Does Insurance Cover Hitting A Deer?

Will your auto insurance cover damage caused by a deer? Find out with our guide.
By Mike Parker
Updated Sep 15, 2022
A deer in the road.
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Learning about what your car insurance will cover is essential to reducing your costs and preparing for the unexpected.

Part of this question is when insurance will cover accidents or damage caused by animals, like deer, bears, and raccoons, if you’re ever involved in an accident with one.

Read our guide to learn more about the coverage for road accidents caused by animals and what your insurance will cover if it ever happens.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Deer?

If you’re ever in a situation where you’ve had an accident that involved an animal, you’ll need to check what auto insurance you have to see what they'll cover.

Does collision insurance cover hitting a deer?

Collision insurance helps to pay for damages to your car if it is involved in a collision with specifically another car or object. If you have this coverage, your insurance company will help to pay for repairs (up to the limit of your policy) if your car is damaged in such an accident. 

Collision coverage is not required by law, but your lender or bank may require it if you have a loan on your car. This coverage typically costs more than minimum liability insurance, but it can provide peace of mind with a collision.

If you have collision coverage, this will cover you if you collide with another vehicle on the road. It won’t, however, offer you protection if you hit a deer or someone else's property. This means that you’ll need to cover the costs of repairs out of your pocket.

Does comprehensive car insurance cover hitting a deer?

Comprehensive insurance helps protect you from financial loss, including damage to your vehicle. It can help cover the costs of repairs or replacement and any other expenses that may result from the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages.

Comprehensive insurance is not required by law, but it is often a good idea to have this coverage in place in case of an accident as it will help pay for other potential costs that may arise.

While it may cost more than other types of car insurance, it can provide peace of mind knowing that you are protected financially in an accident.

If your car is involved in an accident with an animal such as a deer and you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will cover the repairs. Comprehensive claims will cover you for most types of accidents, collisions, and damage, so if you have it, you should be good.

Does liability insurance cover hitting a deer?

Minimum liability car insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for damages that you may be held responsible for in the event of an accident. 

It is important to note that minimum liability insurance does not cover damages to your vehicle or injuries that you may sustain in an accident. 

The coverage limits for minimum liability insurance can vary from state to state, but typically range from $25,000 to $50,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 to $100,000 for bodily injury per accident. Property damage coverage is generally limited to $25,000 per accident.

The costs of minimum liability insurance will vary depending on your specific circumstances, however, they are generally affordable. For example, a basic policy for a single driver with a clean driving record may cost as little as $20 per month.

If you carry liability coverage on your car, it will not cover your vehicle if you hit a deer while driving. 

A person who has Car Insurance that covers hitting a deer.

Source: Pexels

Limits to Coverage

If you ever find yourself in a deer accident, your car insurance will only cover you up to the agreed amount. If your damages are over and above this, you’ll need to pay for the repairs.

For example, let’s say that after a collision with a deer, your car needs repairs of $3000 and you put in a car insurance claim. However, your car insurance might only cover you for $2200 and there’s a $500 deductible.

In this case, you’ll need first to pay the deductible of $500, and then your insurance will cover $2200 of the costs. You’ll also need to pay the remaining $300 out of your pocket.

Remember that you’ll need to check your auto insurance plan to see how much coverage your insurance company offers for a deer accident or collision with an animal.

A deer that could jump in the road.

Source: Pexels

Costs You’ll Have to Cover If You Hit a Deer

Another expense to consider is if somebody is injured in the collision and needs to be treated by a doctor.

Medical costs in the U.S. can be very high, and in some cases, it can cost as much as $5000 to be transported to the hospital in an ambulance.

Our advice is to make sure that your auto insurance covers medical costs, and if it doesn’t, you should consider getting a health insurance plan that will cover these kinds of expenses.

You’ll have to cover other charges if the damage is extensive, such as towing your car to a workshop, hiring a rental car, or even calling a taxi to take you home.

You may even need to book into a motel while your vehicle is being repaired if you're traveling. Ultimately, having an accident with a deer or other animal can cost you a lot of money.

Ensure that you have the best possible insurance coverage to avoid these costly situations.

A man who is going to the hospital because he hit a deer.

Source: Pexels

Injuries from an Accident with a Deer

In most states, there is a minimum level of insurance that you’ll need to be able to drive your vehicle on the road (minimum liability coverage). 

