How much will raising my car insurance deductibles save me?

How much can I save by raising my deductible? And how high should I raise them?

You've just offered to cover more of any potential comprehensive or collision claim - in other words, a bigger share of the risk. You're going to save money.

But don't expect a car insurance miracle.

By far the most common amount selected for car insurance deductibles is $500, chosen by about 74 percent of drivers with collision and comprehensive. The next most common is $1,000. Depending on your state and your carrier, you may be able to go as high as $2,500.

If you pay a lot already for car insurance, a bigger deductible will save you more than it would someone who pays rock-bottom rates. Let's compare quotes for full coverage at $500 and $1,000 deductibles for Wanda, who drives a 2013 Ford Escape in Biloxi, Mississippi.

$500 deductible

$1,000 deductible


Company A

 $                  1,776

 $                      1,704

 $       72

Company B

 $                  2,076

 $                      1,884

 $    192

Company C

 $                  2,496

 $                      2,328

 $    168

She saves anywhere from $72 to $168 a year in return for taking an additional risk of $500. It's a pretty easy way to save money - as long as you have the cash for your deductible stashed somewhere.

Note that raising deductibles saves her the most with Company B - but if she's looking for savings she's better off taking a look at Company A.

If you've already compared car insurance quotes through, we encourage you to take a second look at your coverages and experiment with changes. Once you get to the page where carrier's quotes are displayed, you have the option of changing every coverage level by using the “Custom Rates” menu on the right.

It's a big calculator, really. You can see the effects not only of changing your deductible, but your car, your address and even your driving record. Think of it as a way to road-test upcoming changes in your life -and when you're ready to take the plunge, for real, you're better prepared to shop.