Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Your car insurance policy may cover you if you hit a deer, depending on the coverage you carry
  • You need to have comprehensive coverage, sometimes called “other-than-collision” coverage, on your policy
  • When you carry this coverage, you may also be required to carry a deductible, which is an amount you are required to cover from any claimed loss
  • The deductible can be a predetermined amount you are responsible for, or it can be a percentage of any covered loss
  • It’s important to carry coverage for deer-related damages before the loss occurs; insurance providers are not obligated to cover a loss if you don’t carry the proper coverage

Hitting a deer is a loss that many people experience in their life, especially when living in a rural area. Hitting a deer with your car can cause a little damage or a lot of damage, and this can be costly to repair.

Your car insurance may cover the cost to repair your vehicle, or replace it, after hitting a deer, depending on the coverage you carry.

When looking at your coverage, make sure to consider your deductible, the potential premium increase, and your coverage needs.

If you are concerned about the possibility of hitting a deer and being adequately covered, start comparison shopping today for the best auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code above!

Comprehensive Coverage and Deer-Related Losses

When you hit a deer, your first thought may be repairing or replacing your vehicle so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

This dream can become a reality as long as you carry the right coverage to protect yourself from losses  comprehensive coverage.

When you’ve purchased your car insurance policy, you may have decided not to carry comprehensive coverage.

Cars that are low-value or many years old may not have the value necessary to make comprehensive coverage fiscally responsible. It could be more cost-effective to cover your losses on your own.

When you search for an insurance policy, speak to multiple insurance carriers to get quotes for your coverage. Different providers may offer better rates for coverage options depending on your previous insurance record and driving history.

Make sure to compare quotes before making your final decision.

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The Insurance Deductible and Deer-Related Losses

The deductible is a portion of any covered loss that you are responsible for covering, which can be an amount required before your loss is settled or an amount deducted from your claim settlement.

The higher the deductible you carry, the lower your premiums often are, meaning you will pay more for each covered loss.

Remember that the deductible is an amount that you agree to when you purchase your policy; this amount should not be a surprise when you file a claim.

If you find that your policy cannot offer coverage at the price point you want, make sure to speak to different insurance providers. You may find some providers can offer better coverage or better pricing depending on their risk profile.

Just keep in mind coverage and pricing varies based on the provider’s business model.

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Premium Increases and Deer-Related Claims

Several factors are reviewed when it comes to determining your coverage options and your premium amount. Each provider may look at different factors as well.

Your insurance history and your driving record are going to be two of the biggest factors taken into consideration, meaning the number of claims and your behavior on the road can influence your options.

The number of claims you have filed over the past few years can show your potential provider a snapshot of your behavior as a driver, which means that a high amount of claims can reveal that you are a high-risk driver.

Being labeled as a high-risk driver can lead to higher premium costs or even more severe consequences over time.

Filing claims for deer-related damages can contribute to your overall claim history and insurance history. Your risk profile may change and your insurance provider may raise your premiums to offset this.

If you continue to file claims or experience negative driving events, you may find your current or potential provider unwilling to provide you with coverage.

Mitigating Deer-Related Losses

Deer are a nuisance when driving in rural areas, at nighttime, or during certain times of the year. Although they can be a hazard when you’re on the road, there are ways to reduce your risk exposure, such as:

  • Driving cautiously
  • Employing high beam headlights
  • Using your horn to frighten passing deer

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings in wooded areas, though deer can show up in almost any area while you’re on the road.

Additionally, make sure you are relying on your driving skills when you’re on the lookout for deer, as deer whistles and other deer repellent devices are not a guarantee of a deer-free drive.

If you are involved in a collision with a deer, make sure you avoid touching the animal.

A collision with a deer is a startling experience for both the animal and the driver, and the injured and frightened animal could react in a way that injures you or hurts itself more.

Move your vehicle off the road, contact your local law enforcement, and ensure that other motorists avoid the animal until law enforcement arrives.

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Hitting a deer with your car can be a costly accident, but your insurance provider can help you recover from this loss. Before you experience this type of loss, confirm that your policy carries the right coverage to help you repair or replace your vehicle after a deer-related accident.

Carrying comprehensive coverage is a necessary step to protect you if you hit a deer; insurance providers will often deny any deer-related claim if you do not carry this coverage option.

Additionally, remember that you will be responsible for any deductible listed on your policy, which is the amount of any covered loss you are responsible for covering. This amount may also be deducted from your claim settlement.

Remember that filing a claim for any loss, including a deer-related loss, may lead to a premium increase. The amount that your premium increases will vary depending on your previous loss history and your driving record.

Insurance providers use this increase to counterbalance any future loss you may claim, so the more claims you file, the higher chance your premium will increase or your policy may be non-renewed by your carrier.

If you have hit a deer recently with your car and want to offset any premium increases, try comparing at least three to four auto insurance policies and find better auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!