Things Your Adjuster Really Should Explain – Deductibles
About once or twice a week, here at Fenders Collision USA, we have a Customer that does not totally grasp the concept of Insurance Deductibles. That’s okay…it can be a bit confusing the first time around.
Whenever one purchases an Insurance Policy of any type, in this case an auto policy, they will be asked to select a deductible. A deductible is an amount, usually $250, $500, or even $1000 or more, that the Individual purchasing the Policy agrees to in advance. This agreed amount will have to be paid by the Individual PRIOR to the Insurance Company contributing any of their funds to a claim.
In other words, if you, as the purchaser of the Insurance Policy, select a deductible amount of $500, then you agree that any damages to your automobile that are $500 and less, you will cover. For example, if your automobile has damages of $1200 AND you are seeking a claim under your own policy, then you will have to pay $500 and your Insurance Company will pay the additional $700…it’s really that simple.
Remember, in the claim process, the deductible is exhausted first and then the Insurance Company contributes.
With that being said, the above only applies to you if you are invoking your own Insurance Policy to repair your vehicle. Damages that occurred due to no fault of your own, but due to the actions of another Driver, may allow you to claim against their Auto Policy. As a Claimant, you are not obligated to pay any deductible.
We have included answers to some the of the commonly asked questions:
Q – ” When do I need to pay my deductible after an accident and to whom?”
A – Here at Fenders Collision, most of our Customers pay their deductibles once repairs have been completed and they are picking up their vehicles. Since the deductible is part of the repair amount, the deductible is paid directly to the Repair Shop.
Q – ” Will the Repair Shop cover my deductible?”
A – Margins within automotive collision repairs are very tight. Most reputable Repair Shops will not cover your deductible due to this very fact. However, you may be able to offset your deductible by not replacing a part on the vehicle that only has cosmetic damage. We have done this in the past with Customers after they have signed a simple decline form. Some Insurance Companies do this as a matter of practice by using an “Appearance Allowance”. For example, if the headlight on your damaged vehicle has a minor scuff that you are willing to live with, then they will pay you a portion of the headlight’s cost that you can then use to offset your deductible amount.
Q – ” I damaged someone’s vehicle, but there is no damage to mine. Will I have to pay a deductible in order for them to have their car repaired?”
A – No. The damages to their vehicle will be covered under the Liability Section of your Auto policy. This section covers the damages to other’s property that you have cause. Since you have no damage to your own vehicle and, therefore, will not be seeking repairs, then there will be no need to pay a deductible.