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How Do Car Insurance Deductibles Work?

When your car is damaged—or worse, when it’s totaled—in an accident, you may be worried about your finances even if you weren’t at fault for the accident. Even with insurance coverage, a car accident can be incredibly costly.

For example, you may be worried about paying your car insurance deductible after an auto accident. How does this deductible work, and what do you need to know about it before you accept an offer for an insurance settlement? Reach out to a car crash lawyer at Anderson & Anderson if you’re unsure of how your car insurance deductible will factor into your claim. 

What Is a Car Insurance Deductible? 

When you signed up for car insurance, you may have been told what your deductible was—for example, $500. But what does that mean in practice? Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket after an auto accident before the insurance coverage begins to kick in. 

For example, your car might have sustained $5,000 in damage in a crash. If your deductible is $500, you’re expected to pay that out of pocket while your insurance company pays the rest. In this case, the insurance company would pay $4,500 to repair your vehicle, and you would pay $500. 

That means your insurance company may not pay if your accident isn’t serious enough. For example, if your car only sustained $300 in damage, you may be expected to pay the full amount to get it repaired because the amount is less than your deductible.

My Insurer Isn’t Paying. What Can I Do? 

After a crash, you are probably relieved to know you have insurance that should cover your damages. You may even have already accepted that you’ll have to pay your deductible, but you need the rest of the compensation your insurance company is supposed to provide. 

So, what if the insurance company denies your claim? They may claim they’re not responsible for the costs of your crash. 

In these cases, you may need an expert on your side. Your car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence that your vehicle was seriously damaged, including the fair market value of your car and the damage estimates you have already received. This information will go in your demand letter. 

Of course, the insurance company may continue to deny you. These companies are for-profit businesses, which means it doesn’t benefit them to pay you fairly. 

That’s bad news, but there is some good news: You can hire a lawyer. Your attorney can determine whether your insurance company is acting in bad faith. If the company has denied you unfairly, your lawyer can help you take your case to court to get the compensation you deserve. 

Get Help from an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer 

When you’re hurt and your car has been damaged in an accident, you may have grounds for an insurance claim that covers your damages. But the insurance company and at-fault party don’t want to pay. So, what can you do? 

Your first step is to contact a lawyer at Anderson & Anderson. Start with a free consultation, and we can determine why you were denied, prepare your new claim or lawsuit, and help you get what you’re owed. Reach out by calling 813-251-0072 or by filling out the online contact form at the bottom of the page.