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Do I pay a deductible for a liability claim?

I'm 19 years old and have only liability insurance, but I was at fault for an accident. Am I responsible for paying any deductible? My liability coverage is from Safe Auto Insurance, and this is my first accident with this insurance company. I've had other incidents in the past but all damages were minimal.

Dec 17, 2018 Chicago, IL

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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

Great question, thanks for reaching out to The Zebra. You are not responsible for a deductible unless you have comprehensive and collision coverage. Since you only have liability insurance, the damages to your car will not be covered which means there is no deductible.

Liability coverage is there to pay for damage that you have caused to the other party's vehicle or bodily injury to others in that car. It will include limits for bodily injury per accident, body injury per person, and property damage. For instance, if your liability coverage limits are 25/50/20 (Illinois' required minimum coverage), it means that you'll have $25,000 worth of coverage for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident. You'll have $20,000 to cover property damage. If you're carrying only the bare minimum, and it doesn't cover the entire accident you'll ultimately be responsible for the rest of the damages personally.

Keep in mind that an at-fault accident can increase rates by over $700 per year. You will typically be charged a fee (through a rate increase) for three years after a violation. If you're able to, it might make sense to pay for the other driver's damage out of pocket., if it is fairly minimal. However, the other driver is under no obligation to accept your offer, but it can be an alternative to the rate increase. For more information, see our Guide to Filing a Claim. Good luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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