What is a Collision Deductible Waiver?

August 12, 2019

Experiencing an accident is scary and overwhelming. If you didn’t cause the accident, but the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you end up paying the price two ways (financially and physically). If you have a high collision insurance deductible, it can seem unfair to have to dole out the cost of a high deductible. A collision deductible waiver can help.

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Understanding the Collision Deductible Waiver

Experiencing an accident with an uninsured driver puts the financial responsibility on you, even if you didn’t cause the accident. Using your collision insurance means you have to meet your collision insurance deductible. If you bought a collision deductible waiver, though, you may get away without paying the deductible.

You pay a slightly higher premium for the collision deductible waiver, but you have the opportunity to have the deductible waived if it involves an uninsured driver. Your insurance company will first verify that this is the case before waiving the deductible.

Situations You Can Use the Collision Deductible Waiver

The accident must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the CDW:

  • There must be physical contact between your car and an uninsured motorists car
  • The driver must be identified

If another driver hits you, but runs (hit and run), the CDW will not take effect unless the authorities can locate the driver and verify that he doesn’t have insurance. The insurance company needs irrefutable proof so that no one can take advantage of the system and claim that a single-car accident was a hit and run.

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Exceptions to the Rule

Some states allow drivers to take a percentage of the liability in an accident. For example, one driver in an accident may have 20% liability for the incident, while the other driver has 80% liability. The collision deductible waiver would not take effect in this situation, even if the 80% liable driver caused the accident. If the liable driver doesn’t have insurance, you’d be on the hook for your collision insurance deductible.

Should You Buy a Collision Deductible Waiver?

The collision deductible waiver doesn’t add a lot to your collision insurance premium – usually a few dollars to your bi-annual premium. But every dollar adds up, so do you need it?

It comes down to what you can afford and what you want to risk. If you have an older car that may not even warrant collision insurance because its value is too low, then you have your answer – you don’t need it. On the other hand, if you have a high valued car that you want protected, the extra few dollars on your premium may be well worth it on the off chance that you get hit by an uninsured driver that sticks around the scene of the accident.

The collision deductible waiver helps you limit your out-of-pocket expenses when dealing with an accident with a non-insured driver. It protects you financially during a stressful time when any help that you can get is appreciated.

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