June 21, 2023
Hitting an animal on the road can be dangerous. If you collide with a large animal, like a deer or a moose, does your car insurance cover the damage? Collision and comprehensive insurance generally cover damages caused from hitting an animal.
Understanding Comprehensive Coverage:
When it comes to animal collisions, repairs are typically covered under the comprehensive coverage section of your car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage is designed to protect you against non-collision incidents, including damage caused by animals, natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and more. It's important to note that comprehensive coverage is optional and not a mandatory component of your auto insurance policy.
Animal Collision Insurance Coverage:
Most comprehensive car insurance policies include coverage for animal collisions, which means you'll be protected if you hit an animal while driving. The specifics of this coverage may vary depending on your insurance provider, so it's crucial to review your policy documents or contact your insurance expert for detailed information.
Types of Animal Collision Damage Covered:
Comprehensive coverage typically covers various types of damage resulting from animal collisions. These may include:
Vehicle Repairs: If your car sustains damages due to an animal collision, such as dented panels, broken headlights, or damaged fenders, your comprehensive coverage will generally pay for the repairs.
Windshield Damage: Animal collisions often result in cracked or shattered windshields. Fortunately, comprehensive coverage typically covers windshield repairs or replacement caused by such incidents.
Other Vehicle Damage: Depending on the circumstances of the collision, there may be additional damages to your vehicle, such as damage to the undercarriage, suspension, or exhaust system. Comprehensive coverage may cover these repairs as well.
Deductibles and Coverage Limits:
When it comes to comprehensive coverage, it's important to understand the role of deductibles and coverage limits. A deductible is the amount you're responsible for paying out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Coverage limits refer to the maximum amount your insurance provider will pay for repairs or replacements.
Deductibles and coverage limits can vary significantly between insurance policies and providers. It's crucial to review your policy documents and understand these terms to make informed decisions about your coverage.
Filing a Claim for Animal Collision Damage:
If you've been involved in an animal collision and need to file a claim, follow these general steps:
Document the Incident: Take photos of the scene, including any damages to your vehicle, skid marks, and the location of the collision. This documentation will serve as evidence when filing your claim.
Contact Your Insurance Provider: Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible after the incident. They will guide you through the claims process and provide you with the necessary forms or online tools to file your claim.
Provide Relevant Information: When filing your claim, be prepared to provide essential details such as the date and time of the incident, the location, a description of what happened, and any witness information, if available.
Arrange for Repairs: Once your claim is approved, work with your insurance provider to select an authorized repair shop or schedule an inspection. They will guide you on the necessary steps to repair the damages caused by the animal collision.
Here are a few additional considerations regarding animal collision insurance coverage:
Insurance Policy Variations: The coverage and terms of car insurance policies can vary significantly, so it's crucial to review your specific policy and understand the extent of your coverage.
Exclusions: Some insurance policies may have specific exclusions or limitations when it comes to animal collisions. For example, there may be restrictions on coverage for collisions with domestic animals, or there may be specific requirements for reporting the incident within a certain timeframe. Reviewing your policy will help you understand any such exclusions.
Insurance Premiums: It's worth noting that making a claim for an animal collision may affect your insurance premiums. Depending on your insurance provider and the circumstances of the incident, your premiums may increase upon renewal. It's essential to consider this factor when deciding whether to file a claim or pay for repairs out of pocket.
Animal Collision Avoidance: While insurance coverage is crucial, it's always best to prioritize safety and take precautions to avoid animal collisions whenever possible. Be vigilant while driving, especially in areas known for wildlife activity. Keep your headlights on, reduce speed, and stay alert for any signs or warnings indicating animal crossings.
Stay informed, drive responsibly, and ensure your car insurance provides the necessary coverage for unexpected encounters on the road.