When you take out an insurance policy, you usually have to accept a "deductible." This is an amount you'd have to fork over before the insurer will pay a claim. For example, if your homeowner's policy has a $1,000 deductible, you'd have to pay the first $1,000 of any home repair charges you incur, and the insurance company picks up the balance. When the insurance company waives your deductible, it simply means that you don't have to pay it.
No Deductible Waiver in Health Insurance
A health insurance deductible is the cash amount you have to pay before the insurer starts contributing. It's an annual amount that re-sets each calendar year. Choosing a plan with a high deductible — for example $10,000 — should result in a lower premium compared to a plan with a low deductible amount. A low deductible reduces the amount the insurance company has to pay toward medical bills. It would be extremely unusual for a healthcare insurer to waive a deductible since doing so may violate federal fraud laws. The only exception is if you are suffering genuine financial hardship and cannot pay your bill.
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Waivers Are Common With Auto Collision Coverage
You don't need auto collision coverage to drive on America's roads, but if you do take out a policy with collision coverage, it's a relatively certain way of paying for vehicle damage in case of an accident. The most expensive type of coverage, called broad collision coverage, automatically waives the deductible if the accident was mostly someone else's fault. This means the insurer will pay all or most of the repair costs if you're less than 50 percent to blame for the crash. If you choose standard collision coverage as a more cost-effective option, the insurance company will not waive the deductible, and you'll have to pay it from your own funds even if the accident was not your fault.
Waiver of Deductible Clauses for High-Value Homeowners
Some high-value homeowner's insurance policies contain a waiver of deductible clause for large losses, such as when the home is completely destroyed by a fire. If your policy has one of these clauses, you will not have to pay the amount of the deductible when the damage is over a certain amount. For example, if your homeowner's policy has a large-loss waiver of deductible for claims over $50,000, and your home suffers catastrophic water damage that costs $55,000 to repair, you will not have to pay the deductible on your claim. Each insurer handles this type of waiver differently, so ask lots of questions before you buy.
Free Windshield Replacement in Some States
Massachusetts, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina are zero deductible states where windshields are concerned. If you live in one of these states and a rock flies up and cracks your windshield, you won't pay a dime to have it fixed. And New York and Arizona insurers are permitted to offer zero-deductible windshield policies if they want to. In other states, it's up to the insurance company whether it will waive your windshield deductible. Many insurers waive the deductible because leaving the crack unattended could cost them a lot more if the windshield shatters. Also, some glass shops waive the deductible as a marketing ploy to win your business. They do this by knocking off some or all of the amount of the deductible from the total repair bill.