When you are in an accident and your car is repairable, you may not understand how car insurance works. Your auto insurance policy likely includes a deductible, a set amount you must pay when your care needs repaired as a result of a car accident. Along with your deductible, you may have different types of coverage.
What types of car insurance policies are there?
Dissimilar from health insurance that covers all of the medical that you need, car insurance has different types. Your car insurance is generally comprehensive coverage, collision or liability -only coverage. If you are in an auto accident that you are responsible for, liability car insurance coverage includes repairs to the other driver’s vehicle. You have no coverage for your vehicle with liability coverage. In the case of comprehensive and collision coverage, a deductible applies.
Collision insurance coverage includes the cost of repairs for your vehicle if you are in an auto accident that involves another vehicle or object, such as a garage door. Collision insurance will cover the repair costs or vehicle replacement if it is deemed warranted. However, this type of policy does not cover any damage caused to another individual’s vehicle or property.
Comprehensive insurance coverage includes repairs to your vehicle when damage occurs in any accident – even if you are the driver at fault. This type of coverage also includes damage to your vehicle that may not be covered by another policy like damage caused by storms
What is a deductible?
A car insurance deductible is a specific amount you are responsible for. Policies without a deductible are rare, and on average they cost between $500 and $1,000.
When does a deductible apply?
If your deductible is $500 and you are in a car crash and your vehicle requires $5,000 in repairs, you are responsible for paying $500 (in addition to your regularly monthly premiums). You should know that your deductibles are based on each claim so any time you have an accident, you are responsible for the deductible amount each time. It is best to assess your driving history to determine the best car insurance option for you.
Most importantly, know that you can use the company of your choice when making a vehicle repair. You simply pay the deductible amount to the company for repair after you have notified your insurance company and received approval to proceed.
Is the deductible ever waived?
There are some instances in which your deductible is waived. Some of those include a two-vehicle accident, when the other driver is deemed at fault, and when the other driver’s insurance company accepts fault.
Choosing the right deductible and rates-
Modifying your deductible can vary the premium you pay each year. If you choose to raise your deductible, your premium will decrease. People who have higher deductibles generally have less claims.
A high deductible plan can help to lower your rates; however, you should speak with your insurance representative before committing to this type of plan. In addition, it is best to get multiple quotes for vehicle insurance before deciding on a policy so you can get the best deal with the most coverage.
What is covered?
Most of the time you will have to pay a deductible for any claim against your insurance, but there are instances in which policies offer coverage for claims like windshield repair, temporary rental car usage and tow trucks without paying a deductible.
What if the accident was not my fault?
If you are in a car accident that is not your fault, liability may not be clear. You should always report an accident to your insurance company. In this instance, you can proceed with paying your deductible and getting your vehicle repaired. If the insurance company is able to win a claim against the other driver, they will most likely reimburse you for the paid deductible amount.
What if my car is totaled?
Regardless of whether or not your car is repaired or deemed “totaled out,” you will have to pay a deductible toward the repair or new vehicle. When a vehicle needs repaired, the insurance company writes you a check in the amount of the repair less the deductible. When it is totaled, they will write you a check based on the valuation of the vehicle minus the deductible.
You may think that you have to use the auto body shop your insurance company refers you to, but that is not the case. As the insured or claimant, you are entitled to choose a body shop that provides high-quality repair work, like Alexander Body & Fender. Contact us to receive an inspection and estimate on your auto body work. We want to help you get back on the road!