Car Insurance Coverage for Hitting an Animal

Car Insurance Coverage for Hitting an Animal – Car insurance policies often cover damages resulting from collisions with animals, primarily when comprehensive coverage is included. Comprehensive coverage is an optional add-on that protects against physical damage to a vehicle not involving a stationary object or another vehicle. This coverage extends to animal collisions, regardless of whether the animal has an owner or is wild.

Car Insurance Coverage for Hitting an Animal

In the event of an animal collision, it is crucial to prioritize safety by pulling over to a safe location. Also, turning on hazard lights, and contacting the proper authorities if the animal is on the road. Once cleared from the scene, contact your insurance company or agent to file a comprehensive claim for the damages.

Comprehensive coverage typically covers various types of damage resulting from animal collisions. Also vehicle repairs, windshield damage, and other vehicle damage. However, it’s essential to understand the role of deductibles and coverage limits. This is because these can vary significantly between insurance policies and providers. This article thus aims to discuss Car Insurance Coverage for Hitting an Animal.

Car Insurance Coverage for Hitting an Animal

Colliding with a large wild animal can result in substantial vehicle damage and potential medical expenses for you or your vehicle’s occupant. If you have comprehensive car insurance, you may be eligible to have these repair costs covered. Although you have collided with the animal. Such an incident does not fall under the collision policy; instead, comprehensive coverage is designed to cover damages that are not your fault.

If you hit a domestic animal, such as a dog or a horse, that has strayed, comprehensive coverage may not be enough to cover the costs. During the claim investigation process, your insurance company may seek compensation from the animal’s owner under their homeowner’s insurance. This is especially true if the animal owner was negligent in allowing the animal to roam freely. This process is typically handled between the insurance companies. Also, you will be notified if your insurance carrier is pursuing this route. 

How to Obtain Comprehensive Coverage

To ensure coverage in the event of an accident involving an animal, you can purchase a comprehensive coverage policy. You can add comprehensive insurance when buying car insurance online or ask your insurance agent to include it in your existing auto.

Comprehensive coverage is an optional add-on, and most states do not require it. Therefore, if you only carry the minimum insurance required in your state, you likely do not have comprehensive coverage yet.

However, if you financed your vehicle and still have a loan on it, you probably already have comprehensive coverage. This is because most lenders require full coverage for financed vehicles.

When filing a claim through a comprehensive, you will need to pay your deductible, and the remaining costs should be covered. Although this is an additional cost, it may be worth it when you consider the potential damage a large animal, like a moose, could cause to your vehicle.

What Should You do After Hitting an Animal with your Car?

Accidentally striking an animal with your car is not considered a criminal offense or your fault. However, there are specific rights and obligations that you must uphold following such an incident. Here are the steps you should take after hitting an animal:

  • Safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Assess the animal’s condition. If it is still alive, use a towel or clothing to protect yourself if it becomes aggressive.
  • Check for any young animals in the pouch or surrounding area. If you find any, contact a local veterinarian service or wildlife rescue operation.
  • Ensure the road is safe for other drivers. Move the animal to the side of the road if it is dead, or contact the police to help end its suffering.
  • If the animal is a family pet, try to contact the owner. If you are unable to do so, contact the police.
  • Once the road is safe, evaluate your vehicle and take photographs. There may be cosmetic damage, but there could also be structural damage, depending on the size of the animal. Always have your car inspected by a panel beater following a collision with an animal.


What types of animal collisions are covered by car insurance?

Comprehensive coverage typically covers collisions with various types of animals, from small creatures like raccoons to larger ones like deer or moose. However, it’s essential to review your policy to understand the specifics of your coverage, as some policies may have unique considerations for exotic animals or specific animal species.

How does the claims process work for animal collision damages?

After hitting an animal, document the incident by taking pictures of the damage, the animal (if it is safe to do so), and the surrounding area. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim, and provide them with all the necessary information and documentation. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process and explain the coverage applicable to your situation.

Are there any situations where car insurance might not cover animal collision damages?

Yes, there are situations where car insurance might not cover animal collision damages. For instance, if the cost to repair the damage is less than your deductible. It might not be worth filing a claim, as it could lead to higher insurance premiums in the future.

Additionally, some policies may have specific exclusions or restrictions related to comprehensive coverage for animal collisions. This depends on state regulations and the severity of the vehicle damage.

Will my car insurance rates increase if I claim hitting an animal?

Claiming to hit an animal and to utilize your comprehensive coverage typically does not result in a rate increase due to the nature of comprehensive claims. Since comprehensive claims are often considered non-fault incidents, they are less likely to impact your insurance premiums compared to at-fault collisions.

However, it’s always advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand how a claim for hitting an animal may affect your specific policy.

Can I choose to add comprehensive coverage specifically for animal collisions?

Comprehensive coverage, which includes protection for animal collisions, is a standard component of many auto insurance policies. While you cannot typically add specific coverage solely for animal collisions, comprehensive coverage encompasses a wide range of non-collision incidents, including animal collisions.

It’s essential to review your policy details or consult with your insurance provider to confirm the extent of coverage for animal collisions under your comprehensive policy.