What Exactly Is an Auto Insurance Deductible?

Here are some quick facts about auto insurance deductibles:

  • A deductible is the amount of a covered loss that you pay out of pocket.
  • Two types of auto coverage carry deductibles: collision and comprehensive.
  • The most common deductible is $500, but the amount can vary.
  • You choose the deductible amount that works best for you.


Q:Question I have to choose deductibles for my auto coverage. What should I know before making my decision?


We asked Jeremy Schlueter, a Farmers Insurance® agent in Brecksville, Ohio, for an explanation of auto insurance deductibles.

A:Answer A deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying when you have a covered comprehensive or collision loss. Think of it as a copay — like you have with health insurance.

There are two types of auto coverage that have deductibles: collision and comprehensive. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car if you hit another vehicle or a stationary object. Most of the customers I’ve worked with choose a collision deductible of $500, but available deductibles can range from $100 to $1,000 depending on the insurance company and where you live.

Deductibles also vary with comprehensive coverage, which covers damage from things other than collision, like theft, weather, and wild animals. Some customers choose a lower deductible on comprehensive coverage — like $100 or $250 — although $500 is the most popular.

Remember, you select the deductible amount that works best for you. Because a higher deductible means that you will have to pay more of a covered loss, a higher deductible usually means you’ll pay less in premium and vice versa. Your agent can sit down with you and crunch the numbers — then you can make an informed choice.

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