It can be difficult to plan for unexpected expenses. 

Even after you budget for your car payment and insurance premium, you’ll need to allocate some money toward any repairs not covered by your insurance policy. Some people would prefer to pay a higher premium up front to avoid these costs later on. 

If you sign up for a $0 deductible insurance plan, your car insurance company will pay for the full cost of repairs to your vehicle, up till your policy limits, rather than sharing some of the burden with you. This is an appealing option for drivers who want to avoid an unplanned bill. On the other hand, you’ll likely pay a high premium for $0 deductible auto insurance. In most cases, a low-deductible plan will allow you to strike a balance between a high monthly payment and a large unplanned expense later on. 

Premiums for the same coverage and the same auto insurance deductible can also vary widely across auto insurance companies. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare auto insurance quotes apples-to-apples. The easiest way to get the best possible rate is to use Insurify to compare personalized quotes from different providers. You’ll be able to toggle between coverage amounts to see the best rates available to you for the coverage you need and the deductible you want. 

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How Car Insurance Deductibles Work 

When you file an insurance claim, the deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying, while your insurance company covers the rest. In the world of auto insurance, it’s a specific, predetermined dollar amount. This amount is subtracted from the total amount of the insured loss when your insurance company writes you a check. 

For example, let’s say you get into a car accident and you have collision coverage. Your insurance adjuster determines that there is $4,000 in damages to your vehicle. If your deductible is $500, your insurer will only send you a check for the remaining $3,500. If your deductible is $1,500, your insurer will only cover $2,500. 

Unlike health insurance deductibles, car insurance deductibles apply each time you make a claim. That means that for every insured loss, you’re responsible for covering the full amount of your deductible. 

Deductibles allow insurance companies to share some of the risk with policyholders. The higher the deductible listed on your insurance policy, the more of the risk you’re taking on yourself, which means your insurance company will be able to offer you a lower premium

Generally, low deductibles come with high premiums, while high deductibles come with low premiums. However, your goal shouldn’t be to get the lowest possible premium regardless of the deductible amount. That’s because you don’t want to get stuck with an unaffordable bill from the mechanic. If you need your car to get to work, and you can’t afford to repair it, that could put you in a financial hole that’s difficult to climb out of. 

You should never choose a deductible that’s higher than the amount you have stashed away in your emergency fund. You want to make sure you’ll be able to cover that portion of the repairs without needing to borrow any money. 

Remember, the purpose of car insurance isn’t just to allow you to drive legally; it’s to protect you in the event of a collision. Choosing comprehensive coverage is important, and so is selecting an affordable deductible. You don’t want to incur unmanageable expenses on top of paying your premium. 

To find cheap car insurance with a low deductible, you should use Insurify to compare quotes. You’ll just need to enter some information about your vehicle and driving record to get started. From there, you can see customized insurance quotes from up to 20 different insurance companies side by side. 

$0 Deductible Options 

While we caution against higher deductibles because they can strain your finances in the event of a loss, you should also be aware that $0 deductible car insurance policies will drive up the cost of your annual premium. You don’t want to end up with a car insurance premium you can’t afford, nor do you want to get stuck with car repairs you can’t afford. It’s typically best to choose a plan with a lower deductible and comprehensive insurance coverage

That said, if you don’t mind paying a higher premium for the peace of mind that you’ll be fully reimbursed for any claims, many insurance companies offer zero deductible auto insurance policies. An easy way to find insurance providers that offer different types of coverage with zero deductible options is to compare insurance rates with Insurify

Find Affordable Car Insurance Today 

Comparing quotes for zero deductible car insurance can be a hassle if you don’t have the right tools. You’ll have to enter your information on multiple insurers’ websites and possibly speak to several insurance agents just to find the lowest monthly premium for the auto coverage you need. If you want to streamline the process and spend only a few minutes of your time getting customized quotes for low- and no-deductible policies, Insurify can help. 

You’ll need to enter some basic information about yourself and your car to get started. It just takes a few minutes to complete our user-friendly form. After that, we’ll pull personalized quotes from 20 different insurance providers so you can find the best deal. You’ll even be able to toggle between types of coverage and deductible amounts to find a policy that fits your budget. Select an insurer, and you can typically complete your signup online and get coverage right away.

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Updated September 25, 2020

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.