Is a deductible due when making any type of car insurance claim
after a crash?
A deductible isn't associated with every type of car insurance
coverage, so it will depend upon the kind of claim that is being
made. (See "
What is a deductible?
Liability coverages are deductible-free.
For example, if someone hits you and you're making a claim
against the driver's liability coverages, then you won't have a
deductible due. If the other driver's auto insurance company
finds that their policyholder was fully at fault, then their
liability coverages should pay for damages to your car (
property damage liability
) and injuries (
bodily injury liability
), up to the person's maximum limits.
The same holds true if you hit someone and the other driver
makes a claim against your liability coverages. There wouldn't be
due a deductible due by you or the party making the
But "full coverage" is different.
If you use your physical damage coverages of collision and
comprehensive to make a claim for damages to your vehicle, then
you'll normally need to pay out a deductible -- whether you're at
fault or not. It doesn't matter if you lost control and
hit a tree
or a deer ran into your vehicle, a deductible would be due. (See
"What if I can't pay my deductible?")
If you're not at fault in an accident and don't want to pay a
deductible, then you'll need to go through the at-fault party's
property damage liability coverage to make your claim. If you
go through your own collision and make a claim, the deductible will
be due and though your insurer may subrogate with the other party,
there is no guarantee that they will be able to recoup your
There are a few exceptions (that vary by state and insurer)
regarding a deductible being due after a comprehensive or collision
claim. For example, in some states your comprehensive
deductible is waived for windshield claims. Also, sometimes
if you're in an accident with another driver who is insured by the
same insurer as you and you chose to make a collision claim, your
deductible may be waived.
Other parts of your insurance also may come with a deductible,
such as personal injury protection (PIP) if you live in a no-fault
state. And, in some states, uninsured motorist bodily injury
and uninsured motorist property damage come with deductibles.
If you're making a claim against your own car insurance policy and
are unsure if you have a deductible amount, review your policy and
contact your agent if you need clarification.