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Your deductible is one of the single most important components of your overall insurance policy. Unlike liability coverage, which protects the third party, comprehensive and collision coverage takes care of your car should an accident occur.
The deductible is the amount that you will need to pay before your insurance company provides the rest of the money needed for repairs.
If you’ve had your insurance policy for some time, it’s easy to forget what your deductible is. Use this information to learn more about what you can do to find out how much you’ll be expected to pay if you’re involved in a collision.
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Many automobile insurers now offer a myriad of ways for insureds to get information about their coverage.
First, you can go the traditional route and give your insurer a call. You can obtain the phone number with a quick Internet search query or by pulling out the phonebook.
If you’re not the telephone type, you can opt to go online and see if virtual chat is available.
If chatting is an option, there will usually be a box that will come up on the screen the moment you land on your insurance company’s website.
If this box never shows up, try to find a link that says, “Contact Us.” The information on this page will let you know if chatting is an option.
Another route you can take to get the information is to log into your online account. If you’ve never done this before, you may need to set up an account.
However, the time you take to set up your online account could prove to be well worth it because you can find nearly everything there is to know about your policy by logging into your account.
To log in, grab your insurance identification card so you’ll have your policy number, go to your insurer’s homepage, and follow the prompts on the screen.
After entering some identifying information, you should be in fairly quickly so you can take a look at your deductible amounts.
Now that you’ve gathered your deductible, it’s time to evaluate whether or not it is a workable amount.
When you initially set up your car insurance policy, you may have had some budget restrictions that made it nearly mandatory for you to get a high deductible.
If your financial situation has changed, you should consider changing your deductible along with it.
For example, if you’ve set your deductible at $1,000, you may think you’re saving money because your premium isn’t as high as it would be if your deductible were $500.
However, you must look at the long-term effects, rather than the relatively little amount of money that you’re saving in the short term.
If you were to get into an accident tomorrow, ask yourself this question, “Would I be able to come up with $1,000 for my deductible?”
Remember, the insurance company will not kick in to pay repair bills until you’ve taken care of that deductible. If the answer to this question is, “No,” it’s time to lower your deductible.
A good rule of thumb is to always set your deductible to an amount that you can readily produce should it become necessary.
It may seem like a lot of money upfront, but if you’re involved in a collision that results in $10,000 worth of damage to your car, you’ll be glad that all you have to produce is $500 to have it taken care of.
Finding out your deductible is the first step to determining if it needs to be changed.
Don’t wait; start following these steps right away so you can make sure that your deductible is where it should be!
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