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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.


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.

 
weather damage

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.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,365
Nationwide $1,476
GEICO $1,542
State Farm $1,569
Farmers $1,786
Progressive $1,886
Allstate $2,413
Updated: 09/29/22.

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.

money
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,189
Nationwide $1,343
GEICO $1,348
State Farm $1,457
Farmers $1,616
Progressive $1,668
Allstate $2,118
Updated: 09/29/22.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Will a collision with an animal raise my insurance premium?

 

Any insurance claim will increase your rates since your car 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 by $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.

While it depends on your state and your policy, most violations will impact your rates for three to five years.

Accident/Violation Avg. Annual Premium
None $1,759
One comp claim $1,849
Two comp claims $1,936
Updated: 09/29/22.

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.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

I have full coverage and a non-owner hit a deer. Will insurance cover the damage?

As long as the driver is covered by the policy — they don't necessarily need to be listed — insurance should cover the damage. Most policies would cover a driver, who does not reside with you, borrowing the car.
Dec 5, 2019 Bellevue, OH

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

Should I file a claim after hitting a deer with an old vehicle?

It really depends. In Arizona, a totaled vehicle is determined via a total loss formula.
Oct 7, 2018 Show Low, AZ

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

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, 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.