Homeowners Insurance Deductibles Explained
Along with understanding how different types of coverage give your home the protection it needs, it’s important to understand how a homeowners insurance deductible is part of your policy. This way you can better financially prepare for the unexpected.
A homeowners insurance deductible is the amount of money you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance company will pay on the claim. You’ll choose your deductible amount when building your policy, but you will only pay a deductible if you file a claim.
We’ve highlighted some key details about home insurance deductibles, so if the time ever comes to a file a claim, you know what to expect.
Types of Homeowners Insurance Deductibles
There are a number of types of homeowners insurance deductibles, but the two most common are:
Flat deductibles. A flat deductible is a fixed dollar amount that you’ll pay out of pocket for a covered loss. Technically, your insurance company subtracts the deductible from the amount claimed and that’s the portion of the claim you’ll pay.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you file a claim because a hail storm damages your siding and it’s determined the cost to fix the damage is $9,000, your insurance company will pay out $8,000 for the claim and you’ll cover the remaining $1,000.
Percentage deductibles. You can choose to have a percentage deductible, which means your deductible would be a percentage of the total coverage amount on your policy.
For example, if your home is insured for $300,000 and your deductible is 2 percent, you’d pay $6,000 of the claim ($300,000 multiplied by 2 percent)
How to Choose Your Homeowners Deductible
Consider this, if you have a lower deductible, you’ll pay less out of pocket in the event you file a claim. But you’re guaranteed to pay more in premiums over a longer period of time. If you have a higher deductible, you’ll pay more if you have a covered claim, but your premiums will be lower each month.
When choosing your deductible amount, compare what you can reasonably afford in the short term versus the long term. Would you prefer to save more each month on premiums and pay out more if you file a claim, or pay more per premium and less for a covered claim? And consider what your annual household income is as well as other out-of-pocket expenses you’ll be expecting during the year. Choosing your deductible comes down to what you personally can afford in the short term or long term.
Many people opt for a higher deductible since this lowers the guaranteed amount they pay for their premium, whereas the deductible would only be paid if they file a claim. If you do choose a higher deductible, consider setting aside money specifically to cover your deductible in the event you have to file a claim. This way you’re financially prepared and not emptying your savings account that you planned on using for other emergencies.
What Is The Standard Deductible for Homeowners Insurance?
When you hear the term deductible, your health plan or auto insurance might come to mind. Both of these types of insurance also have deductibles, but it’s important to note that a health insurance deductible works differently than your auto or home insurance deductibles.
Usually, your health insurance comes with an annual deductible amount, and once that amount is reached, your insurance provider will cover any other claims you make that year (subject to co-payments and co-insurance). Auto and home insurance also have deductibles, but they apply for every single claim you make, no matter how many you make in a year.
Typically, homeowners choose a $1,000 deductible (for flat deductibles), with $500 and $2,000 also being common amounts. Though those are the most standard deductible amounts selected, you can opt for even higher deductibles to save more on your premium. Again, it’s what you can reasonably afford to pay given you file a claim and have to pay out of pocket.
How Does Your Deductible Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Premium?
The amount you choose for your deductible directly affects the amount of your insurance premium. Setting a high deductible results in a lower premium, which are your known out-of-pocket expenses. But you do run the chance of paying a higher, unknown expense. The lower you set your deductible, the higher your premiums. But if you file a claim you’ll pay less out of pocket before the insurance company covers the claim.
The good news is, no matter how high or low you set your deductible, there are plenty of ways to save on your home insurance! From having smart home features to going paperless, learn about ways to save with our home insurance discounts.
Want to learn more about your home insurance deductible? Connect with an American Family Insurance agent — they’ll guide you through your home insurance and help determine the best deductible for you.