Suppose that you are in the car one day, and suddenly a deer runs in front of your vehicle. You don’t have time to react, and wind up hitting the deer. You might also wind up skidding off the road and doing further damage to the car. The damage in this case might be significant, and you might wonder if your car insurance will pay for your vehicle’s repairs or replacement.
Depending on the terms of your auto insurance, you might indeed have coverage for the damage done by animal strikes. However, it’s up to you to verify that you do indeed have the appropriate benefits in place.
Comprehensive Insurance Will Provide This Benefit
If you have comprehensive physical damage coverage on your auto policy, that does not mean that you have auto insurance for 100% of your losses. It is a specific benefit within an auto insurance that is designed to insure your vehicle against physical damage that is not related to a wreck (I.e. storms, fires, theft).
Animal strikes will have coverage under this benefit, even though they might be perceived as collisions by the affected driver. If you only have a minor collision with an animal, then you might find that there’s only minor damage, which might not necessitate filing an auto insurance claim (particularly if you have a high deductible on your policy). However, were your vehicle to sustain severe damage, then your comprehensive coverage can ensure that you receive a substantial settlement for the requisite repairs.
What Happens if I Hit Another Vehicle?
Maybe when you hit a deer, you swerve into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle. Under the circumstances, you might be at fault for the other driver’s vehicle damage, since you hit them. Even though you were not necessarily in full control of your vehicle at the time you hit the other car, the fault lies more with you than the other driver.
Therefore, your auto liability insurance will provide property damage and bodily injury coverage that pays for third-party losses when you are deemed at fault for the accident. However, this coverage does not pay for damage to your own vehicle, so you must carry both comprehensive and liability coverage within your policy if you want a more expansive policy.
What Should You Do After an Animal Collision?
After you strike an animal, immediately call the police and emergency services. They will respond to the scene, direct traffic and help you document the accident. Afterwards, contact your insurance company to learn what your next steps will be. They will start the claim and analyze the cause and effects of the accident. They will then determine exactly how much your policy can aid you for the ramifications of this accident.