McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Choosing Your Car Insurance Deductible

Choosing your car insurance deductible will have an impact one way or another on the price you pay for your policy. Lower deductibles will lead to higher premiums, while high deductibles will save you money on the price you pay for each covered policy period. But it is not cut and dried that the highest deductibles are the ones we should carry for our auto insurance plans. There are other factors to consider, and each driver should create coverage that reflects their priorities and helps them keep premiums within their budget.

Car Insurance Deductibles Explained

Before going too far into any discussion of what an appropriate auto insurance deductible might be, it is useful to begin by starting out with a brief definition or explanation of exactly what insurance deductibles are. Each part of a policy has certain stated coverage limits. The limits represent the largest payout the insurance company is willing to pay on a claim based on the premiums charged to the covered policy holder.

Deductibles represent the policy holder's portion of their overall coverage. Drivers take on deductibles to lower the cost of a policy. They make the policy more affordable for multiple reasons. First of all, they reduce the total cost of a payout in the event of a claim. And second (and perhaps more significantly), they cut into the possible number of claims because deductibles have to be met before a claim can even be paid out. So, a $1,000 deductible greatly affects a driver's ability to make a claim as opposed to a $250 deductible. In the event of a minor accident with minimal damage, a liability policy with a higher deductible will not even be put to use, saving the insurer the administrative cost of responding to the claim as well as the cost of the payout itself.

Importance of Choosing Deductibles

Setting your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage is extremely important. It is a choice that will go a long way toward determining the premiums you pay for a policy. The higher the deductible level, the lower the premium will be every covered policy period. So, drivers definitely save in the short term by opting for high deductible levels. Low deductibles, on the other hand, cost more in terms of premiums but save money when claims arise. A major accident requiring the payout of full deductibles will be much less painful out of pocket if those deductibles are lower, which is important to keep in mind when looking at no personal info car insurance quotes.

Clearly there are advantages to electing higher or lower levels for your coverage, and disadvantages as well. There is no clear cut answer that works for all drivers. Every policy holder must choose on an individual basis the appropriate deductible to take on. But this is not always an easy task. Going too low makes those premiums pretty painful to have to send out. But setting them too high leaves you exposed to the possibility of huge payments coming due when claims arise. For some drivers, taking the middle ground seems the most sensible. But this is not how every driver thinks about their vehicle insurance rates.

Factors Contributing to Deductible Choices

There are a number of different factors that typically go into the determination of what the right deductible might be. For some drivers, there is no decision at all, because they simply go by whatever default policy their insurer offers them. But for many others, this is an important choice fraught with serious economic implications any way they look at it.

Income level and credit score are certainly two of the factors that influence choices on deductibles. Drivers who earn more money can afford higher premiums and might be disinclined to opt for high deductible rates when they don't need to take that gamble in order to make their policies affordable. And those with better credit scores normally face lower rates to begin with, making them more likely to find lower deductibles affordable than those with poor credit.

It is not always easy to navigate that balance between how much we are willing to pay up front and the amount we're willing to gamble having to pay in the event of a claim. Drivers with sufficient savings set aside might be more comfortable with high deductible rates than those of us who live hand to mouth. The age of the car and its value are always a variable as well. For older cars we might not even make a collision claim at all, instead opting to live with the damage or repair it when we have the money.

Choosing your car insurance deductible is not an easy task. For anyone to make a sensible and logical choice, they need to take into consideration all pertinent variables and decide how much they're willing to hedge against future claims.


FREE Quotes, Multiple Insurers

Zip Code