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What to Do If You Hit a Deer? Will Insurance Cover It?

Hitting a deer can be a scary experience. Unfortunately it can also be an experience that causes bodily injury and damage to your car. Every year as many as 200 people are killed in deer related car accidents, not to mention how many deer are injured and left to die after being struck by a vehicle.

The best advice to follow is to do your best to try to avoid coming in contact with a deer while driving. You can help make this happen by making it a point to slow down when you see a deer. They can be unpredictable, so even if it has already crossed the road, it could suddenly dart out again.

Also, when you see one it usually means there are others close by. Be ready to drive defensively and to react to avoid an accident. Because deer are nocturnal and tend to begin grazing at dusk, make sure you are paying closer attention during this time of your drive.

After the Crash

If you are about to hit a deer, it is not a good idea to try to swerve off the road or into oncoming traffic to try to avoid it. Hitting another car or a tree head on could cause even more severe damage. If you hit a deer, you should then pull over to the

side of the road, if possible. Here are some other things to do:

  • First of all, stay calm.
  • Avoid contact with the deer, its hooves or antlers.
  • Call 911 or ask another driver to do so.
  • Set up road flares if you have any in your emergency kit.
  • Contact your insurance policy provider.

Once the dust settles, hopefully both you and the deer can survive the crash with little to no injury.

Understanding Your Insurance

One thing most drivers want to know once the crash is over is who is going to take care of the expenses involved. Unfortunately too many drivers find out after hitting a deer that their policy doesn’t cover that. If you are assuming your car insurance covers hitting a deer or any stationary or mobile object, you had better double check.

Most of the time, the only policies that cover hitting a deer include comprehensive coverage. Although collision sounds like it should cover a collision with a deer or other animals, most of the time it doesn’t. Collision is usually meant to cover only an accident involving another vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance is what covers those problems collision doesn’t, such as:

  • Hitting a deer
  • Storm damage
  • Fire
  • Theft or vandalism

Either way it may be time for you to do a little research to find out what your current policy covers. Better yet, why not get quotes for to find out what you could be paying to get comprehensive coverage as part of your policy. Even if you already have coverage, you owe it to yourself to get a free look at how much you could be saving on your car insurance.

State Farm recently came out with a study that shows the odds of hitting a deer by each state: