What is a deductible?

When you get a car insurance quote, you’ll answer this question:

What am I willing to pay out-of-pocket when I have a claim?

This amount becomes your insurance deductible. It’s what you owe if your car gets damaged in an accident or storm (or another situation covered by Comprehensive and Collision); after you pay that, Progressive covers the rest.

It’s important to choose an amount you can afford to pay if you have an accident—otherwise, you won’t be covered. However, when you agree to shoulder a little more of your accident expenses, you’ll lower your rate. It’s like your car insurance deductible and car insurance rate are on a seesaw.

To give you an idea of the savings, let’s look at a couple of examples:

If you start with a $200 comprehensive and collision deductible, raising it to $500 could lower your coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent according to the Insurance Information Institute. Raising this auto insurance deductible even more, to $1,000, can save you upwards of 40 percent.