What Is a Comprehensive Deductible?

Comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of a broken window from vandalism.
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Collision, bodily injury and property damage are the three core components of most auto insurance plans. Although it's not mandatory, you can also choose to purchase comprehensive coverage. A low comprehensive deductible typically costs less than other deductibles, but you're more likely to have to pay the deductible if you do file a claim.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance coverage is designed to cover events like natural disasters, fires, floods, theft and vandalism. These aren't covered by collision insurance. Comprehensive insurance also kicks in when you collide with something other than a vehicle or an object. For instance, if you hit a deer, comprehensive insurance would cover the claim. It isn't legally mandatory, but can be worth it you live and drive in an area with high vandalism rates, or one prone to damage from natural elements.

How the Deductible Works

Your comprehensive deductible is the amount you have to pay before your comprehensive insurance will cover expenses. For example, say that you incurred $1,200 worth of damage to your car from a flood and your deductible is $400. Your insurance would reimburse you $800, which is the difference between the cost and the deductible. Comprehensive deductibles apply to each claim you file. For example, if your car floods again six months later and you file a new claim, the deductible would again be deducted from your reimbursement.

Deductible Costs

When you purchase comprehensive insurance, you can choose the amount of your deductible. There's an inverse relationship between the amount of your deductible and the monthly rate that you'll pay each month for insurance coverage. The lower the deductible, the more you'll pay. It's best to find a balance where you're comfortable with your monthly payment and confident you could afford the deductible if you do file a claim.

Deductible Comparison

A low comprehensive deductible tends to be less expensive than a low collision deductible. The main reason for this is that you may not always have to pay your collision deductible. Usually, customers who file a collision claim only have to pay the deductible if they're found partially or fully at fault for the accident. In contrast, you'll almost always have to pay your comprehensive deductible when filing a claim, even if the incident wasn't your fault. Since you're more likely to actually pay a comprehensive deductible, it can be advantageous to keep it low.

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