One of the central concepts of the car insurance industry is the insurance deductible. This is the amount paid to an insurance company before they will contribute any of their own money toward the cost of repairing a vehicle. This deductible is in place after every accident, meaning that multiple accidents in a year will each require a deductible to be paid before a car insurance company will act. While the costs of a deductible can be fairly significant, they often pale in comparison to the cost of repairing the vehicle without the aid of an insurance company. After an accident occurs, many drivers are left wondering just when and how their deductible will be collected and how they expected to have repairs started on their vehicle.
Car insurance companies will often offer a number of choices when it comes to deductibles. Some will offer a "no deductible" claim for the first accident that a driver has in order to entice new customers to sign up for a policy. Companies also offer the ability to change the amount of a deductible in order to change the cost of an insurance premium. The lower the deductible a client chooses, the higher their monthly premium will be, but the lower the threshold before an insurance company will pay out. A high insurance deductible can be a great way to save costs, but can be expensive if more than one accident occurs in a year for a driver.
Once an accident has occurred and has been reported, the next step for a driver is to get their car to their body shop of choice. There, the car's damage will be assessed and an estimate will be given to the insurance company. The company will send out an adjustor to confirm both the damage itself as well as sign off on any repairs being done. In many cases, the body shop will then complete the work and a client can simply go down to the shop when the work is completed and pay the deductible to the repair shop, rather than to the insurance company itself. The company will pay the body shop the amount to fix the car, less the deductible so they do not lose any money. This may not be an option if a driver is new to a body shop, and some insurance companies will demand the deductible up front before they will authorize any work.
An insurance deductible will not change in price after an accident - only premiums will increase, but it is worth knowing how an insurance provider expects the deductible to be paid and in what form in order to have a car promptly fixed.