600

Every insurance company has their own deductible options, and some lower deductibles are not available to people who are more likely to file claims.

It is most common for clients to be offered deductibles between $50 and $1000 for comprehensive cover, and $100 and $1000 for collision cover.

There are still insurers that offer $0 deductibles for comprehensive and collision, but the rate increase is so large that it is not often recommended.

You will need to see which deductibles the insurers that you trust the most offer before you can make any choices.

The Best Deductible Choices

While accidents and violations do raise premiums, low deductibles can raise premiums even more.

The rates are affected more when you have a car with a poor safety rating, you have blemishes on your records, or there are young high-risk drivers in your home.

This is why you should study the rates and see what the differences between different deductibles are based on your own rating factors.

How can you get $0 deductible insurance? By accepting higher monthly car insurance premiums.

If your primary goal is to keep your premiums low as possible to keep your policy within budget, choosing $0 deductible insurance is not the answer.

Choosing the highest deductible will definitely save you throughout the term of your policy, but there is always a chance that you will file a claim and be stuck paying $100, $200 or even $1000 out of pocket.

This is why many experts recommend choosing either $250 or $500 deductibles for the best premiums without taking on the biggest burden.

Start comparing rates with our FREE tool now! Enter your zip code below to get started!

References:

  1. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/buying-selling/car-insurance4.htm
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-comprehensive-coverage-527110
  3. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/collision-insurance.asp
  4. http://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_auto_ten_tips.htm
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/understanding-your-insurance-deductible
  6. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-high-risk-driver-527253