Will Car Insurance Cover Damages if I Hit a Deer?
Deer can jump out of seemingly no where. They come out most often at dusk and dawn, when visibility is already difficult and often from behind bushes or the forest by the edge of the road. And no matter how experienced the driver, or how great their defensive driving skills, its sometimes impossible to miss one of these beasts dashing across the road. So, does your car insurance cover this sort of accident? The easy answer is yes, your auto insurance will cover a deer vs. car collision, but there is a bit more information you need.
Car Insurance Body Damage Claims
If you are in a deer-car collision, your auto insurance will only pay for the body damage if you have full coverage or comprehensive coverage. If you simply have liability coverage or other minimum coverage, then you will not be covered. And if you do have comprehensive coverage, it will also depend upon the amount of damage and the level of your deductible. The cost of repairing the damage will have to be more than your deductible for it to be worth filing a claim with your auto insurance company. For example, if you have a five-hundred dollar deductible, and the body damage is four-hundred dollars, there is no need to file a claim. If the body damage is seven-hundred dollars you can file a claim to recoup the additional two-hundred dollars. However, when you file a claim with your auto insurance company, realize that it will likely affect your premium.
Auto Insurance Injury Claims
If you or a passenger are injured in a deer-car collision, the health costs might be covered by no-fault coverage with your auto insurance company. The specifics of no-fault insurance vary from company to company, but in general, no fault coverage typically covers injury costs, no matter who causes an accident.
Check With Your State Department
Some states will cover some body damage caused by a deer car collision. Check with your local Department of Natural Resources or Secretary of State to see if there are any programs. Be sure to take plenty of photographs of the damage and get written quotes from a body repair shop.
Tips to Avoid a Deer Car Collision
Nearly two-hundred people a year die in animal-car collisions, most of them with deer.
Here are some tips to help you avoid hitting a deer:
• Be especially attentive at dusk and dawn, when deer are prevalent.
• Slow-down when driving in Deer zones. They are clearly marked on diamond-shaped yellow signs with a silhouette of a deer in the center.
• Use high-beam lights when driving on deserted country roads. You will be able to see deer better. Be sure to turn off the high-beams when a car is approaching from the other direction.
• Remember, if you see one deer, there will be others.
• Always wear your seat belt.