If you can’t pay your car insurance deductible, you could be in trouble. Many insurance companies will not pay for repairs for a vehicle after an accident until after you pay the mechanic the initial deductible amount. This is why it is so important that you know the terms of your policy before you sign on the bottom line.
A car insurance deductible is an excellent way to decrease the amount of money that you pay in your premiums each year. The higher your deductible, the less expensive your car insurance is going to be. What this means for you, however, is that the higher the deductible, the more you will have to pay out-of-pocket if you have an accident.
For many people, even a $500 deductible is too much for them to pay, especially in this tough economy.
The option is to reduce the deductible, but this may equate to a monthly premium that is too high as well.
It seems like a Catch-22, but the good news is, there may be a way to still keep your higher deductible but work out the $500 (or other cost) payment that is due to the mechanic fixing your car.
How can I avoid paying my deductible?
Well, the truth is that you aren’t likely to be able to avoid paying the deductible, although you can try. Instead of communicating with the insurance company, you are going to have to talk to the mechanic in charge of fixing your vehicle.
In this case, you have a couple of options. First of all, you can ask the mechanic to bill the insurance company, less the deductible, and allow you to make payments to them for the balance of the bill.
The downside to doing this is that the mechanic may agree under the condition that they can keep your vehicle until the debt is paid. This is something that is perfectly legal and allows a business, such as a repair shop, to ensure that they recoup their costs on a repair. If you can’t work until your vehicle is back in your possession, this could present a problem.
The other option is that you can ask the mechanic to bill the insurance company, less the deductible, and then ask them to waive the deductible completely. Although this is a less likely scenario in terms of the mechanic saying “yes”, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If your bill was a large one, the mechanic may consider waiving the $500 because they made to much off of the repairs in the first place. The truth is, it just depends on the mechanic and the situation.
Is it illegal to ask the mechanic to waive the deductible?
No, it is not illegal to ask the mechanic to waive the deductible. What would be illegal is if the mechanic overcharged the insurance company in an effort to recoup the cost of waiving the deductible.
Another thing that would be illegal would be to ask the mechanic to use after-market parts and charge the insurance company for company direct parts so that you won’t have to pay the deductible.
Providing false information or asking a company to do it for you is considered fraud and you could actually go to jail for such actions.
It is important that you are above board and only ask the mechanic about legal options. You could lose a lot more than your car if you try to defraud the insurance company.
My insurance company requires me to pay my deductible up front; what should I do?
This is an area where you could face an issue. Many insurance companies do require you to pay before they pay; but not all of them do this. If you have an insurance company that has this requirement, and you don’t have the money to pay it, your options are limited.
One thing that you can do is consider a loan. While this is not the best thing in the world, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck, you may not have a choice if the alternative means that you don’t have a car available to you. You might want to consider asking a friend or family member to help you out.
If you are in this situation, a payday loan may be an acceptable alternative. While the interest rates on such a loan are high, they don’t require a credit check and you can get the money in 24 hours. They have flexible repayment plans, which may be more workable for you.
The bottom line is that you are going to have to figure out how to pay your deductible or deal with a broken down car. This may not be the solution that you were looking for but, unfortunately, it may be the only one you have.
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