Yogi Berra once observed, “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.” Smart automobile owners understand that his observation extends far beyond the Brewers. Like in baseball, we “don’t know nothing” about what might happen to our car. You can keep a car in tiptop shape and drive carefully, but living in the Milwaukee area exposes your cars all sorts of risks–windstorms, vandals, and icy roads, to name a few.
Although you can’t prevent damage, you can take measures to protect your wallet by purchasing car insurance with an appropriate deductible.
Wisconsin automobile owners are required to get liability insurance, which covers damage to another. Many people also opt to buy collision and comprehensive protection, which covers damages to your car from things other than another driver’s actions.
Suppose you are playing baseball in the yard. Your budding pro-ball-playing child hits a line drive over the fence and right through your car windshield. While it’s a home run, it’s also $1400 to replace the windshield. This is an example of where you could make a claim under the comprehensive provision of your policy.
- If you have a $500-deductible policy, you will pay $500 and the insurance company, $900 to replace the windshield.
- If you have a $1000-deductible policy, you will pay $1000 and the insurance company, $400 to replace the windshield.
When choosing a deductible for your car insurance, Why would anyone pick the higher-deducible policy? Because the periodic premiums on a higher-deductible policy are lower than those on a low-deductible policy. If you have the ability to pay a higher deductible at the time of loss, you may want choose a higher deductible to save on premiums.
The ball through the windshield scenario is an example of a claim that you would make under the comprehensive portion of a policy. Many people also purchase collision coverage. Comprehensive and collision cover losses from different causes. Collision covers costs incurred by hitting something, like another car or tree where you are at fault. Comprehensive covers non-collision events such as weather related claims, a car fire, or most animal related claims such as hitting a deer.
The previous example concerned a comprehensive claim. But let’s suppose you hydroplane on wet roads and slide into a stop sign. This kind of incident would be addressed by the collision coverage of your policy. The deductible works the same way with both types of claims. You pay the deductible amount and the insurance company pays the rest of a covered loss.
The principle of a deductible is the same regardless of the amount. To choose the amount that is right for your situation, talk things over with Mike or Kevin at Smith Insurance. They have years of experience and have seen a lot of claims. They can tell you what typical claims run. Of course, the make, model, and condition of your car may not be “typical,” but you will get an idea. You can evaluate your risk of having to make a claim, considering things like your driving record and driving habits. Lastly, you know your own financial situation and can assess what you might comfortably pay out-of-pocket at the time of loss.
Call us 262-662-4327 or stop in our office at W230 S8735 Clark Street, Big Bend. We work with clients living in Big Bend and the western Milwaukee suburbs, in addition to the cities of Racine, Kenosha, and surrounding communities. You may not “know nothing” in baseball but you know enough to get a good insurance policy to protect your finances.