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How Does Hitting A Deer Affect Insurance?

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are about 1.5 million collisions between motorists and deer each year in the United States. So what happens when you hit one? And how does hitting a deer affect your insurance? Let's take a closer look.   

How Does Hitting a Deer Affect Insurance?

There are a few things to remember regarding insurance and hitting a deer. Does insurance cover hitting a deer? If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance should cover any damage to your car caused by the deer. If you don't have comprehensive coverage, you may be responsible for paying for the repairs out of pocket.  

Additionally, if you hit a deer and it dies, you may be liable for damages if the deer causes property damage or injures someone. In some states, there may also be a law that requires you to report the accident to the police.    

So, hitting a deer can affect your insurance in several ways. It's important to ensure you understand your coverage and what you could be responsible for.     

Does Hitting a Deer Count as an Accident?

So, is hitting a deer considered an accident? Yes, if you're driving and hit a deer crossing the road, your insurance company will likely classify it as an accident. That said, there are some instances where hitting a deer may not be considered an accident.   

For example, if you were speeding or driving recklessly and hit a deer, your insurance company may view it as your fault and refuse to cover the damages. In any case, it's always best to err on caution and count as an accident. 

Are Injuries From a Deer Accident Covered?

There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not your car insurance covers injuries from a deer accident. First, it's important to understand that car insurance generally covers damage to your vehicle but not necessarily any injuries you may suffer from an accident when a deer is hit by a car.  

So, if you're involved in a deer accident, and your car is damaged, your car insurance policy will likely cover the repair costs. However, if you're injured in an accident, your car insurance most likely will not cover those medical expenses. Instead, your health insurance policy will likely be the one to pick up the tab for any medical bills resulting from the accident. 

Is Hitting a Deer an At-Fault Accident?

There is no universal answer to this question, as it can depend on the state in which you reside. In most states, hitting a deer is not considered an at-fault accident, and your insurance company will not raise your rates because they would label it as an “unavoidable accident.” However, in other states, your rates could go up if you hit a deer and are determined to be at fault. 

Read more: 10 Common Reasons Why Car Insurance Claims Are Denied

Does Hitting a Deer Raise Your Insurance? 

Comprehensive claims don't drastically impact your rate because they do not result from at-fault accidents. However, if you have a lot of them, it might affect your insurance, and that could cause an increase in prices. 

It's important to note that insurance companies don't always consider hitting a deer an at-fault accident. So even if you live in a state where it's typically not considered at-fault, your insurance company may still determine that you were negligent and increase your rates

Read more: Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive?

Do You Have to Pay a Deductible if You Hit a Deer?

You must choose a deductible limit when adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your insurance. Additionally, you will usually have to pay a deductible if you intend to file a claim for the harm. You will have to pay this amount for your claim before your insurance kicks in to support you. 

Comprehensive Coverage vs. Collision Coverage

There are two main types of car insurance coverage: comprehensive and collision. Both coverages have their benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to understand their differences before choosing your policy

Comprehensive coverage is usually more expensive than collision coverage, but it provides a wider range of protection. It covers damage to your car from events that are not caused by accidents, such as theft, fire, or weather damage. Collision coverage only pays for damage caused by an accident, regardless of who is at fault.    

So, is hitting a deer comprehensive or a collision? If you hit a deer with your car, it will likely be considered an accident and fall under your comprehensive coverage. If you have collision coverage, that may also help pay for repairs (minus your deductible), but since hitting a deer is considered an accident, it wouldn’t be coded as a collision claim

How Do I Prove to My Insurance Company That I Hit a Deer if It Survives and Runs Away?  

If you hit a deer with your car and it survives, there are a few things you need to do to prove it to your insurance company. 

First, call the police. They will likely come and assess the situation and make a report. Be sure to get the officer's name and badge number so that you can give this information to your insurance company. 

Next, take photographs of the deer damage to your car and any blood or fur on the scene. This will serve as evidence that you hit a deer. 

Finally, if possible, try to find witnesses who saw the accident and can attest to what happened. Once you have all this documentation, contact your insurance company and let them know what happened.  

