What is voluntary excess on car insurance?

The language used in auto insurance policies can be confusing and obscure. Understanding the meaning of terms, such as "voluntary excess," can help you make responsible decisions when choosing auto insurance.

Geography

"Voluntary excess" is a term used mostly in the United Kingdom. The U.S. equivalent is "voluntary deductible."

Definition

Voluntary excess is the amount you agree to pay out-of-pocket for expenses and repairs if you make a claim against your insurance policy. Voluntary excess is in addition to any compulsory excess carried by standard car insurance policies issued by the company, according to the AA, one of the United Kingdom's leading auto insurers.

Benefits

Policies with higher voluntary excess generally cost less than policies that carry only compulsory deductibles, according to Zurich Connect, a website maintained by Zurich Insurance.

Related Terms

In addition to voluntary and compulsory excess, some insurers impose a "young driver excess" for drivers younger than 25, and "vehicle excess" on luxury or high-performance cars.

Considerations

Choose a policy with voluntary excess if you can afford to pay the difference in case of an accident. The savings on your premium is generally less than the amount of your excess.

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About the Author

Deb Powers is an avid urban gardener who works with a community collective to promote sustainable urban agriculture and build partnerships between local business owners and community organizations. Powers serves as a social media and marketing consultant for local non-profits and businesses, and is collaborating with a coffee roaster to publish a cookbook highlighting coffee as a culinary ingredient.

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