All across the United States, roads have one thing in common; roadkill. Millions of drivers turn in claims each year for damages that result from accidents involving animals. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over $3.5 billion in damages are turned in each year as a result of motorists hitting deer. Although we try very hard to avoid accidents, it is not always possible. In fact, if a deer jumps in front of your car, it is better to hit the deer than swerve and potentially hit another vehicle, or end up in the ditch.
A common question that we receive after such an accident is: Will my insurance cover the damages to my vehicle?
This is a great question! Insurance generally does not consider hitting an animal to be a true collision. Instead, insurance generally covers animal-related accidents under the comprehensive or other than the collision portion of an auto policy. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage on your vehicle and happen to hit a deer, you would be responsible for paying your deductible and the insurance company would pick up the remainder of the repair bills. This type of claim generally has little to no impact on your insurance rate.
Another common question that we receive is: What if I swerve to miss the deer and ended up in the ditch?
This is a common occurrence! In an attempt to avoid hitting an animal, such as a deer, drivers often swerve. If you swerve and end up hitting another vehicle, a tree, guardrail, etc. this is considered a true collision. If you have collision coverage on your vehicle, you would be responsible for your deductible and the insurance company would be responsible for paying the remainder of the repair bills. This type of accident is generally considered an at-fault accident and your insurance rate may be impacted.