Risky Times for Deer Crashes 

Deer are common in autumn, so it's important to be aware of their presence and cautious when driving. The Insurance Information Institute reports that deer crashes increase during this time, especially around November, which is peak mating season. If you're on your way home from work at dusk or dawn, remember to stay alert with your eyes peeled, looking at the road.  

Read more: 18 Chilling Winter Driving Statistics in 2022

What to Do When You Hit a Deer?

  1. Move your vehicle to the side of the road: If you hit a deer, it's important to move your vehicle off to the side of the road. This will ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists.
  2. Call the police: Once you've moved your vehicle, you should call the police. They will be able to document the accident and help determine what needs to be done next.
  3. Stay away from the animal: It's important to stay away from the deer after hitting it. The animal may be injured and could become aggressive. Let the police handle the situation.
  4. When it's safe to document the accident: Once things have calmed down, you'll want to document the accident. This includes taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you may have sustained. 
  5. Contact insurance company: After documenting the accident, you'll need to contact your insurance company. They will be able to help you file a claim and get the repairs you need.
  6. Make sure your car is safe to drive: Before heading back out on the road, it's important to make sure your car is safe to drive. This includes checking for damage and ensuring that all your lights are working properly. If you're unsure if your car is safe to drive, it's best to call a tow truck and take it to a mechanic. 

How Can I Avoid a Deer Accident?

Deer are known for being unpredictable, so it's important to always be aware of their location when driving. When you see one on the side of the road, slow down and give them plenty of space. If you do hit a deer, don't panic; just pull over to the side of the road and call 911.

Read more: 28+Texting and Driving Statistics Every Driver Should Know

Bottom Line

Overall, hitting a deer is no joke. It can cause serious damage to your car and is not cheap to repair. If you hit a deer, document the accident and contact your insurance company as soon as possible. You may pay more for your car insurance if you live in an area with a lot of deer, but it’s better than being caught without coverage after an accident.


Is hitting a deer your fault?

There is no black and white answer to this question. Hitting a deer is certainly not always the driver's fault, but it can depend on several factors, such as the time of day, how visibility was affected, and the speed limit

Generally speaking, if drivers obey all traffic laws and drive cautiously, then they would likely not be at fault if they hit a deer. However, if the driver was speeding or not paying attention, they may be at fault for the accident. 

Can I eat a deer I hit with my car?

No, you can not eat a deer you hit with your car. For one thing, it is illegal to do so in most states. Even if it were legal, it would not be advisable to eat an animal that had been killed in such a brutal fashion. 

The meat would likely be quite tough and unappetizing. In addition, consuming roadkill is always the risk of contracting diseases. Therefore, it is best to leave the deer and report the accident to the authorities.

What happens if you hit a deer and don't call the police?

If you hit a deer and don't call the police, there could be a few different repercussions. For one, your insurance company may not cover the damage to your vehicle if you don't have a police report. 

Additionally, if the deer is injured or killed due to the accident, you could be subject to animal cruelty charges. Finally, if another driver runs into the deer after you've hit it and sustains damage to their vehicle or injuries, they could come after you financially. 

So while it may not seem like a big deal to just drive away after hitting a deer, it's in your best interest to contact law enforcement.

What happens if you hit a deer at 60 mph?

The average weight of an adult deer is between 130 and 160 pounds. If you hit a deer at 60 mph, it will cause significant damage to your vehicle. The deer will also likely die from the impact.

If you are driving a smaller vehicle, such as a motorcycle or a compact car, the impact can be even more damaging. If you hit a deer with your car, remain cool and assess the situation. If possible, move your automobile to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you cannot move your vehicle, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened and call for help. Do not try to approach or touch the deer, as it may be injured and dangerous.

Does insurance go up after hitting an animal?

Yes, hitting an animal with your car will likely cause your insurance rates to go up. This is because it is considered an at-fault accident. Your insurance company will likely raise your rates after you hit an animal because it is considered high-risk behavior. That's why we covered you with the information on how does hitting a deer affects insurance.

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