Once animals begin coming out of hibernation during the spring, your risk of hitting one with your car goes up. Therefore, if you were to hit a deer when out on the road, your vehicle might sustain significant damage, and you might cause harm to other drivers and their vehicles, too. Therefore, you’ll want to have assistance available to help you pick up the pieces.
The good news is that your auto insurance can be there to assist you when animal strikes occur. There’s a catch, however. You must ensure that you have appropriate benefits in the first place, and this will require getting a type of coverage known as comprehensive physical damage insurance.
Comprehensive Insurance and Animal Strike Coverage
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.