As part of this, you’ll get a certain amount of medical coverage for hospitalization, treatment, and medical care costs.

While this may cover you in most situations, it's best to  determine beforehand whether your insurance will cover all medical expenses.

You can get comprehensive health insurance that will pay for these costs. If you’re interested in finding out which providers offer coverage in your area, speak to one of our agents today or use our online quote finder to compare health insurance plans.

What Should You Do If You’ve Had a Collision with an Animal?

Here are some general tips you can follow if you ever have a collision with an animal while driving. Please also consult your state’s guidelines on what to do and use them whenever possible.

If there is significant damage:
  1. Stop your vehicle and if it’s safe to do so, turn off the engine and turn your hazard lights on.

  2. Check for injuries to yourself and any other occupants.

  3. If your vehicle can be moved, move it to the shoulder of the road to prevent another vehicle colliding with yours.

  4. If it’s safe to do so, leave the vehicle and get out of the road as fast as possible. Stand a safe distance away from the vehicle and animal.

  5. Dial 911 as soon as you can. First, tell them your location, tell them about any injuries, and explain what happened.

  6. Wait for the police and emergency services to arrive.

  7. File a police report with the attending officer.

  8. Call your auto and health insurance and tell them what happened as soon as possible.

If you are injured:

  1. If you are injured, try not to move around a lot, stay as warm as possible, and call 911 as soon as you can.

  2. Wait for medical personnel to arrive and help you.

If there is minor damage:

  1. Call 911 and ask them what you should do. Follow the 911 operator's instructions.

  2. Contact your insurance company and ask them what you need to do.

  3. Go to the nearest police station and file a police report.

How Will Hitting a Deer Affect My Insurance?

In some cases, if the damage caused by an accident is a lot, your premiums may go up as your risk profile changes.

What Is a Risk Profile?

A risk profile is how insurance providers determine premiums, coverage, and costs to insure individuals. They will weigh up different aspects of a person’s history to calculate their risk of being involved in accidents.

Your risk profile is based on:

  • Age.

  • Gender.

  • Medical history.

  • Driving history.

  • Credit history.

  • Criminal record.

Each insurance company will have its own risk profile calculations. This is why some insurance companies offer more affordable rates than others. If you’re interested in finding out whether you can get cheaper coverage, speak to one of our auto insurance agents today.

FAQs about Auto Insurance and Hitting a Deer

How does insurance classify hitting a deer?

Insurance companies classify hitting a deer as an auto accident caused by impact. However, only comprehensive coverage will pay for damages caused by the collision.

Do you need to report hitting a deer?

You don’t have to report hitting a deer or other animal to local traffic departments. However, your auto insurance may require that you file a police report to be covered by your car insurance policy.

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

The law doesn’t require you to report deer accidents. If there is no damage to your vehicle, you can carry on driving.

What will collision insurance cover?

Collision insurance will only cover the costs of repairs to your vehicle if you are involved in a collision with another car. It won’t cover deer accidents or other types of damage.

Comprehensive Coverage Can Be Affordable

If you want to purchase comprehensive coverage but can’t find a good deal, reach out to one of our insurance agents today to compare your options. We’re confident we can help you lower your car insurance costs and find you the best deal.

Is hitting an animal an at-fault accident?

No, hitting an animal such as a deer, raccoon, bear, or mountain lion is not considered an at-fault accident. 

How much damage can a deer do to a car?

Damage will depend on the size of the deer and the speed at which you collided with it. Larger deer can cause significant damage. A fully grown male white-tailed deer can weigh up to 300 pounds. If you hit an animal of this size, it can cause severe damage. 

What to do if you hit a deer and it runs away?

You can go to your nearest police station and report where the accident happened. Ask local law enforcement if there is a fish and wildlife office you can contact about the incident and to report the potentially injured deer.

Where Can I Learn More about Auto Insurance?

Hitting a deer can be a traumatic experience, but if you have the right auto insurance coverage, you won’t have to deal with the costs of repairing your car alone.

If you’re interested in learning more about comprehensive insurance, collision coverage, and the different types of coverage you can get for your car, visit our auto insurance hub to read our latest articles.

If you need expert advice or help with finding a car insurance plan or company in your state, reach out to our expert insurance advisors today at 1-888-912-2132 or to get started.