A deductible is the amount that a policy holder is responsible for paying per accident before his/her insurance policy kicks in. Deductibles vary by state, but are most often specified in amounts of $100, $250, $500 or $1,000. For most insurance companies, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. In other words, if you're willing to pay higher out-of-pocket costs, you can lower the total cost of your insurance. For example, if you are in an accident that causes $7,500 worth of damage and your deductible is $500, you are required to pay $500 before your insurance company takes care of the remaining $7,000.