Is Hitting a Deer Covered By Car Insurance?

If you want to insure your car against deer-related damage, you need comprehensive coverage.

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Does car insurance cover hitting a deer?

If you have comprehensive coverage, damage caused by hitting a deer will be covered. Usually paired with collision coverage, this coverage option provides physical protection for your vehicle. Let's explore ins and outs of car insurance after hitting a deer, including companies offering the best average rates for related coverage levels, typical costs, and what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Already seeing increased rates from a previous accident? Enter your ZIP code above to begin finding a better rate.

Is hitting a deer covered by auto insurance?
  1. Does liability car insurance cover hitting a deer?
  2. How much does comprehensive coverage cost?
  3. What impact will a deer-related insurance claim have on your premium?

Does liability coverage cover hitting a deer?

No. Liability insurance, whether bodily injury or property damage, only covers damage you cause. For instance, if you're in an at-fault accident and damage someone's vehicle, your liability property damage coverage would step in. In order to have insurance coverage after a collision with a deer, you would need comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage is designed to cover what is not covered by collision. In some states, it's actually referred to as "other than collision" coverage. See below exactly what is covered by comprehensive car insurance.

  • Weather damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Animal damage

You will have coverage after hitting a deer through the "animal damage" clause. In addition to deer-related damages, this can include any animal that damages your vehicle. If you run over an animal — or if an animal chews or damages internal wiring — you're covered.

How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

Because comprehensive coverage is designed to cover your vehicle, the cost of this coverage depends on how much your car is worth. In this case, the more valuable your vehicle is, the higher your premium will be. We've outlined in our State of Insurance estimates based on an average-cost vehicle. See below what insurance on a 2013 Honda Accord would set you back with comprehensive and collision.

Insurer Average Annual Premium
Nationwide $1,273
Allstate $1,902
Farmers $1,237
GEICO $1,091
Liberty Mutual $1,520
Progressive $1,793
USAA $967
State Farm $1,769

Another feature specific to your insurance policy that will impact your premium is your deductible. Standard deductibles range from $500 to $1,000 but can vary depending on your policy and your insurer's pricing. The above data represents pricing with a $500 comprehensive deductible, while the below shows pricing for a $1,000 deductible.

Insurer Average Annual Premium
Allstate $1,705
Farmers $1,374
GEICO $1,071
Liberty Mutual $1,642
Nationwide $1,015
Progressive $1,505
State Farm $1,506
USAA $880

Will a collision with an animal raise my insurance premium?

Any insurance claim will increase your rates, since your insurance company has to pay for an adjuster to survey the damage and pay for the repairs. But unlike a collision claim — generally seen as an at-fault car accident — a comprehensive claim generally won't raise your rates by much. On average, a comprehensive claim will raise your rates $98 per year. While it depends on your state and your policy, most violations will impact your rates for three to five years. See below how a comprehensive claim may impact your rates.

Year After Accident Average Annual Premium
0 - No Accident $1,427
1 Year Later $1,525
2 Years Later $1,623
3 Years Later $1,721

Expect your insurance premium to increase by $8 per month after hitting a deer. If you've experienced a much higher rate increase after filing a deer-related claim, consider this a sign that it's time to shop around for car insurance. Enter your zip code below to see rates from other local and national insurance companies.

Find affordable comprehensive coverage.

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I was driving and the car in front of me hit a deer and I ran over it. Why won't my insurance cover it under comprehensive?

Hitting an animal is almost always covered under comprehensive coverage. Unless something else had happened, I would seek additional assistance with this claim because they should not be denying it.
Jan 21, 2020 Marietta, GA

My daughter hit her head after an accident with a deer

The state of New York requires all drivers carry personal injury protection at minimum of $50,000 per person. This provides coverage for medical costs that you and your passengers incur in an accident regardless of fault.
Feb 16, 2018 Albany, New York

Is it considered an at-fault accident if I hit a tree?

This is considered a single-vehicle accident which is considered at-fault. Unfortunately, in this instance, insurance companies would prefer that you not swerve to avoid a collision.
Jul 14, 2019 Coos Bay, OR

How can I get points off my license?

Hello, Unfortunately, there is no way to instantly remove demerit points from your license since there was a collision. In a case where an animal is involved, insurers typically rule it to be safer to hit the animal than to swerve trying to miss it.
Aug 20, 2019 Saltville, VA

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.