When is an auto insurance deductible waived?

Your auto insurance deductible is waived when you're in a car accident where the other driver is determined to be at fault. That driver's insurance company will be responsible for your repairs and medical costs.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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When it comes to your car insurance policythe deductible is the amount of money you must pay for auto repairs before your insurance company pays for your claim. If you get into an accident with $7,000 worth of damage and you have a $1000 deductible, for example, you will pay $1000 to your insurer and they will pay the remaining $6000. Although much less than the cost of the full repair, the collision insurance deductible is still oftentimes very expensive and not everyone can afford it. Fortunately, in some special situations, the deductible can be waived, which is why it is important to understand the deductible waived meaning.

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When can you get a waiver of deductible?

Oftentimes, there is only one way in which your insurer may apply a collision deductible waiver. And that is when you are involved in an accident with another vehicle and they are determined to be at fault. Their insurance provider will accept full responsibility and then will reimburse you for the full damage involved, deductible included.

One of the few situations in which you may get a deductible waiver is for windshield claims.  Windshield repairs, which are covered by comprehensive coverage policies, are defined separately in most policies. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you may owe much less (or nothing at all) for a deductible if you are to get your windshield repaired. If it is a small nick or a small crack on your windshield, your insurer might go ahead and repair it for you at no cost whatsoever. Call your insurance provider to find out for sure if your insurance policy covers windshield damage with no deductible.

In some states, like Michigan, there is a deductible waiver that you can buy or add on to your policy.  In these states, if you have the deductible waiver, you will not be required to pay your deductible under certain circumstances, for example, you are hit by someone with the same insurance company, or your vehicle is deemed to be a “total loss”, or you are hit by an uninsured motorist.  If you do not buy this waiver, however, you could be out of luck. Ask your insurance agent if there are any deductible waivers available to add to your policy, otherwise, you might end up paying for your deductible in full come repair time.

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Should you deal with repair shops that are willing to waive your deductible?

Sometimes an auto repair shop will offer to waive your deductible. They do this, behind the backs of the insurance companies they work with, to entice adult drivers, provisional drivers, and even teen drivers to patronize their shop for repairs. Usually, this is both illegal and unethical as it cuts into the insurer’s profits.  The way it works is that the repair shop would over-inflate the estimate for the repair cost so that the insurer ends up paying the entire amount of the damaged vehicle’s repairs, including your deductible.  This is unethical and fraudulent because it ignores the deductible amount that you agreed to in your policy.

Be wary of auto body shops that offer to lower or waive your deductible. Not only is this practice illegal, but it’s also risky to you, as a consumer. If they are willing to cut corners with the insurance company, they might cut corners repairing your vehicle or not give it the proper care it needs. In addition, the chances of a fraudulent repair shop staying in business for the long term is slim-to-none, so don’t even think about them honoring any warranty you might have.

How to Get Your Deductible Waived: The Bottom Line

In general, when it comes to car insurance, you should expect to pay some kind of deductible when you get repair work done. After all, paying a deductible is what you agreed to when you signed your policy. Talk to your insurance agent to get a better idea of what you will owe when it comes time to do repairs.

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