Hitting a deer is usually considered a random event and does not significantly affect insurance rates. Deer accidents are covered by comprehensive car insurance, which protects you from damage caused by things outside your control, like theft, vandalism, falling tree branches, and animals.
Comprehensive claims go on your insurance record, but they don’t dramatically affect your rate because they’re not-at-fault accidents. Claim frequency does affect how much you pay for insurance, though. One comprehensive claim won’t spike your rate, but multiple claims in three years or less will increase your premium.
Do you have to pay a deductible if you hit a deer?
If you hit a deer or a deer runs into your car, you’ll have to pay your deductible before comprehensive insurance covers the rest of the bill. Common deductibles are $500 and $1,000 for comprehensive claims, but you choose the deductible when you set up your policy.
Does liability insurance cover hitting a deer?
If you only have liability insurance, which pays for damage you cause to someone else or their property in an accident, hitting a deer won’t be covered.
If you swerve to miss the deer and crash into oncoming traffic, liability insurance would come into play. In that case, your liability insurance would cover damage to the other driver’s car.
You must make physical contact with the deer for the accident to be covered by comprehensive insurance. Liability is almost always required by law, but comprehensive coverage is not. You may have been required by your lenders to carry it if you leased or financed your car, though.
Deer accidents are frequent in many parts of the country, and hitting a deer can easily total your car. It’s worthwhile to explore comprehensive coverage options, especially since it’s usually quite affordable.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.