How Will Hitting A Deer Affect My Auto Insurance?

Image courtesy of arztsamui at
Image courtesy of arztsamui at


This time of year you need to be especially careful and alert!  During hunting season, deer are very active.  The particularly high-risk times are sunrise and sunset to midnight.

Drive slower than your normally would so you will have more time to react if you see a deer along the road.  Be extra cautious when there are signs posted warning of a deer crossing and when you are in a rural or wooded area.

Drive defensively!  Make sure you always wear your seat belt, and be on the look out for deer.  More than likely if you see one there is probably more nearby.  They do not usually travel alone.

When you are able, use your high-beam headlights at night to help make the deer more visible.

DO NOT SWERVE YOUR VEHICLE Swerving your vehicle to miss hitting the deer could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  This could result in hitting another vehicle, a tree, or another object.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Scan the sides of the roads as you drive looking for wildlife.  And if you have passengers, have them help, but be sure to ask them to not shout out as it could startle you and make you react incorrectly.

If you notice another vehicle that is slowing down or have their hazards flashing, this could be an indication that there are deer in the area. Take precautions and be prepared to take action if necessary.

If you do have a collision with a deer or other animal, here are some steps to take after making sure everyone in the vehicle is okay:

  • Pull over if you can and put on your hazard lights.  Aim your headlights on the animal or as close as you can, if possible.
  • Check passengers for injuries and act accordingly.
  • Do not go near the animal; it could kick or gore you from being afraid or if it is in pain.
  • Only attempt to move the animal if you are 100% sure that it is dead.
  • Use road flares or triangles if you have them.
  • Call the police immediately or flag down help.  Remember that most insurance companies will not pay for the claim if you don’t file a police report.

What will my auto insurance cover if I hit a deer?  It is a misconception that this coverage would fall under your Collision coverage of your policy.  If you collide with an animal, it is actually Comprehensive coverage that provides the coverage for damage to your auto.  Most Comprehensive coverages will have a deductible that would be applied to an animal collision loss.

If you aren’t sure if you have comprehensive coverage, contact your agent or give our office a call for an auto quote today!  We have three convenient locations:  Bloomington, Colfax, and Gridley.