The deductible is the out-of-pocket money you pay if your car is damaged and you file a claim with your insurer. The cause and circumstances of the damage determine whether you have to pay the deductible. Here are four examples of situations where the deductible comes into play:
If You Are at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident
Your deductible comes into play every time you are found to be at fault for an accident. This applies whether you are determined to be fully or partially at fault. You pay the full deductible if you are 100% responsible for the accident. If you are partially at fault, then your deductible applies in proportion to your percentage of fault.
If You Crash Into an Object
Not all car accidents involve other cars; you can also damage your car by crashing into another object (including automobiles and animals). In such a case, it's your collision coverage that pays for the repairs. You would have to pay a deductible even if you were not at fault. For example, if you crash into a road obstruction, you can make a claim under your collision coverage, and the insurer will pay for the repairs less your deductible.
If Your Car Is Damaged by Anything Other Than Collision
As you know, damage caused by anything other than collision accident is covered under comprehensive coverage. Just like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage also includes a deductible that you have to pay before your insurance company pays for the rest of the damage. Therefore, if your car is damaged by arsonists or earthquake, you need your insurer's settlement check plus your deductible to repair or replace the car.
If Your Car Is Damaged by an Uninsured Motorist
Lastly, your deductible may also come into play if your car is damaged by an uninsured motorist. The coverage also comes into play if your car is damaged by a hit and run driver or if you find your parked car damaged. This kind of damage is paid for by uninsured motorist coverage, which may be mandatory or optional depending on your state laws.
These are some of the situations in which you will be required to pay a deductible hen filing a claim. Analyze your exposure to these risks and your existing deductible to determine if you have the right amount of deductible. Remember that a high deductible will result in low rates, but it means you need a sizable emergency cash to repair your car in case of damage. Talk to an agent at an insurance company like Northeast Insurance Agency for more information.