If I Hit a Deer Will It Be Covered By My Auto Insurance?
In a word, yes. As far as your auto insurance company is concerned, hitting a deer is a typically covered loss. Since this is not an “at fault” type of loss, your insurer is likely to process the claim through your comprehensive coverage.
It’s important to note that for the accident to be considered a comprehensive loss, physical contact must be made with the deer. If you swerve to miss the deer and run your car off the road, that would likely be considered a collision loss.
And assuming no other factors are present, such as DUI or distracted driving, your insurance rates should not go up if you hit a deer. Hitting a deer is considered a random and unpredictable situation, since deer are known to unexpectedly dash across the road. Since the claim is generally processed under your comprehensive coverage where no fault is assigned, it’s not likely that your rates will increase.
What to Do If You Hit a Deer
It happens, even to the most careful driver. Nationwide, it is predicted that one of every 169 drivers will collide with a deer. And if you do any driving in Pennsylvania, your risk is higher at 1 in 67. Pennsylvania is one of 10 states with the highest number of deer crashes. If you should happen to hit a deer, here’s what to do:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, move your vehicle off the side of the road and turn your hazard lights on. If you have to exit your vehicle, do so on the side away from the road. Deer are most active at dusk and dawn – making it hard to see them, and hard for another driver to see you.
- Call 911 to report the incident. Tell authorities if you are blocking the road, or if the crash caused property damage. The police report may be helpful when you file your insurance claim.
- Take pictures of the incident. Take photos of your surroundings, the crash site, the deer, the damage to your vehicle, etc. Photos can help you process your claim more quickly. If there were witnesses, get their statement about what they saw and get their contact information.
- Stay away from the deer, if it is still alive. A frightened deer can still kick and injure you.
- Call your insurance agent to report what happened. The sooner you report what happened, the sooner they can process your claim, and get you a loaner car if needed.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for leaking fluid, loose tires, a broken windshield, a hood that won’t latch, etc. If your vehicle seems unsafe, call for a tow.
Call Dean Insurance today at 410-838-3700 if you have any questions, or to get a free quote on auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and more. We’ve been serving Bel Air and the Harford County Community since 1973 and we’d love to help you get the insurance coverage you need.