You know car insurance is important for protecting you and your vehicle, but did you know you can file a claim after being hit by a deer? Here are some things to know about car insurance, deer accidents, and how to file this type of claim.
Do Not Swerve
It may be instinctual to swerve if you see a deer in front of you, but try your best not to do this. You are putting yourself at risk and will cause more damage to your car, since you will most likely hit a nearby tree, mailbox, ditch, or other traffic. The damage you get from hitting a deer is actually much less dangerous than hitting another standing object. You also risk more bodily injury to yourself.
In order to reduce impact, and hopefully minimize injuries to the deer, take your foot off the gas to reduce your speed and drive in a straight line until your vehicle stops. If you’re lucky, the deer will move out of your way or at least enough to where it is not injured, and won’t have to deal with vehicle damage.
Insurance Coverage for Deer Accidents
The main question regarding insurance and deer accidents is whether or not you are covered. If you have a comprehensive or full coverage car insurance policy, deer accidents are most likely covered. If you only have liability, this will depend entirely on your policy. Liability policies cover only the bare minimum, but if you live somewhere that has a high likelihood of deer accidents, there may be an added coverage for these types of accidents.
You should also find out if towing is covered under your policy, because some deer accidents require you to get your vehicle towed. Roadside assistance is often covered under a comprehensive insurance policy, but not liability policies. If you are unsure of whether or not you are covered for this type of accident, contact an insurance agency like Budget Bi-Rite Insurance Agency to find out if you are.
The Police Report is Optional
While it is a general rule of thumb that you should file a police report any time you are in an accident, this is often not needed when it is a deer accident. In order to get a claim filed and paid for, you probably don’t need an official police report. However, it is still a good idea if the deer caused significant damage, if you have had multiple incidents recently, or if the accident also caused you to hit other cars or standing objects.
How it Affects Your Insurance Rate
Many car insurance companies will adjust your rate based on a history of accidents and claims. However, there is no definitive answer about deer-related accidents. Contact your insurance company to learn more about how your rate might be changed if you file a claim from this type of accident.