Does insurance cover hitting a deer?
September 20, 2022
A cruise down Arizona roadsat dusk is going smoothly until, “WAM!”, your car is unexpectedly greeted by a deer that has dashed out into the road. When the shock of hitting an animal wears off, you may be left wondering how your insurance policy will help cover the damages to your vehicle.
With nearly 2K online searches on the topic of deer accidents in Arizona alone, we thought this might be a good time to address what you can do in the event of an animal accident and how your car insurance policy applies in these scenarios.
How your insurance applies in an animal accident
Addressing which insurance coverages you havebefore an accident happens is critical. Having the right insurance coverage to help with the potential expense of repairs and medical bills as the result of a deer collision is a good before-it-happens solution.
Hitting a deer (or any animal) is part of physical damage coverage; specifically it’s the comprehensive coverage portion. This can be a bit confusing because you are literally "colliding" with something. It’s easy to imagine this type of accident is covered under a Collision deductible. When the reality is an animal accident falls under Comprehensive.
Because different situations apply different car insurance coverages, it’s not a bad idea to have both Comprehensive and Collision on your policy.
What to do after hitting a deer or other animal
A car accident that involves a deer or other animal can be a difficult and shocking experience. Not only have you potentially injured yourself, passengers and an animal, but you may have vehicle damage.
If you find yourself in a car accident with a deer, the first step is to stop your vehicle and get to a safe location. Hitting an animal can leave emotions running high, which is why you want to help ensure your safety by pulling over to the side of the road, turning on your emergency lights and calling emergency services and authorities. A police report may prove to be useful in the event of an insurance claim.
Once in a safe location, you may be presented with two different scenarios: a deer that has left the scene and a deer that is injured on the road—here’s what to do in both instances.
If a deer has left the scene of the accident, take pictures of any blood or hair from the animal and document any damages to your car. Whether there is visible damage or not, we recommend that you don’t operate your vehicle and contact local authorities.
Do not approach a deer that is injured on the road. Wait for emergency services to arrive to assess the situation and manage the animal. Do document the animal from a distance and any damage to your vehicle. Don’t drive away from the scene or assume your vehicle is safe to drive.
After emergency services and authorities have arrived and assessed the accident, your next step would be to file a claim with your auto insurance company as soon as possible. At HiRoad, you can file a claim with just a few taps in the HiRoad app or by calling 855-262-1855. Your insurance company will review your policy and determine if you have coverage that will apply for the loss.
By knowing what to do in the event of an accident with a deer or other animal, there are steps you can take to help avoid this type of accident in the first place.
Avoiding an accident with a deer
There are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of hitting a deer or other animal on the road. For example, think about those hours of dawn and dusk. Our first tip is to avoid driving during those times of day as deer and other wildlife may be more active during these time periods.
Stay alert as you drive in areas known for deer crossings; this means driving less distracted. As we mentioned, within a split second, your drive can go from peaceful to chaotic when an animal (which isn’t always aware of its surroundings) decides to run in front of your vehicle.
At HiRoad, we want your time on the road to be mindful and safe. With fewer distractions and more attention to the things that matter—like your surroundings—you’re taking the high road.
Learn more about HiRoad and why we’re helping change the way you think about car insurance.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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