It does not matter how you phrase it, deer rack up tons of damage to vehicles in crashes, collisions, and accidents in the state of Michigan. More than 60,000 crashes are reported every year in Michigan and a whole lot more go unreported. If you are commonly in the car during the hours of dawn and dusk, you are very likely to encounter contact with a deer.
Am I covered for a deer accident?
Auto insurance does cover deer as long as you purchased comprehensive coverage on the vehicle in question. Most of the time a deductible is assigned to comprehensive. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket to get your vehicle repaired. It might be $100, it might be $500 you will have to check your declaration page or ask your insurance agent to verify your coverage.
But the deer hit me!
It is not uncommon for deer to run directly into the side of a moving vehicle. It really does not matter if you hit the deer or the deer hits you, the claim is handled the same. You will have to pay your deductible.
How long will it take to get my vehicle fixed?
That is a loaded question. Mid to late fall is the peak time for deer accidents and body shops can get buried in repairs. It is still reasonable to expect your repairs to be completed within two weeks. Often vehicles which are rendered undrive-able will be considered a high priority for repairs. Make sure you communicate well with your body shop and leave them the best phone number to reach you. Nothing delays a repair quite like miss communication.
Will a deer accident affect my car insurance rate?
Nowadays more and more insurance carriers are surcharging for comprehensive claims. However, some preferred insurance carriers still allow for comprehensive claims without changing your rate. I like to think of it like this. If you have had no car insurance claims for the last three years, and I mean none, do you think it is fair to pay the same rate as the guy who has hit two deer this year? It my guess the no claim person would expect to pay less. Nobody wants to pay more of course and like mentioned earlier, sometimes deer hit you. When you are shopping for a car insurance quote, ask if comprehensive claims raise rates.
Deer Vehicle Crash Tips
- Do not swerve!
- Be extra cautious at dusk and dawn
- Insure all vehicles with comprehensive coverage