How to Get No Deductible / Zero Deductible Car Insurance
Last Updated on December 13, 2020
With standard car insurance, you pay a deductible when making a claim. You pay a deductible, and your insurer covers the rest.
Some drivers, however, are curious about zero deductible car insurance. With zero deductible car insurance, you pay nothing when making a claim. You make a claim, and your car insurance covers the entire claim without you needing to pay anything.
Is zero deductible car insurance an option? How does no deductible car insurance work? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about no deductible car insurance.
How Zero Deductible Car Insurance Works
When you select zero deductible car insurance, you select a policy that does not require you to pay any amount upfront towards a covered claim.
With standard car insurance policies, you pay a deductible of $250 to $1,500 upfront, then your insurer covers the rest.
After a collision, for example, your car may require $10,000 of repairs. You pay a $1,500 deductible under your collision coverage, and your insurer covers the remaining $8,500. Your deductible goes towards the repairs, and your insurer covers the claim.
Or, if you scrape your car pulling into your garage, you might pay a $250 deductible under your comprehensive coverage. Let’s say it costs $1,000 to repair your vehicle. You pay your comprehensive coverage deductible of $250, and your insurer covers the remaining $750.
With zero deductible car insurance, you don’t pay anything: your insurer covers your entire claim without you paying a penny towards a deductible.
Some Insurers Provide Zero Deductible Car Insurance
Yes, you can find no deductible car insurance policies. In fact, many insurers in the United States offer car insurance without a deductible.
However, there’s one big drawback of zero deductible car insurance: you pay much higher premiums every month. Instead of paying $100 per month for car insurance and $250 every time you make a claim, you might pay $200 per month for car insurance and $0 when making a claim.
You’re better off in the short run – especially if you have multiple claims. In the long run, however, zero deductible car insurance can cost significantly more.
The higher premiums are the insurance company’s way of accepting the higher risk. It’s riskier to insure a driver with zero deductible. That driver has no incentive to avoid filing a claim. Even if it’s a small claim – like windshield damage or a scrape – the driver may want to file a claim because they pay no deductible.
Zero Deductible Car Insurance is Common with Some Coverage Types But Not Others
It’s rare to find zero deductible car insurance for comprehensive and collision coverage. With these coverages, car insurance premiums would be so expensive with zero deductible car insurance that it’s not worth it: unless you’re making multiple claims per year, you’ll come out behind.
Here’s how deductibles work for most common types of car insurance:
Collision Coverage: Collision coverage has the highest average deductible. Most drivers pay a deductible of $500 to $1,500 for collision coverage. Collision coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident.
Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage tends to have a lower deductible than collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your vehicle outside of accidents, including environmental damage, vehicle theft, vandalism, and other issues. A typical comprehensive coverage deductible is $250 to $750.
Personal Injury Protection: Some states prevent insurers from charging a deductible for personal injury protection claims. If you file a claim for medical bills after an accident through your personal injury protection, then your insurer could cover these costs without requiring a deductible, depending on your state.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Some states require uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage could cover a hit-and-run and similar incidents. Some states prevent insurers from charging a deductible for uninsured motorist property damage claims. If a driver hits your vehicle and doesn’t have insurance, or if someone hits your vehicle and leaves the scene, then your insurer could cover the cost of repairing this damage without requiring a deductible.
As we’ll learn below, some states require insurers to charge deductibles – or not charge deductibles – depending on the type of coverage and the claim being made.
Some States Require Zero Deductible Car Insurance by Law
Zero deductible car insurance varies by state law.
Some states forbid drivers from paying a deductible for certain claims, for example. Many states prevent insurance companies from charging a deductible for personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured motorist property damage coverage, for example.
Other states have laws that allow insurers to waive deductibles for certain types of claims.
In some states, for example, insurers will waive the deductible for broken windshield claims. In fact, broken windshield claims are the most common type of zero deductible claims. A broken windshield isn’t expensive to repair – but it is important to repair. Many insurers waive the deductible and cover 100% of the cost of replacing your windshield.
Many insurers waive the deductible for broken glass claims if the glass can be repaired instead of being replaced. It’s cheap to repair glass, and it may not make sense to pay a deductible. That’s why some insurers waive your deductible in this situation.
Liability Coverage Has Zero Deductible
By law, most states require drivers to have liability coverage to protect other drivers and property.
If you make a claim through another driver’s liability coverage, then you should not have to pay a deductible.
Let’s say another driver caused an accident. The other driver rear-ended you, causing $3,000 in damage. You contact the other driver’s insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company agrees to cover the claim.
The other driver’s insurance company does not require you to pay a deductible. Instead, they cover all damage upfront. The other driver, however, needs to pay a deductible under comprehensive or collision coverage.
If you make a claim through another driver’s liability coverage, or if another driver makes a claim through your liability coverage, then there’s no deductible.
There are two main types of liability coverage required in most states:
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: This covers medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and similar expenses after an accident. If you collide with another driver and that driver requires $5,000 of medical treatment, then your bodily injury liability coverage covers this cost without requiring a deductible.
Property Damage Liability Coverage: This covers property damage, including vehicle repair and replacement costs. If you wreck someone’s car in an accident, then the other driver makes a claim through your property damage liability coverage, receiving compensation without paying a deductible.
Zero Deductible Car Insurance is Uncommon in the United States
You can find zero deductible car insurance with personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist property damage coverage in multiple states. However, it’s uncommon overall across the United States.
In most states, you’ll struggle to find zero deductible car insurance with major insurance providers – especially with collision and comprehensive coverage.
You may be able to lower your deductible as low as $250, although dropping it to $0 may be impossible. Unless your state has unique insurance laws, you are unlikely to find zero deductible car insurance in most states for collision or comprehensive coverage.
Customize your Deductible by Contacting Your Insurer
Most insurers allow you to change your deductible however you like. You can raise your deductible to lower your monthly premiums, for example, or lower your deductible to raise your monthly premiums.
By customizing your deductible, you can adjust risk however you like. Some drivers are willing to pay more for each claim in exchange for lower premiums each month. Other drivers are willing to pay a little more per month in exchange for saving money when making a claim.
Contact your insurer to customize your deductible. Your insurer can explain the deductible options available, including whether or not no deductible car insurance is an option.