Does My Car Insurance Cover Me if I Hit a Deer?

Comprehensive coverage on your personal car insurance plan can protect you if you hit a deer, but collision coverage will not cover vehicle damage.
Written by Brady Klopfer
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Every year, tens of thousands of deer are hit by moving vehicles, with a handful of other large animals being hit as well. These deer collisions can cause injury and occasionally even death to the driver or passengers, but the primary damage is done to the vehicle.
You may think that an animal causes limited damage to a car, but most accidents involving deer result in thousands of dollars’ worth of
repairs
.
It’s easy to think of deer as being the same as any other obstacle when you’re driving, but
insurance companies
don’t always see things the same way that drivers do. Deer are treated differently than many other objects, and it’s important to know where you’re covered.
So, here's all you need to know about car insurance if you hit a deer, with a little help from
car insurance
comparison and broker app
Jerry
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Does car insurance cover a vehicle when it hits a deer?

As odd as it sounds, colliding with a deer is not considered a
collision
— at least not to insurance companies. While being involved in an accident with another car, or even a stationary object like a tree or telephone pole is classified as a collision, hitting a deer — or any other animal — is viewed as incidental damage.
In other words, if you want your vehicle to be protected from animal damage, you’ll need to purchase an insurance plan that includes comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage
takes care of unpredictable damage to your vehicle, such as harm caused by weather, vandalism, theft, or natural disasters. If you have comprehensive coverage, it will cover your vehicle in the event that you hit a deer.

Be aware of your deductible

It’s fairly common for comprehensive coverage plans to have a high deductible. This is enticing for a lot of car owners, because unpredictable incidents covered by comprehensive plans can be very rare. By keeping a high deductible, car owners have lower annual premiums, but still get coverage in the event of serious damage to their vehicle.
If you live in an area where deer collisions are common, you may want to consider raising the premiums on your comprehensive coverage in order to lower the deductible. Deer collisions routinely result in $3,000 to $5,000 worth of damage, so if you have a high deductible, you’re going to end up paying a lot out of pocket. If a deer collision seems likely given the area that you drive in, pay a little more each year to avoid such a difficult financial hit. Think of it as deer insurance.
If you live in a rural area, you’ll definitely want to purchase comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, so that you don’t get stuck paying a huge amount of money to repair your car, all because a deer jumped into the road.

FAQs

Is hitting a deer considered collision or comprehensive insurance?

Ironically, hitting a deer isn't regarded as part of collision coverage. This is because collision coverage takes care of relatively common phenomena. In the eyes of insurance companies, hitting a deer isn't a regular occurrence. So, for deer coverage, you'll need to invest in comprehensive insurance.

Where can I get cheap deer insurance?

Fortunately, comprehensive coverage can be relatively cheap — especially if you shop around properly. the best way to do that is with
car insurance
comparison and broker service
Jerry
. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price.
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