When do you have to pay the deductible on your car insurance?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • A deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance carriers pay your accident related bills
  • Deductibles can range from zero to $1,000
  • Some insurance carriers are now offering deductible discount programs
  • A comparison tool can help you find an insurance policy with a deductible you can afford


The deductible on your car insurance is the amount you must pay before your insurance company will repair your car after an accident.

The only time you have to pay it is when you get into a car accident, and you want your insurance company to pay for the repairs, assuming the cost of the repairs is more than your deductible.

If you are looking for no deductible car insurance and your insurance company does not offer it, you can use a comparison quote tool to find policies with low and no deductibles.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above! Enter your zip code to get started now!

Deductibles and Liability Insurance

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When another driver hits you, and the accident is determined to be his or her fault, you do not have to pay your deductible.

Having the appropriate level of coverage of insurance is what keeps you safe.

This is because the other driver’s insurance policy will pay for your car repairs and other accident-related expenses up to the limits of the policy.

Choosing an Affordable Deductible

A car insurance deductible is how much you pay before your insurance company starts paying your auto accident expenses.

The amount of your deductible directly relates to the cost of your monthly premiums. This is because you are choosing to assume part of the financial responsibility of the accident.

Typical car insurance deductibles include 0, $100, $500 and $1,000. In general, the lower your deductible, the higher your car insurance premiums.

When you choose your deductible, you need to pay attention to more than the cost of your premium.

While you can lower your premium significantly by choosing the highest deductible your insurance carrier offers, it won’t do you any good if you can never afford that deductible.

Instead, choose a deductible that you can always afford.

This will allow you to pay your deductible and get your car repaired in the event you are in a car accident that is determined to be your fault:

  • Deductibles can affect the price of your insurance policy
  • Choose a deductible that you can always afford
  • If your insurance carrier doesn’t offer an acceptable deductible amount, use a comparison tool to research other policies

How Deductibles Work

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When you get into an accident and the insurance companies determine that you caused the accident, you will have to pay your deductible, assuming you have collision insurance.

If you only have liability insurance, you will be responsible for the entirety of your car accident costs.

When you have collision insurance, your insurance company pays the bills for the repairs to your car or its replacement minus your deductible, if you were found to have caused the accident.

For example, if your car repairs are determined to be $1,500, and your deductible is $500, you will pay your deductible.

Your car insurance company will pay the remaining $1,000.

If you have a high deductible, like $1,000, and you get into a car accident that causes $800 worth of damage, you are responsible for the entire bill because it is less than your deductible.

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Deductibles When You Are Not the At-Fault Driver

If you get into a car accident and you are not the at-fault driver, you do not have to pay your deductible.

In this instance, you are covered under the other driver’s liability insurance coverage.

This means that the other driver’s insurance will cover any medical bills you insured as a result of the accident and your car repairs.

Deductible Discount Programs

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Some insurance companies are offering deductible discount programs for safe drivers. They are typically referred to as vanishing or disappearing deductible programs.

For drivers that do not get into accidents, these programs result in lower deductible amounts.

For example, if you are on a disappearing deductible program, your insurance company will lower your amount by a certain amount, say $50, after three years.

For each additional year, you remain accident-free, your deductible would decrease by another $50.

In theory, if you were able to remain accident-free and started with a $500 deductible, you would have a zero deductible after 13 years.

If you are unhappy with your deductible or you want to find an insurance carrier that offers disappearing deductible amounts, try a comparison tool.

An insurance comparison tool will allow you to shop multiple insurance carriers and policies at the same time:

  • Some insurance carriers now offer disappearing deductibles
  • These programs lower the amount you must pay if you get into an accident
  • A comparison tool can help you find affordable car insurance

Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay if you get into an accident that is determined to be your fault.

This is because your insurance coverage is paying for the repairs to your car.

It is important to note that deductibles are only applicable to drivers that have collision or full coverage auto insurance.

Liability insurance policies, for the owners of the policies, do not have deductibles because they do not pay for the repairs or replacement of the car if the policy owner is determined to be the at-fault driver.

Liability policies only cover the expenses of the other driver. If you have a liability policy and would like to upgrade to collision or full coverage with a low deductible, try a comparison quote tool.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

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