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Differences Between Comprehensive and Collision Deductibles in Auto Repairs

Differences Between Comprehensive and Collision Deductibles in Auto Repairs

When you hear the term “Full Coverage” for your auto insurance to cover auto repairs, the term refers to having collision and comprehensive coverage as well as standard liability coverage.

The deductible is the part of the insurance claim that is paid by the insured. Your deductible amounts are chosen at the time you write your policy. Deductibles usually range between $0 and $2,500 with several steps in-between. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium, but a higher deductible is real money you have to pay if your car is damaged and requires auto repairs.

Collision coverage is exactly what it sounds like, covering accidents involving collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects.

If you slide on ice and then your car hits a guardrail, this is a collision claim. The amount you chose for your collision deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay toward the cost of auto repairs. If you chose a $1000 deductible, that amount is your out-of-pocket cost for the repair.

You can think of comprehensive as coverage for everything else that might damage a car. While this isn’t entirely true, comprehensive coverage does cover most non-collision damage that might happen to a car. Common covered claims for comprehensive coverage are fire, theft, vandalism, and broken windshields. If you hit a deer or other animal, or if an animal hits your vehicle, these are also perils that would be covered by comprehensive coverage.

A cracked or broken windshield is a comprehensive claim. The amount you chose for your comprehensive deductible is the amount you’re responsible to pay toward the cost of the windshield repair or replacement. Here you see the potential benefit of choosing a lower deductible for comprehensive coverage.

Choosing a higher deductible for comprehensive coverage usually doesn’t save much money on your insurance premium and prevents you from making many comprehensive claims because the cost of auto repairs is lower than your comprehensive deductible. For this reason, many people choose a $250 deductible and some even choose a $0 deductible for their comprehensive coverage.

Many auto insurance companies will waive the comprehensive deductible for a cracked or chipped windshield if the damage can be safely repaired. Repairing the windshield is less expensive for you and for the insurance company than replacing the windshield. However, many times a windshield repair cannot be completed safely and the windshield must be replaced.

Most auto insurance policies allow you to choose separate deductible amounts for comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. A good balance that helps keep insurance premiums lower while also reducing your potential out-of-pocket cost is to choose a low deductible for comprehensive and a slightly higher deductible for collision. A higher deductible for comprehensive coverage provides minimal savings, but a higher deductible for collision coverage can provide meaningful savings.

Keep in mind that the deductible amount that will apply for your collision or comprehensive claim is determined by the deductible amount a listed on your policy on the date of loss. Your deductible amount can be changed at any time prior to a claim.

Our auto collision repair shops are equipped with modern repair equipment and staffed by collision repair experts. When you require auto collision repair, trust Track Side Auto Body & Paint Specialists for all of your collision repair needs.


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  • Ashley
    November 3, 2017, 10:32 pm REPLY

    Awesome article thanks for sharing.

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