Car insurance is an essential part of driving, providing financial protection in the case of a car accident or other incident. While collision car insurance policies cover a range of potential driving accidents, comprehensive car insurance offers additional coverage that protects you against various other risks.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 79% of insured drivers purchase comprehensive coverage in addition to liability insurance, and 75% buy collision coverage.

Usually, comprehensive car insurance comes with a comprehensive deductible, which is the amount you will have to pay before your comprehensive car insurance kicks in. Comprehensive coverage protects yourself, your passengers and your vehicle from hazards like theft, vehicle/animal collisions, glass damage, damage from falling objects, vandalism, fire, flood and other severe weather damage.

Key Highlights
  • The comprehensive deductible car insurance is the amount you pay toward repairs from covered perils before your insurance policy kicks in.
  • Depending on your state’s laws and insurance company guidelines, the comprehensive deductibles vary between $250 and $1,000.
  • The comprehensive deductible is paid per incident, so you will pay for the deductible every time you file a claim for your comprehensive coverage.

What is a comprehensive deductible?

A comprehensive deductible is how much you pay for an insured loss. The deductible is subtracted from your claim payment for a covered accident.

Typically, comprehensive deductibles range from $100 to $2,500, as car insurance deductible choices vary depending on your state laws and insurance company guidelines.

Deductibles tend to be between $250 and $1,000.

Usually, the deductible is paid per incident, which implies you will pay for every comprehensive auto insurance claim you make.

How do comprehensive insurance deductibles work?

A car insurance deductible is how much you pay before your insurer starts to pay in the event of an auto accident. So, if your deductible is $500 and you have a claim for $5,000, you’ll be responsible for $500 and your insurer will pay $4,500.

Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium costs for an insurance plan. Car insurance deductibles are paid per incident, so you must pay your deductible amount every time you make a comprehensive claim. The exception is if you live in a state where laws require the deductible to be waived for windshield claims.

The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums will be but you’ll be responsible for that higher deductible in the event of a claim.

How do you choose a comprehensive deductible?

When choosing the deductible for car insurance, you’ll want to strike a balance between paying too much out of pocket if something happens and not paying more than you can afford in monthly premiums.

There are a few things to consider when choosing your deductibles, such as your budget, the value of your vehicle, how much you have in savings that you could put toward auto repairs and the likelihood that you’ll need to make a claim.

When deciding on your comprehensive deductible, consider all these factors and tailor your deductible amount to suit your needs and budget. With careful planning and consideration, you can find the optimal car insurance deductible for you and your family.

Why you may not want a high comprehensive deductible?

Here are a few reasons why you should avoid having a high comprehensive insurance deductible:

  • A high deductible can mean you have to pay more out of pocket in case of an accident or other covered loss. This can be especially problematic if you don’t have a lot of savings or emergency funds to cover these expenses.
  • Increased auto insurance deductibles can also make getting the coverage you need more difficult because insurance companies often limit the coverage they’re willing to provide for high-deductible plans. As a result, you may not get the full coverage you need if you have a high deductible.
  • Having a higher deductible makes it more challenging to qualify for specific discounts. For example, many insurance companies offer discounts for low-mileage drivers. However, if you have a high deductible, you may not be able to get these discounts.

Comprehensive insurance claims and your rates

Unlike liability or collision claims for accidents, comprehensive claims typically won’t increase your rates. The exception is if you file multiple claims in a short time. Insurance companies frequently boost rates after comprehensive claims have been filed to recoup the expense of a claim.

FAQ: Comprehensive car insurance deductibles

What are $100 and $500 deductibles?

If your policy states a $100 deductible and informs you that you have an insured loss worth $10,000, you will receive a claim check of $9,900. If your policy states a $500 deductible for the same loss, you will receive a claim check of $9,500.

What is the average deductible for car insurance?

The most common average deductible for car insurance is $500, followed by $1,000. But most drivers can choose the deductible from $100 to $2,500, depending on their insurer.

When do you pay the deductible for car insurance and who do you pay it to?

You “pay” a deductible when your car is damaged in an accident and needs repair. The process is usually initiated after an insurer has accepted the claim and issued a payment.

Ideally, when you file for a claim, the deductible amount automatically gets deducted from your claim once the insurer approves it.

What are the types of car insurance deductibles?

Deductibles are chosen when you sign up for your auto insurance policy:

The deductible is optional for the following coverages:


Insurance Information Institute, “Facts & Statistics: Auto Insurance.” Accessed May 2022.

Insurance Information Institute, “Understanding your insurance deductibles.” Accessed May 2022.

Insurance Information Institute, “How much auto coverage do I need?” Accessed May 2022.

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Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.