Should we have raised our car insurance deductibles?
That’s the question I was asking myself a couple of weeks ago, after my husband hit a deer with his car on the way to work.
He wasn’t hurt. The deer was already dead (yes, he hit a dead deer), but the car suffered more than $5,000 in damage. Fortunately, the car only smells like dead deer when the heat is on.
About a year ago, I made the decision to raise the deductibles on our vehicles from $500 to $1,000. The move freed up an extra $30 a month in our budget – much needed with twins in diapers. We also figured that since we carried comprehensive coverage, we would be completely covered (no deductible to pay) if we should ever hit a deer.
Well, that’s how our policy used to be… It seems the policy changed sometime between the last time my husband hit a deer (more than 4 years ago), and two weeks ago. We were now required to pay the deductible. Not doing my homework on that was a painful lesson, let me tell you!
Fortunately, we have an emergency fund. If we hadn’t, I would have been in a panic, but instead we were able to deal with the situation (and lack of a car for awhile) with a sense of calm.
But it made me question whether raising the deductible on our comprehensive coverage was worth it.
Now bear with here: I’m about to attempt to do some math… which I am lousy at.
In the 10 years we’ve been together, we’ve had three deer collisions. If we had the $1,000 deductible(which we didn’t, but let’s just assume it for now), we would have paid $3,000 for all of the repairs. If we had saved $30 a month for those ten years, we would have saved $3,600.
So yes, it made sense for us to raise the deductible on our car insurance, barely.
The whole situation really struck me because insurance coverage can be such a gamble sometimes. You can make yourself broke paying for coverage you never need, or you could be under-insured and lose all your savings with one simple accident.
So for now, we’ll keep the things the same. And we’ll try to be safer drivers.
About Christina Brown
Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.