Hypothetically speaking, I hit a deer
At least once a month I get a call from a customer that starts off like this. “Hypothetically speaking, if I hit a deer and I am not saying that I did, how would that impact my insurance rates?” And I always answer, “Don’t worry everything will be just fine.”
Over the years, I’ve heard that question hundreds of times. Take for instance my customer Dan. On his way home, he hit a deer and was nervous about filing a claim because of the impact on his rates. I explained to him that if he hit a deer, it’s considered a comprehensive claim and would not impact his rates. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle by paying for losses resulting from fire, theft, falling objects, riots, storms, earthquakes, flood, collision with birds or animals and broken windshields. Unlike collision claims where your vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object, comprehensive claims typically are not assessed a surcharge and don’t impact your rates.
A Few Tips to Avoid Hitting Animals on the Roadway
- Slow down—Speeding in areas where animals are known to cross the road frequently only further increases your chances of striking one. The faster you go, the less reaction time you have and the longer it takes to bring your car to a complete stop.
- Use your high beams—It’s much more likely that you will hit an animal in the night. Your visibility diminishes dramatically after the sun goes down, even if you are in a rural area where there are no other cars and you can turn on your brights.
- Avoid night driving—Avoid driving when you are drowsy is another way to prevent accidents with animals. Most people feel tired at night when visibility is already diminished. Their reaction time is further downgraded due to fatigue. You also run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, and even if you doze for only a moment it can be enough time to not see the animal standing in the road directly in front of your car.