How to Choose a Deductible for Your Auto Insurance
Not all auto insurance policies are alike. In fact, one of the most important decisions you will make before committing to an auto insurance policy is choosing your deductible. When you have an auto accident, your deductible would be the amount of money that you would pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in.
Here’s an example of how your deductible would work pertaining to your auto insurance. You’re involved in an accident. You then go to your favorite collision repair shop to get an estimate of what the cost would be to repair your vehicle and restore it back to its original state. The people at the repair shop tell you it’s going to cost $3,500 to repair it. Now, let’s say that you have a deductible of $500. Before any repairs will be made by the repair shop, you would be responsible for paying the first $500 of the full cost of repairs. Your insurance policy would then cover the rest. It’s important to note that your deductible only applies to repairs made to your own vehicle.
It is not uncommon for people to typically choose a deductible between $100 and $1,000. Depending on the state, deductibles could range from as low as $100 to as high as $10,000. Our agents can break down your options in simple terms so you can choose deductible that fits your budget.
Some insurance carriers offer something called a diminishing deductible. Erie Insurance is one of those companies. This is a great endorsement that can be added to your policy. For every year of safe driving, your deductible could be lowered by as much as $100 per year of driving without filing a claim on your auto insurance policy. If you keep a consistent track record of no accidents, your deductible to be diminished to nothing. That’s right! Zero!
Whenever you’re involved in an accident, it’s important to remember to get the other party’s insurance information. If you are deemed not responsible for the damage to the vehicles involved, you should file the claim through the other party’s insurance company. And, you will not be responsible for paying your deductible under your own auto policy.
The more money you commit to pay upfront (your deductible), the less your auto insurance premium typically is. If you’re not sure which deductible to choose, don’t worry. One of our agents can guide you through the process.
Before choosing a deductible, you should consider the following:
Life is unpredictable. It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. One way to make sure you’re ready if a problem strikes is to have money set aside for emergencies. That way, you won’t panic or have to scramble for cash.
As each new year begins, all of us take some time to reflect. We reflect on our goals, our accomplishments, and how our lives have changed. Perhaps you had a goal to go the gym three times a week. Or maybe, you told yourself you were going to travel more. Whatever the case may be, we all have different goals, different needs, and it’s up to us as individuals to have the discipline and tenacity to stay focused on what we need to do to make our lives better for ourselves and our families.
All of us may have resolutions that we set for ourselves as individuals, but how much thought have you given to creating a better life for your loved ones? Let’s talk about how paying attention to your insurance needs can make your life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable, so that you can live each day with the peace of mind you deserve.
The holiday season is nearly here, which means many shoppers will be driving in and out of store parking lots for the better part of a month. All that activity can up anyone’s chances of being in a parking lot accident. Which may lead you to wonder: How does insurance cover parking lot accidents?
If you damage someone else’s car in any way, it’s your responsibility—and possibly even the law—to leave a note if the other driver is still shopping.
“Not leaving a note is considered a hit-and-run in the vast majority of states,” says Dave Freeman, vice president and manager of Personal Lines Underwriting at ERIE. This applies even if it’s just a small scratch.
Unfortunately, some people won’t do the right thing. If you return to a dented or dinged car, you can ask around to see if there were any witnesses. If there aren’t any, ask the store if they have security cameras. “More and more stores are investing in cameras, which is giving investigators an opportunity to review an accident,” says Dave.
An at-fault driver’s auto insurance should cover the property damage they caused to the other vehicle. If the incident is a hit-and-run—or if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance or not enough insurance—you’ll have to rely on your own auto insurance to cover the damage. That’s assuming you purchased optional collision coverage on your own vehicle. Also, uninsured motorist property damage coverage that is available in some states protects your car if it’s struck by a hit-and-run driver. (A deductible may apply.)
Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This insurance coverage is optional in some states and mandatory in others. It covers you and your passengers’ damages if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your insurance agent can tell you more about this important coverage.
There is usually an at-fault driver when there’s a parking lot accident. But there are some cases where an accident is two drivers’ fault—for instance, two people may back out at the same time and hit each other. What typically happens in these cases is that each driver files a claim with their own insurance company.
Prevent Dings, Dents, and Accidents
From slowing down to parking at a distance from other cars, there are lots of ways to help prevent parking lot accidents. Yet nothing is foolproof. If you do get in a parking lot accident, Dave recommends not leaving a nasty note or getting into an argument—things can quickly get out of control. Instead, simply take down the contact information of any witnesses and call your insurance company.
Instances like these show how important the right auto insurance is. Talk to Boizelle Insurance to learn more about getting the right coverage for your car.
Originally by: Amanda Prischak, Erie InsuranceRead more