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Is hitting a deer covered by car insurance?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agenthttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/insproviders-live/ca745a12-daniel-walker.png

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • Comprehensive insurance can cover losses derived from hitting a deer
  • Collision insurance may assist in recovering losses when swerving to hit a deer
  • Drivers should seriously consider boosting insurance in areas where deer crossings are common

Driving at a fast speed along a highway surrounded by a wooded area can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. The green backdrop creates nice, calm scenery for a drive.

Things cease to be calm, however, when a deer bolts out in front of a car.

Deer do try to cross highways and at alarming levels of frequency, which is why so many highways have “Deer Crossing” signs posted at strategic points. It is hard to be prepared for the unexpected presence of a darting deer.

Upon colliding with a deer, a car could suffer significant damage. The front grid and hood could be totally ruined. The vehicle may spin out and hit a tree or worse. Ultimately, the aftermath of a car being hit by a deer is going to create expenses.

Will car insurance cover the damage caused by a driver hitting a deer?

If you are concerned for your car’s safety, compare at least three to four policies today to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code above!

The Comprehensive Solution

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In virtually every state, liability coverage is mandatory. Auto liability coverage protects a driver when they are at fault for an accident. If a deer jumps out in front of the vehicle, this is not an issue of liability as much as it is an act of nature.

People who say they “have insurance” need to realize what the specific coverage the policy is intended to protect.

Liability insurance is not a catch-all type of coverage. Such coverage absolutely would not cover hitting a deer. In order to be compensated for damages associated with hitting a deer, the driver would need comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to a vehicle that occur outside of a liability or non-liability collision or accident.

Comprehensive insurance, for example, may cover the total loss of a vehicle that was stolen or destroyed due to an act of nature.

If a building were to collapse and destroy a car parked on the road in front of it, the claim to be filed would be on the comprehensive coverage.

Hitting a deer would fall under an accident covered under comprehensive. Those who live in an area that has a large deer population — a population capable of causing major accidents — should engage in comparison shopping to locate a solid policy with exceptional comprehensive coverage.

Be mindful of the fact that nearly hitting a deer and hitting another object instead entails a different sphere of insurance coverage.

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The Inadvertent Collision

Deer do not exactly give a driver going 65 MPH fair warning that they are ready to jump out on the road. So many accidents involving deer end up being unavoidable.

There are scenarios in which the deer can be avoided. If given enough time, swerving out of the way allows for missing the deer. Unfortunately, the vehicle may crash into another object such as a tree or a road sign.

In this instance, comprehensive insurance would not cover the loss. The claim must be filed under collision coverage.

Collision coverage addresses damages to a vehicle in which the driver is at fault for harming their car. Backing up into the garage door and smashing a taillight falls under collision coverage. Hitting an object when swerving to avoid a deer is another.

What if the driver swerves into another lane and hits another car?

Swerving to avoid the deer and hitting another car could lead to a claim against the auto liability portion of the coverage. Whether or not the insurance company deems this to be an incident of negligence remains to be seen after the investigation.

The insurance company may pay out to the other driver or could even determine there is no negligence on the part of the underinsured.

Boosting Coverage

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Once again, auto liability coverage is mandatory in most states.

Comprehensive and collision are not. Uninsured motorist or personal injury protection insurance may or may not be mandatory. While not mandatory, these are excellent forms of coverage to acquire.

Procuring a decent amount of car insurance absolutely would be beneficial to avoid a myriad of financial losses in a number of unexpected situations.

Being hit by a deer is a perfect example. There can be others. Having the right insurance in place presents the necessary protections.

Accessing good rates on all manner of insurance is possible as well. Just invest time in comparison shopping to locate the best rates from several top insurance providers.

Drivers can get seriously hurt in an accident involving deer. Caring for oneself by taking measures of extreme caution is always a good plan.

If you’d like to safeguard your car against runaway deer, start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code below!

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