Will hitting a deer raise my insurance rates?

Does GEICO cover deer accidents? Yes, comprehensive insurance covers hitting a deer, and your auto insurance rates shouldn’t increase. Learn what to do if you are involved in a deer accident.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Hitting a deer doesn’t have the same impact on insurance rates as hitting another vehicle
  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible after hitting a deer to summarize the incident and provide pictures or documentation of what happened and the resulting damage
  • Not all policies include accidents involving animals, so you may need comprehensive coverage to pay for the damages

If you’re wondering if hitting a deer will raise your insurance rates, it depends entirely on the type of insurance coverage you have. For example, with a comprehensive policy, GEICO covers deer accidents. However, hitting a deer doesn’t carry the same risk of rate increases as hitting another vehicle.

More than likely, you won’t pay more for auto insurance after hitting a deer, but you still have to pay your deductible before the insurance company covers the repairs. It’s worth investing in full coverage if you are driving in locations or at periods of the day when deer are most active.

Does car insurance go up after hitting a deer?

As a general practice, insurance companies will raise your auto insurance rates if you make a claim on your policy. This is because filing a claim, especially if you are at fault, leads the company to believe you are more likely to make additional claims in the future, and it will raise your rates to account for the potential cost you may be to the insurance company.

However, for most insurers, hitting a deer isn’t categorized the same as if you hit another vehicle. Hitting a deer is generally considered a random, one-time event, which separates it from the category of at-fault accidents. Deer also move unexpectedly, creating a distinction between hitting the animal vs. hitting a stationary object like a tree. Therefore, car insurance rates will not go up after hitting a deer, and you won’t have any other negative consequences to your driving record.

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Does a deer accident go on your driving record?

Auto insurance companies check your driving record before issuing a policy to ascertain your driving behaviors and get an idea of the risk they will assume. Certain traffic violations will go on your driving record, and any crashes reported to the authorities will also go on your record.

Hitting a deer doesn’t require you to file a police report, which keeps such incidents off your driving record. However, having a police report can support your claim with the insurance company. If you file multiple claims for hitting a deer, the company could change your insurance rates.

How does hitting a deer affect insurance?

A lone incident of hitting a deer won’t usually affect the cost of auto insurance, but there’s also no guarantee that your insurance policy will pay for the damages. Whether the incident is covered depends on what kind of car insurance you carry. 

In most states, the minimum car insurance required is a minimum liability policy. This is one of the more affordable policies, but basic liability insurance will not pay for hitting a deer. Despite being the most affordable coverage, it leaves big financial concerns with uncovered incidents.

Does GEICO cover deer accidents?

Full coverage auto insurance will cover hitting a deer or other animals. Full coverage is a kind of policy that includes liability, collision, and comprehensive claims coverage. The additional areas of coverage under this type of policy mean insurance will pay for collisions of all types, including hitting a large animal like a deer.

It’s possible to get auto insurance for hitting a deer by purchasing just a comprehensive coverage policy. For example, GEICO covers deer accidents with this policy and pays claims involving incidents with larger animals. Again, it does come at an additional cost, with rates varying by insurance company, your personal driving record, and your eligibility for special discounts.

The table below lists the annual auto insurance rates for different types of policies. Comprehensive car insurance that covers hitting a deer comes with the cheapest annual rates:

Average Annual U.S. Auto Insurance Rates
Type of Auto Insurance CoverageAverage Annual U.S. Auto Insurance Rates
Comprehensive$160/year
Collision$363/year
Liability$611/year
Full Coverage$1,134/year
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Though you may have full or comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, you will be responsible for paying the deductible before the insurance covers any damages.

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What should you do after hitting a deer?

If you’ve struck a deer, there are no laws that require you to stay on the scene. However, it is best to take time to assess the situation immediately. Follow these steps to take care of yourself, the needs of the animal, and other motorists on the road: 

  1. Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road or a safe location and turn on the hazard lights.
  2. Phone the local non-emergency police number to report the situation. They will contact the appropriate agencies if there is a carcass to dispose of or if medical assistance is needed.
  3. Using the camera on your phone or pen and paper, document the accident. Include photos or descriptions of the surroundings, any damage or injuries that occurred, and any witness information.
  4. Stay away from the wounded deer. If the animal has fled, don’t chase after it.
  5. Contact your auto insurance company to report the accident and send your documentation.
  6. Assess if you can drive the vehicle home or arrange to have it towed.

You aren’t required by law to file a police report, but having an officer respond to the scene has several benefits. A report strengthens your claim with the insurance company, and an officer can direct traffic while you assess your car for damage.

How to Protect Yourself From Hitting a Deer

Being aware of your surroundings can help reduce the chances of colliding with a deer. You can further protect yourself from the financial costs of hitting a deer by purchasing full coverage auto insurance on your vehicle. Full coverage car insurance is more expensive, but it will cover the cost of repairs after hitting a deer.

You can shop around and compare auto insurance quotes for full coverage from multiple companies to lock in cheaper rates. 

Fortunately, hitting a deer will not raise your insurance rates. Unlike an accident where drivers are responsible for their own behavior on the road, drivers cannot anticipate an animal’s behavior. For this reason, insurance companies will not raise your rates if you file a claim for hitting a deer.

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