BLOG

What If You Can’t Afford Your Insurance Deductible?

25 Jan 2020, Posted by RRBH Law in Homeowners' Insurance, Insurance Litigation
Stressed and can't afford your insurance deductible

If you’re involved in a car accident, your home or property is damaged, or you have a significant medical emergency, a deductible is almost imminent. This means you’ll need to produce a decent chunk of money to put towards the bill and the insurance company will provide the rest.

But what happens if you can’t afford your insurance deductible? 

If you’ve been in this situation before, stressed and wondering how you’ll come up with the financial means to cover the cost of your insurance deductible, you’re not alone. Few homeowners have the means readily available for such an expense. 

If you fall into this category, we want you to know that you don’t need to lie awake at night feeling like you have no options and you’re stuck. If you can’t afford your insurance deductible, you won’t be prevented from moving forward with your insurance claim.

How the insurance deductible structure works

In short, a deductible is the financial amount you will be responsible for paying before the insurance company begins to chip in with the remainder. For example, if you hold a property insurance policy with a $3,000 deductible and a hail storm causes $10,000 worth of damage, you are responsible for the first $3,000 and your insurance carrier will pay the remaining $7,000.

There is a common misconception with regard to this and it has become so common due to the way insurance companies word their policies. When purchasing an insurance policy, you’re informed that the deductible is your portion to pay before the insurance company will begin to assist. However, this isn’t exactly the case.

In the instance listed above where you have $10,000 worth of damage and your insurance company is only responsible for $7,000, your $3,000 being readily available will not determine whether or not the insurance company pays their portion.

The reason? Your deductible isn’t paid to your insurance company. It is paid to the company hired to do the repairs to your home.

This scenario is the case in a traditional method of paying out an insurance claim. Sometimes, though, bad faith claims are made on behalf of the insurance company where they refuse to hold up on their end of the bargain. If this is the case, you’ll want to hire legal representation immediately. 

What happens when you can’t cover the difference?

It isn’t uncommon to ask this question. If you find yourself strapped for cash and can’t afford your insurance deductible, we have some suggestions.

  • For property insurance claims – When filing a claim, your insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to appraise the property’s damage. We recommend getting a second opinion from a public adjuster. The one sent out on behalf of the insurance company is looking out for the company’s best interest and will give you a much lower estimate for the cost of damage. A public adjuster, on the other hand, will try to get you a larger claim amount. The downfall: they receive a commission based on the price they propose.

 

  • If you’re injured in an auto accident – If injured in a car accident, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your auto insurance policy will cover you up to a certain amount, normally $10,000. If your medical expenses require anything over the PIP amount, you will need to seek the difference from the other driver’s insurance company and this may involve utilizing the courts to decide, in which case it is best to have an attorney on your side.

For either example listed above, consulting with an attorney first is your best option. And if you’re worried about up-front costs for hiring an attorney, there’s no need to worry. Many lawyers are paid by the insurance company, from the settlement, so there is no up-front cost to you. 

Your options with no money up front

As mentioned, some attorneys will be willing to help you with no costs up front. This is one of the main concerns for many when put in this unfamiliar situation, but you can rest assured knowing you pay nothing until you win or settle your claim.

You may also be concerned about medical expenses that are the result of an accident where an insurance company needs to be contacted, such as an injury or damage to your property. For some, saying you can’t afford your deductible may seem unimportant at the moment and medical treatment may be critical.

If this is the case, you aren’t out of options. Some doctors are willing to help with no money paid at the time of service. They are willing to provide care, then collect fees if and when you get paid from your claim. If you’re unsure of where to find physicians who work under this condition, we may be able to refer you to a few.

Information like this is invaluable, and many times only known by those who focus on the industry every day. This is why it is so important to call your lawyer when any such events occur in your life.

At RRBH Law, our lawyers are experienced in these complex situations and walk our clients through the process. Just check out this review of one of our founding partners:

“The Personal Injury Guru: Mr. Blanco-Herrera is by far the most knowledgeable attorney I have encountered in the field of Personal Injury in a long time. He is helpful, patient, and has a deep knowledge of Personal Injury Law in Florida.” – Jeffrey, Miami

Still finding that you can’t afford your insurance deductible?

Our team at RRBH Law has helped many residents of South Florida to fight their insurance companies. Don’t let their deceptive wording prevent you from pursuing legal action against them if it’s in your best interest.