How To Choose Your Car Insurance Deductible

When you buy car insurance, you’ll have to make several choices about your insurer and optional coverages. You’ll also have to choose your insurance deductible, which can be more challenging than it sounds. Should you try to save money by picking a higher deductible or feel more secure by going with a lower one?

To choose the right deductible for you, you’ll need to consider your driving history, your emergency fund, and the costs of different deductibles, along with several other factors. Here’s what you need to know about your options.

Your insurance deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket when you make a claim before your insurer picks up the rest of the bill. Choosing your deductible allows you to decide how much financial responsibility you want for claims and repairs. A deductible is typically only required for certain types of auto insurance coverage, such as:

Whether you pay a deductible after an event depends on your coverage, who is at fault, your insurance company, and your state’s laws. For example, in California, you could qualify for a deductible waiver on your collision coverage, which means your insurer will pay the deductible if an uninsured motorist hits you. Some insurers may not charge a deductible for windshield repairs or may offer a different deductible for these repairs.

Imagine a tree branch falls on your car and causes damage. You file a claim on your comprehensive coverage and the repair shop estimates it will cost $1,000 to fix. What you’ll pay depends on your deductible:

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