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What Do You Do When You Can’t Afford Your Car Insurance Deductible?

Nowadays, Body shops are seeing more and more clients who are unable to pay their deductibles. It started to become an epidemic after the economic implosion of 2008, when car owners began cutting back on the insurance policies they'd buy. Cheap, high deductible insurance policies are common now but unfortunately, as cheap as these are to buy, they can be very expensive to use. When there is an accident, getting your car fixed under such a policy requires that the owner come up with the high deductible agreed upon. At John's Collision Center, we want you to be informed in a situation where you may not have enough money to pay your insurance deductible, because our #1 goal is for you to be safe as you drive the roads of Santee.

Problem: You Didn’t Plan to Get Into an Accident

One reason that people purchase high deductible car insurance policies is that they don’t truly realize how much they will have to come up with when they have an accident. They imagine that for most minor accidents, they could probably find a repair shop that could fix it for $100 or so. When they discover that even small fender benders can result in bills as high as $1,500-$2,500, they’re both confused and mad (mostly at themselves).

 A large number of these car owners find it very difficult to afford insurance and simply drop collision and comprehensive coverage altogether. Obviously, that’s not a scenario that we would ever endorse or suggest, so our best advice is this—don’t buy cheap car insurance with big deductibles.  It’s all about the savings now, without considering the consequences later. Each year, the insurance companies report lower and lower sales of insurance policies that include collision and comprehensive coverage. They also report 5% more sales for their high deductible products (where car owners need to take care of a $1,000 deductible before the insurance company will chip in) each year.

Many drivers have another way of handling a damaged car situation. They pay the deductible, collect the check from the insurance company and then simply keep the money without fixing the car. This has become prevalent since 2008 and of course it’s not a great idea, especially since many drivers try to keep their cars on the road after they’ve been in an accident, thereby endangering everyone.

Conclusion: High deductible insurance policies aren’t often a good idea

A high deductible insurance policy doesn’t save a car owner a great deal of money. Usually, one saves no more than $250 annually. Aiming to save $21 per month, one could easily end up getting an insurance policy that’s completely useless. If you’re considering going with a high deductible policy to save money, consider these questions first.

  • How important is it to you to have a car? If your car did get damaged in an accident, could you do without the car?
  • Would you lose your job if you didn’t have access to a car?
  • Do you often rent cars? If you do, getting full coverage on your own car could give you rental car coverage, too. You would save a lot of money this way. In many cities, there are car share programs and of course, many more people are taking Uber taxi cabs, to save money and gravitate away from the numerous costs associated with car ownership.

A high deductible insurance plan is essentially not meant for people who can’t afford full coverage. It’s meant for people who don’t need their car all the time or for those who have the money to pay for repairs on their own. It was never meant for people in a financial corner who couldn’t manage without their car, so re-think a car insurance policy with a low deductible and be safer (and covered) with a plan you can live (and drive) with!

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