How Much Car Insurance is Enough: Low vs. High Deductible

Many questions come to mind when you are getting your car insurance.  Questions like:

  1. What do all these numbers like 100/300/100 mean?
  2. What is an umbrella policy and do I need it?
  3. How much coverage do I really need?

That third question is one that we all face.  We know how much we want to pay — as little as possible so it doesn’t hurt the budget too much. We know how much the highway patrol requires — hopefully.  However, that might not be enough.  Let’s take a look.

Low Deductible vs. High Deductible

The most commonly chosen deductible for vehicles is $500.  We recommend, however, that you should do a break-even analysis.  You might consider raising your deductible to save money. The national average for car claims is 7 years.  Divide the change in deductible by the amount of savings. If it is greater than 7 years, it’s probably not a good thing to do.

The actual savings of raising your deductible can vary from one insurance company to the next and it depends on too many variables for us to actually use accurate numbers here.  However, let’s make up some numbers.

If you raise your deductible to $1000 per year, let’s say that saves you $50 per year.  Your break-even:

$500/$50 each year = 10 years to break even

The national average of having an auto claim is 7 years, so that’s probably not a good thing to do.  But what if raising your deductible saved you $150 per year?

$500/$150 each year = 3.3 years

Raising your deductible might be a good idea in this case.  You should contact us to get actual rates.  In addition, our experienced agents will be able to help you choose exactly the best coverage for YOU.  (And we’re also happy to answer all the questions you may have about it!)


How Much Insurance Do You Need?

 

Low vs. High Deductible
Liability Insurance
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

5 Ways to Save on Your Car Insurance

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

It can be easier than you think to put the brakes on high auto insurance rates. As an independent agency, Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. can help! We can review your policy and possibly help you find a variety of illuminating ways to save money. Here are some things you may want to consider.

Ask us to check several companies’ rates.

This is the single most important thing you can do to get the best possible rate, and we can do it for you quickly and easily. The difference between the highest and lowest rate available to you from different companies could vary by hundreds of dollars.

Reduce or drop physical damage coverage on an older car.

Depending on your car’s age and where you live, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be worth keeping. We can give you advice on whether it makes sense to reduce or drop this coverage altogether.

Raise your deductible.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, because the average driver files a collision claim only once every ten years, odds are that over the lifetime of your car, a higher deductible will save you money. We can show you how raising your deductible will lower your premium.

Look for discounts.

Many insurance companies reduce premiums for certain driver traits or car features. For example: being a homeowner, students with good grades, senior citizens who have taken an approved defensive driving course, people who only drive for pleasure, antilock brakes, antitheft devices, air bags, etc. Ask us to check.

Don’t assume having your car and home insured by the same company is the best option.

Because auto insurance rates vary so much from company to company, it may make sense for you to have your car and home insured by separate companies. Let’s talk about it.

To learn more about all an independent agency can offer you, call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Auto Insurance Made Easy

Be prepared with the right coverage before you need it.

Understanding insurance can often be like trying to learn a foreign language. Many find it confusing and intimidating.

Fortunately, there’s help. Here is a quick reference designed to help you understand some of the most common kinds of coverages. The reference was put together by The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Liability

Liability covers bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD). This covers your legal liability, up to the dollar limits you select, for damages caused to others in a covered vehicle accident. In most states today, liability insurance is mandatory.

Under BI/PD, your insurance company pays for damages to an injured person and for property damage that you are legally obligated to pay as a result of an accident. If your policy covers you in the event you’re sued after an accident, your insurance company will pay for a lawyer to defend you.

Liability limits generally appear as three numbers, for example, 25/50/25 or 100/300/100.

  • The first number refers to the maximum amount, in thousands, that your insurance company is obligated to pay for bodily injury per person.
  • The second number is the maximum that would be paid out for bodily injury per claim.
  • The third number represents the maximum amount your insurance company is obligated to pay for property damage you cause.

Collision

When you buy collision coverage, your insurance company pays for damages if your vehicle collides with another vehicle or object. Collision coverage involves a deductible amount you select when you purchase your policy. This amount is what you are required to pay before your insurance company starts picking up the tab. Remember, the deductible amount is the amount you need to pay in the event of a claim.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive covers damage caused by events other than a car collision such as fire, theft, vandalism, hail or flood. It also covers damage caused by your vehicle colliding with an animal. And if your car is stolen, it will cover the cost of a rental, subject to a daily limit. Like collision coverage, a deductible usually applies.

Medical Coverage

Depending on the state in which you live, you may have available to you Medical Payments coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. While these both work differently, they provide coverage for medical care provided to you as a result of a car accident.