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Auto Insurance FAQs

How do I choose the best deductibles for my Florida auto insurance?

Selecting the best car insurance deductible depends on a number of key factors.  You will need to consider everything from your driving history, your current financial situation, the value of your vehicle(s), and if you can afford to wait to fix a car that has been damaged and can’t be driven until repaired.

First, let’s get some basic vocabulary down.

What are car insurance deductibles?  A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you have to pay toward repairs before your insurance covers the rest. For example, if you’re in an accident that causes $3,000 worth of damage to your car and your deductible is $500, you will only have to pay $500 toward the repair. The insurance company pays the remaining $2,500.

What are Comprehensive & Collision Insurance Coverage?  Collision coverage is the auto insurance component which pays for damages stemming from an accident which happened on the road.  Comprehensive car insurance coverage is sort of a universal coverage that insures your car against pretty much anything that collision coverage doesn’t cover. It is the insurance which will pay for damages incurred through such things as vandalism, fire, and theft.

Factors to consider when selecting your deductibles

Current Financial Situation – Because deductibles have to be paid before you vehicle is repaired and returned to you after an accident, if you don’t have the cash, you don’t have the use of your car anymore.  If you use your vehicle daily for work, or family, or school, and you don’t have an alternative, choosing a lower deductible may be prudent.  Don’t choose a deductible that is so high that you won’t be able to cover the cost in the event your vehicle is damaged.

Vehicle Value – Auto insurance typically only covers the actual value of a covered vehicle.  That means they take into account age, mileage, etc.  In some instances, the value of the vehicle minus the deductible is small and full coverage insurance might not make sense at all.

Insurance Cost – Higher deductibles generally mean lower insurance costs, because you are assuming more of the risk if you have an incident.

Risk Factors – Several risk factors need to be considered.  Are you a good/safe driver?  Do you live in an area where weather/ice/snow is a factor and you are more likely to have an accident?  Do you have young drivers in your household who are statistically more likely to have an accident?  Is your vehicle garaged or parked on the street?  How many miles do you drive per month?  More miles mean more likely to get in an accident.

Ultimately, deciding on the best car insurance deductibles for you should be based on balancing your personal financial situation (cost of insurance and ability to cover a deductible), how long you can go without your car if you can’t pay the deductible and how likely you are to have an incident requiring you to pay your deductible.

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